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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


Raised in a violent world, I believed to achieve my career dream

By Sandy Mohonathan, Associate Director, Accenture, Johannesburg

"Working hard has only given me what I wanted all through my life."

I came out of a world that was broken. I had this need to fix it and to make things better.

Growing up in a community surrounded by violence taught me about humility, taught me about admitting the fact that life is not perfect. For me, the learning there is to believe in myself, to believe that I could do and achieve anything I want.

A guiding force to me was a set of values that my Dad taught me. I wrote those values, and I captured them in a little book. He had his own struggles, growing up and bringing up kids in apartheid South Africa. He said, “No matter what you do, do it to the best of your abilities. If you are going to become a street sweeper, sweep the streets so well that you become the best street sweeper in the world.”

In the days that apartheid was ending, the opportunities for people like myself, specifically women of color, were not many. But my vision was to get into this company called Accenture. I would watch these women and men with their laptops, and they were so smart. I told myself, “I’m going to work for that company. If I get in there, it means I’m worth something.”

For me, working hard has only given me what I wanted all through my life. My story of having nothing and then having everything I ever dreamed of in my life is a story I’d like to actually utilize to inspire other women. I must—and can—and will—leave this world a better place than what I found it.

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