By Charndré Emma Kippie
Eloise Boezak is obsessed with strategic vision and implementation and has spent a 20 year career understanding the heart and mind of audiences, stakeholders and brands. Her diverse skill set that encompasses strategy, innovation and execution, was honed across a number of Industries including banks (FNB and now African Bank), institutions of Higher Learning (University of Johannesburg) and Oil and Gas (Sasol).
What got you into the field you’re currently in?
I have always loved the art and science of building connections between organisations and their people, both internal and external. I studied communications and have spent many years working in agencies and companies honing my skills to develop techniques to encourage connection and affinity.
What excites you the most about your role?
Customer Experience excites me because it has become the hub of opportunity and differentiation for any business now. It allows us to really understand the people who keep us profitable. It allows us to do the work that helps us develop products and services that are really useful and important to people to help live better lives.
In what ways do you think your organisation/business is enhancing the South African economy?
Financial Services are the backbone of the economy as it facilitates the ability to manage your life. So many people find this industry as intimidating and overwhelming and we have the ability and opportunity to make it more understandable. We are able to really create generations of customers who are empowered with knowledge and are able to use products that help them grow their money and advance their lives.
Do you think your field is diverse in terms of gender equality?
The field of Customer Experience is relatively new and has attracted people from various disciplines which has resulted in it being very gender diverse.
What are your top 3 tips for ensuring the success of women in your field?
- Continuous learning, not just once-off education, is vital. This is a field that is evolving so quickly, you need to keep up to date with the latest trends and research
- Have an innovative approach to your work, customer experience requires a great deal of creativity in solving for customers
- Have fun, this is a tough industry that is still growing and evolving so you need to really enjoy it to be successful in it.
What have been some major obstacles in your career, as a woman, and how did you overcome them?
- Being taken seriously. I have often needed to repeat my perspective in numerous ways in order to be heard in a room full of men.
- Overcoming Imposter syndrome, not just because of my gender, but also my race. In a country where you have been marginalised your entire life for two things you cannot control, this has been my most challenging obstacle.
- Developing your self-worth to the point where you do not need the approval of anyone else to feel valued and appreciated.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to focus on building a legacy for my daughters and women who will follow me in businesses. I also want to learn how to embrace balance as an achievement and not go back to the world where exhaustion is a symbol of progress and success.
What important/life-changing books have you read?
Becoming by Michelle Obama, and A Promised Land by Barack Obama.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who aspire to work in your field?
Be brave and resilient, and enjoy the journey. Remember that you can truly make an impact on the industry.
*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.
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