Teresa Spenser-Higgs – Co Owner / Office Manager at D&T Servicing – Autocare & Diagnostics based in East London.
Chairperson MIWA Border, MIWA NEC Member, Eastern Cape RMI Exco member, Auto Care & Diagnostics Franchise Council member
How did you get where you are today, and who helped you along the way?
By seizing every opportunity to educate myself further in the industry – if there is a training course I have not yet done and I’m offered it, I will attend it.
My husband and partner helped me along the way – he has to answer my endless questions about cars, engines, oils and lubrication etc. , in a way that someone who is not a petrol head can understand.
What have you learned about leadership and mentoring others?
As an industry we need to train the future technicians to ensure the longevity of our industry.
My husband was injured in a car accident and was told as a result of his injuries he would never be able to be a technician. If someone had not given him the opportunity or taken the risk to sign him on as an apprentice, we would not be in this Industry today – so we feel it is our duty to “pay it back” and give that opportunity to others.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?
On weekends we live a distance from town or the city centre, and I am surrounded by my five dogs and four cats. Nature and animals recharge my soul, and I also paint as a form of relaxation.
What advice would you give to young women in South Africa who want to succeed in the workplace?
I know women always say we want equality, but I don’t mind that I am part of the fairer sex in this industry. As a woman I bring a different dynamic to the table.
We should embrace our differences and our strengths – this is what makes us stand out in a male dominated industry.
How do you push through your worst times?
By facing the problem head on, dealing with it as soon as possible, picking up the pieces and learn to improve.
What are your success habits?
Always keep a clean desk – an organised desk means an organized mind. Don’t procrastinate at doing paperwork.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Literally – the nose of a hungry dog usually J
Opportunity – the chance to do something new or to make a difference.