Dalene Sher is a qualified and registered Industrial Psychologist who has worked in professional environments for over 20 years. Starting her career consulting to the public sector, Dalene then went on to serve the Financial Services and Banking sectors in the capacity of Human Resource Business Partner as well as Organisational Development Specialist. Returning to her consulting roots, Dalene then took on several projects and initiatives at a variety of client companies. This involved (amongst other) Executive Coaching and Development, Process and Structure Consultation, Recruitment and Selection, Medical Legal Assessments, industrial Relations, Policy Development, Employee Wellbeing and Counselling.
Currently on retainer at Reverside Software Solutions, Dalene heads up the Employee Wellbeing Department. Her aim is to create a culture of open communication, engagement and employee satisfaction.
As humans our aim should be to gift the world with our authenticity, to showcase our abilities, to be the best version of our imperfection.
In your role, how do you actively foster an environment that supports and promotes the growth of women in IT?
The Employee Wellbeing Department is a safe space within the organization that supports and promotes the growth of our employees. There is no differentiation between gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. In this way our role is completely open to fostering the needs of whoever we have the pleasure of engaging with.
Can you share a specific example of a program or initiative you have championed that has resulted
in the advancement or development of women?
I spearheaded an initiative entitled “Mothers Returning to Work” during my tenure in the Financial Services and Banking industry. The aim was to establish a working support group of women who had recently returned to work from maternity leave and whose battle it was to maintain the balance between children and family welfare, and career aspirations. By bringing specific tools to these competent and highly successful new mothers, there was a significant enhancement to their lives.
As a leader, how do you ensure that women’s voices and perspectives are heard and valued in decision-making processes?
As a leader it is my foremost responsibility to act as a role model. Having conquered any fears early on in my career regarding speaking up and being heard, I now actively and fearlessly conduct myself in such a manner that my voice is not only heard, but most importantly, solicited. In addition, through mentoring and guiding, I have taught those who are willing, how to approach the decision-making processes in order for them to be valued. Support is key.
What strategies have you employed to mentor and guide emerging women leaders within our organization or in general, helping them navigate their career paths effectively?
The strategy I use during mentoring and guiding is quite simply “listening” and “authenticity”. Perhaps what the counselling environment has taught me is that these are the key factors that will assist emerging leaders to answer their own questions themselves. Our job as leaders is to extract these answers and bring them confidently to the fore.
In what ways do you collaborate with other departments to promote a culture of gender
equality and empower women across different aspects of our organization?
Collaboration between Human Resources, marketing and Employee Wellbeing is a vital aspect to our organization. Together our aim is to ensure equality in pay, training, opportunity and leadership – an easy task given that Reverside embraced this concept a very long time ago. Additionally, through our Women’s Day, Corporate Social Responsibility and other Employee Wellbeing initiatives, we have allowed for the expression of our employees beyond the confines of our work duties.