At Nissan South Africa, we appreciate that Women's Month serves as a platform to advocate for gender equality, amplify women's voices, and acknowledge their contribution to society throughout history.
The month of August is not only a celebration of women's achievements and successes but also an opportunity to continue to break biases, embrace diversity and partner in nurturing workspaces that are inclusive.
Here's to shining the headlights on some of the women committed to excelling in their daily jobs whilst also co-creating spaces where all individuals can show up as their most authentic selves.
Meet Mmathapelo Khumalo - Nissan South Africa's Sales Operations Senior Manager, who believes that leveraging diversity is key to building a strong and cohesive team.
Tell us about your typical day in the office
I prepare a to-do list the night before consisting of a minimum of at least five things I would like to achieve the next day. However, working in sales has required me to adapt and be agile, 80% of the time what I plan to do in a day never materialises due to the dynamic environment that exists within sales. A typical day consists of "drop what you are doing and prioritise X,Y,Z."
What makes you proud to be a member of the Nissan South Africa team?
As a black woman in a male dominated industry, I am proud to be part of an organisation that has created opportunities for me to grow and contribute to the growth of the business through contributing my skills and knowledge. I have been provided with the support and guidance required to grow, particularly when I switched from Finance to Sales.
It gives me pride that Nissan looks to uplift people regardless of who they are and invest in talent. This merit-based models motivates me to do my best every day.
What is the highlight of your day?
Being able to achieve one of the five to-do items I set for myself on a daily basis! Secondly, I enjoy being able to develop solutions to some of the business challenges we encounter as we go about our business.
How do you leverage gender diversity in your everyday work life?
By being "available" to my team , open to coaching, mentoring and guidance: I believe this allows me to empower others through skills development and tacit knowledge transference. Providing bespoke 'relationship dynamics' within the team as we consist of an array of ages, genders and represent cultural diversity… the recognition allows to think of each individual and not apply a 'one size fits all' approach. Nurturing a sense of belonging for the team, creating opportunities for them, for example allowing them to present their ideas and work to senior management has enabled the team members and as a result, boost their confidence and grow exposure. Allowing every team member to have a voice, requesting continuous feedback, even if it's not always going to be positive, has also influenced the manner in which I'm able to leverage the rich diversity within the team.
How do you support Nissan's drive for quality of sales?
If I were to pin point one way I support this drive it would be through the creation and development of the Nissan Warrior Champs Programme which is aimed recognising the front line dealer employees. We structured the recognition programme to reward and recognise exceptional performances from the dealer network. We also highlight the importance of governance which includes responsible reporting as a minimum requirement. Through the Nissan Warrior Champs programme we invest in the individuals who interact with our customers and strive to develop them in order to grow Nissan's skills poll. We do believe that this will contribute positively to customer service excellence and increase sales and overall market share.