During the month of August South Africa celebrates woman’s month. The RMI would like to use this opportunity to place the spotlight on some of the women of note who own and run businesses within the automotive aftermarket. Once the exclusive domain of men, there is an encouraging new influx of women in the automotive industry who are bringing in a fresh new dynamism and balance into the sector.
Bridget Finn from Finn Auto Repairs and Diagnostics cc – HR/Finance Manager
- How did you get where you are today, and who helped you along the way?
I have had various roles at a variety of different types of companies in my career. No matter what job role I had, there was always something I could take away from that position or from my manager, which I could utilise in future positions. No matter whether the experiences were negative or positive, it has helped me to expand on my skill set and as a person in business. When my husband opened his business 12 years ago, I was able to use all those experiences to fulfil my role in the business.
- What have you learned about leadership, and mentoring others?
I believe in rules and maintaining those rules. People need guidelines and boundaries, however, you still need to feature in different personalities when dealing with issues that arise. For me, this is a continuous learning process. It is also important to upskill employees – knowledge is empowering.
- How do you achieve work-life balance?
When owning a business it is easy to fall in the trap of taking the events of the day home with you. It is important to set boundaries, to set aside time for discussing work matters in order for it not to become the only topic of conversation. It is also important to make time to exercise, which helps with stress relief and time for recreation and/or socialising. This off course is not easy with the current pandemic, so within the scope of the regulations.
- What advice would you give young women in South Africa who want to succeed in the workplace?
Nothing should define or limit you. We are capable of doing anything we put our minds to, despite someone’s opinion, traditions and/or history. Being a woman is a strength not a weakness, however, do not confuse it with arrogance. Make yourself proud.
- How do you push through your worst times?
Keep going. We are so much stronger than we realise. Giving up will never get us anywhere, so get up, brush yourself off and keep going.
- What successful habits do you practice?
Trying to be the best me I can be. At the end of the day, I want to know I did my best and be satisfied with my attempts and achievements, even if I am not always appreciated or rewarded accordingly. My success comes from my efforts. I also find acting confident, even if I do not necessarily feel it, helps others feel confident in me and/or my decisions.
- What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
No matter how difficult or stressful life can be, we are given life and with that comes a purpose. We must be grateful for each day despite what is going on in life; we need to find that purpose and/or strive to achieve that purpose.