Once a year we all get together in a beautiful setting to celebrate being women. This year that setting was the Farm Inn, where the lovely surroundings set the scene for a wonderful morning. The 177 “Diamonds & Denim” dressed ladies, who had shed their mantles of responsibility for a few hours, sipped champagne (or coffee, for those shivering with cold!) and spent some time catching up with friends and colleagues too seldom seen.
“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being. Maya Angelou”
Walking through the courtyard into the hall our “Diamonds and Denim” theme was evident on the tables set for the ladies, where each received a lovely little pamper gift bag. Settling in, our IING President, Marieta Steyn, welcomed all and introduced our first speaker.
Ronel Pretorius, holding the title Head of Broker Services in her Company, is a woman of strength in the Financial Services industry. A remarkable woman, she is making it clear that women are more than capable of juggling the tasks of being a wife, mother and businesswoman. Although it is challenging for us to wear so many hats, Ronel says it comes down to balancing your priorities. Don’t get bogged down with the small things, those will just wear you down. In business especially, focus on educating yourself – it is never wise to let yourself stagnate as this leads to complacency. Personal growth extends to helping those around you – empower the women in your lives, support each other as we endeavour to carve out our spot in the world. Ronel’s light-hearted but powerful message is that it is possible to be more, do more and accomplish more!
“No matter where you are in life, INSPIRE and EMPOWER the women around you. Success is never reached alone. WISDOM and WEALTH are sweeter shared. Mizzfit”
Another woman who has excelled in her field is Dr Pixie du Toit, from the Sinoville Crisis Centre. Our second guest speaker for the day, Dr Pixie was the first female Forensic Criminologist in the Country, an excellent achievement indeed. Dr Pixie is extremely passionate about the Crisis Centre and highlighted the plight of those who cross their path daily. Crossing the spectrum from children to the aged, men and women, it was heart-breaking to hear of the huge number of households affected daily by incidents of crime, xenophobia, abuse and so on. Utilising the props that she brought with her, Dr Pixie expounded on the processes that they follow when confronted with various scenarios. So vivid were her stories that there were very few dry eyes left in the room.
“I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. TOGETHER we can do great things. Mother Teresa”
The Ladies who attend our events know that we always choose a Charity to support, and this year it was the Sinoville Crisis Centre. After hearing Dr Pixie’s talk about the amazing work they do, our ladies were very moved, and gave generously at our “Bell Tree”. We managed to raise almost R2500 to support the good work of the Crisis Centre. As Dr Pixie said, that doesn’t have to be the end – there are many centres throughout Pretoria that need the support of the Community, be it a donation of your time, money or goods!
At the IING we are also firm believers of supporting local entrepreneurs, and therefore had five ladies showcasing their products in the courtyard. Ranging from make-up and bags to bath products, jewellery and cards, this provided an excellent “from me to me” shopping opportunity!
As always, we are extremely grateful to the Companies that sponsor our events and help to make it so enjoyable for all. Hollard and Auto & General, your support is invaluable to us, and we thank you.
By Karen Vincent