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.
Vivien Wilson – Owner/CEO of GVM Commercial Vehicles (Pty) Ltd
How did you get where you are today, and who helped you along the way?
Stepping into a man’s world was hard but being determined, working hard and staying motivated all the time got me to where I am today. Working long hours and with the help of the GVM team we got through the most trying times. Just when we thought everything is plain sailing the Covid-19 pandemic came and we needed a different strategy, but with God’s grace we also overcome that challenge. My husband was my mentor and he kept pushing me and believing in me which again motivated me to succeed. That meant enjoying my work, enjoying the people around me, trying to create the best environment and to contribute to society.
What have you learned about leadership, and mentoring others?
Mentorship is a two-way street. Being a mentor offers so much more than simply feeling good about helping others. You also develop strong leadership skills and gain new perspectives. Leadership mentoring is not just for the benefit of employees – it can help companies achieve business goals. By giving back to people you can discover personal fulfilment and I find it rewarding to see my employees succeed.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
There is no perfect work-life balance. Some days more time is spent on work related issues and other times spending time doing what I like most – gardening and knitting.
What advice would you give to young women in South Africa who want to succeed in the workplace?
You need to believe in yourself. You are never too young or too old to learn something new. I believe where there is a will there is a way. Never give up. There is no such thing as an ending, just a new beginning. Stay positive and motivated. If you dream it you can live it.
How do you push through your worst times?
The past three years was the worst time of my life. Hubby was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo a liver operation. This was trying times as I was sitting next to an ICU bed and still trying to run the company. At my worst times I leave everything in God’s hands. From Him I get the energy, motivation and strength to manage both.
What is your success habits?
Passion for what I’m are doing and a vision where I want to be. I surround myself with people who I can learn from. Try to do your best in every way possible.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
God – He wakes me up every morning to enjoy another day. The best motivation that you need.