In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we proudly feature interviews with resilient women who embody social, economic, cultural and professional achievements. These women are wonderful examples of 2021’s campaign theme: Choose to Challenge. A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge, comes change. Their stories highlight the importance and power of women supporting women and how their rise to success was made possible through the upliftment of others.

Elaine Thompson – founder & boss lady at People Dynamics and Dux

A coaching and training organisation that focuses on people development and growth. /

What is your background, what industry do you work in now, and how long have you worked in this industry?

My background is psychology and a deep interest in people. My journey into what I currently do started with a psychology and sociology degree and then an honours in clinical and counselling psychology (1997). I joined Life Line East Rand in 1993 and continued to work for them until 2003 when I started People Dynamics. People development and growth is what we do. In 2014 Dux was hatched and our student support programme became one of our core areas of focus.

What do you love about what you do?

The feeling you get when you watch a learner arrive with no skills and confidence, and then leave us a couple of days later empowered – confident and ready to succeed.

What are the professional and/or personal achievements you’re most proud of?

I am proud to have run my business and expanded it over the past 18 years. A huge professional achievement is seeing our students and entrepreneurs thriving. Their success is our success.

On a personal front my greatest achievement are my beautiful girls and my marriage to my best friend.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your industry?

To be honest I don’t feel like my gender is a challenge in my industry, but rather, being female is pivotal in playing the role we play in our clients lives.  Being a woman in a people-centred industry has allowed me to connect with people in ways men often cannot. Women have a way of connecting that is unique to us.

What has been a challenge as a woman is not related to my industry but to myself and my inner voice.  Many times the challenges I faced were about what was going on in my head.  Am I doing enough? If I set stronger boundaries, will I lose clients? How can I do things better?  What am I doing wrong?

Overcoming self-doubt and questioning when running a business is something I must do every day.  Some days I overcome these like a true warrior and other days not so much.  But I get up each day and thank God for another opportunity to make a difference.

What advice could you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession?

I do think the coaching industry is male dominated but the niche we work in is not.

The companies we deal with still have many males in the top ranks but this has never been something that has been an issue for me and how I run my business.

If you are entering a male-dominated profession I would say, be assertive, set good boundaries and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Because the small stuff will drive you mad.

Who has been your mentor, or what inspires you in your professional and personal life?

I have had a number of people contribute to my professional development over the years, but someone who I often speak with is Helen Brits, owner of Trig distributors.  She is small but she is mighty! The other mentors are my team. Jenny and Pat are so wise and knowledgeable and both of them help me to see things from different perspectives.

What inspires me in my professional life is seeing my clients’ growth and achieve their goals.  In my personal life it certainly is my faith in God and His blessing in my life and my family – who are the ones who laugh and cry with me.

Do you have any other achievements, comments or advice for women you’d like to share?

I would say to women: be gentle on yourself and others, know what matters to you, do what you love and have faith, these are really big things.

The small things that matter is always have a tin of caramel in the cupboard with original Rice Crispies and time to watch your favourite movie. This comes down to planning!

Take a look at what People Dynamics and Dux offers:

People Dynamics offers various services and coaching programmes that produce results and bring out the absolute best in individuals, in both their personal and work environments. Through their coaching, training, and consulting services people have the space to think, work through complex problems, achieve goals, grow and develop.

They love to see young people make their dreams come true and are dedicated wingmen in this process.

About Do Digital

Started in 2016 by Kirstin van Heerden, Do Digital is a full service digital marketing consulting firm.

We have experience working with small, medium and large organisations, from start-ups to agencies, and multi-nationals.

We enjoy working with clients who have a product, service or message that they want to get out there, and who value the impact that marketing can have in getting this done well. We only suggest strategies and tactics that we know will add value.

We know our stuff when it comes to marketing strategy, websites, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, copywriting, marketing collateral, branding and conceptualisation.

OUR VISION is to be your preferred marketing consulting partner who makes an impact to your business through our consultations, strategies and digital marketing implementation tactics.