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.

Yolandi Kruger

– National Commercial Manager On-Site Services at EnviroServ Waste Management

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

I have an honours degree in psychology and was a school teacher for 8 years (3 of those were spent teaching in Dubai) before deciding that I wanted to move into the corporate world. With my lack of experience in the corporate industry, it proved rather difficult. EnviroServ offered me the position of Schools Recycling Consultant. I have been in the waste industry since leaving teaching in 2014.

What do you love about what you do?

My favourite thing about my job is going into different industries and seeing how they operate and what their processes are.

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

Professionally, starting in a very junior position and within 7 years working my way up to a national position. On a personal level, overcoming cancer at a young age.

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

It often seems as if women will never be seen to be equal to men. I have been in a few situations where my opinion was not deemed important, however when my male counterpart gave the same opinion it was valued and taken seriously. Some men in the corporate world still have the idea that a woman’s place is at home, and I have had some encounters with men who do not take me seriously. I do not let it get to me. When I see I am not getting through to them, I turn to my male colleagues to assist with getting the point across.

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

Have confidence in yourself and never doubt your abilities. Be bold and assertive in everything you do. You will need to stand your ground and most of all don’t let emotions rule you. In a male dominated profession an emotional woman will not have the impact she would hope to have. In a boys’ club you need to think like one of the boys.

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

I have been fortunate enough to have two great mentors. From the start of my journey at EnviroServ I have been blessed with a great manager who has always taken the time to impart his wealth of knowledge and who is never too busy to guide me and give me the help and support I need. I have also recently started a mentoring process with one of our female directors in the company which has been invaluable to me and most definitely helped me work on being more assertive and finding my place in this industry.

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

I have always believed that what you put in, is what you’ll get out. If you want to achieve something great, you need to put in the hard work and believe in yourself. Do not let anyone dictate your path for you. If you want something, go after it with all you have and do not let anyone tell you, you cannot achieve the impossible.

Take a look at what Yolandi Kruger gets up to

EnviroServ Waste Management is the leading waste management company in SA. They specialise in the sorting, recycling, collecting and safe disposal of all waste streams including hazardous waste.

Take a look at EnviroServ’s website:

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