In the first week of August, MasterDrive hosted their first virtual presentation in honour of Women’s Month. A number of professionals spoke to the audience about common challenges faced by parents and businesswomen as they navigate the new normal in the time of COVID-19.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says the company likes to pay homage to the ladies, in what is often a male-dominated industry, during Women’s Month. “Yet, MasterDrive itself had to find another way to connect with those in the industry while respecting the measures needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The result was a virtual presentation that our valued clients could still attend but in the safety of their office or homes.”
The presentations included a keynote address from an industrial psychologist that shed light on the psychological challenges that come with dealing with these changes. Helena Nel says: “Work/life balance has become important during COVID-19 as the two increasingly overlap. Yet, work/life balance is a myth, instead of trying to separate the two, we should aim to integrate them to enrich both aspects of our lives. This is especially so in the current times,” says Nel.
The deputy principal from ABBOTTS College in Johannesburg South, Yumna Moosa, answered the question of whether education can wait or not. “Many are asking whether we as parents are making the best decision for our children. Remember, you are not alone in the struggle. Teachers and schools are there to support you. As a parent, you also need to ensure you’re supporting your child. It’s easy to forget that the emotional trauma trickles to the kids,” says Moosa.
CEO of InspectaCar and parent, Pertunia Sibanyoni, shared her personal experience on juggling these roles. “It is exciting to be a mother, businesswoman and now teacher as well. Try to find an equal balance of not just physical but emotional wellbeing within your life. Remember, however, that there is life before work, not work before life. Have the resilience to find the coping mechanisms to fulfil each of those roles,” says Sibanyoni.
René Grobler, the national quality and systems manager in the trauma and emergency department at Netcare encouraged people to look behind the mask. “COVID-19 is here, it is a reality. Consequently, behind the masks we are all facing our own battles, which we tend to forget. Despite the different masks we are wearing, there is a person behind that mask,” says Grobler.
MasterDrive is grateful for the opportunity to bring a voice to these pertinent issues. Herbert explains: “In support of the importance of all South Africans working together to overcome the many challenges created by the virus and the methods used to contain the spread, we have developed a pledge that we encourage all to commit themselves to along with the MasterDrive team.
“The ‘Hands, Face and Space Pledge’ encourages South Africans to follow three simple steps to do their part in slowing the spread: wash or sanitise your hands, cover your face and do not touch it and observe social distancing when out. Despite facing some of the greatest challenges yet, for both businesses and individuals, supporting one another and by following the pledge, we can not only overcome these challenges but thrive as well,” says Herbert.