Mametja Moshe’s working towards making her success international through Moshe Capital, the investment and advisory company she set up in SA in 2013. This, after a 13-year career that has spanned accounting, corporate finance, tax, financial markets, strategy and black economic empowerment.
She radiates confidence, energy and enthusiasm as she talks about embracing African ownership, inclusive growth and the advancement of women on the continent, which is attracting record foreign investment flows even as the global economy slows.
“We see ourselves partnering with others to build these African legacies. In the next five to 10 years, I’d love to see something we’ve supported from scratch listing on the JSE or another stock exchange. If we could one day realise that with our help, support and financing, these particular companies lead globally and are African-built, that would be fantastic,” she says.
All for one and one for all
She believes much of the credit for her considerable achievements should go to the support she’s received from her family, friends, mentors and colleagues, who still play a key role in her career.
“There’s an African proverb which says: ‘If you want to go far, go alone. If you want to go further, go together’,” she says. “In the beginning I was on my own and what always upset me was walking into a meeting and having people ask who I was working with. I thought they meant: ‘Who are the big moguls behind you?’ But that stopped as soon as I had a team, because then people know it’s not just about you – it’s about who you come with, and they respect that more,” she adds.
Some nuggets of wisdom from Moshe:
Women should do a “roadshow” for themselves before embarking on a career in finance – they should visit various people and ask them what they do on a day-to-day basis, to weigh their options and satisfy themselves that the field they want to go into is the right one.
Develop a skill that will make you shine and differentiate you in your profession.
Don’t be confrontational – compliment and acknowledge the good side of the colleague you want to discuss an sensitive issue with before broaching the topic. Choose your battles carefully.
Practise humility and patience. If someone talks down to you, it does not mean that anything is wrong with you – it’s for the most part something that’s wrong with them. If you figure this out and deal with it more effectively you can get it out of the way.
Sometimes people who appear to be patronising are talking from a good place – and you may find one day that their opinion was right. Don’t take it personally, or think it is because you are the only woman in the room.
Be prepared – when you walk into a meeting be more prepared then anyone else and never say anything that is based on feelings. Stick to the facts.
Ask questions – ask whether you can do things differently – the worst people can do is say no.
Power does not mean you have to be the loudest one in the room. It means having people do things when and how you want them to. Being the loudest in the room is leading from the front not leading from the team.
Don’t try to be anything but a woman – when you walk into a room, wear your makeup, your feminine outfit – get that out of the way immediately. Once people realise you are comfortable with who you are, they will warm to you immediately. If I could go back to my days in investment banking, the one thing I would change would be to never have tried to be one of the boys – I would be a woman from day one.
We need to teach our daughters to be bold and our sons to listen.