Cheryl-Jane (CJ as she is known) is a seasoned business leader with 24 years of experience, 14 of which have been in senior and executive leadership roles as a Partner at EY and subsequently as the Group Chief Financial Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer of 2 JSE listed entities. Her core expertise relates to strategy development and implementation, M&A, financial leadership and operations management as well as stakeholder management. She is passionate about being an active corporate citizen who makes an impact to the society and organisation around her, and developing strong, diverse teams.
In her time at EY CJ launched the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, targeted at leveraging EY’s capabilities to help grow female headed / founded businesses. She was also instrumental in the establishment of a leadership development program specifically targeted at increasing the effectiveness and pipeline of female partners in EY through the enhancement of the leadership and business skills of the female Senior Managers and Associate Directors in Assurance.
CJ completed her Executive MBA with UCT in 2017 and graduated with distinction. Her thesis explored the reasons for the low number of women who transition from senior management to executive leadership roles in South Africa’s largest corporates. The paper explored the following research questions:
1. What role do societal constructs play in the phenomenon?
2. What is the “felt-experience” of women in executive leadership roles?
Her focus is now on sharing her findings with the men and women who have the influence and authority to make decisions regarding appointment of executives.
CJ attributes her success to an amazing network of support, from her friends and family, and in particular to her late mother who taught her that impossible is nothing. CJ’s two beautiful daughters, Ndanatswa and Yananai, aged 8 and 6, are the light of her life and the reason she spends more money in children’s stores than on herself. Her prayer for them is that they grow up to know that they can be anything they set their mind and effort to be; and that they must not let themselves be constrained by the labels that society puts on them or restrict their potential by the shackles they may put on their own minds.