Believing in the power of women and their ability to approach situations differently from that of men, Cheryl Peters stands as an inspiration to all women this women’s month.
Responsible for Tourism, Marketing and Investment Promotion for Enterprise iLembe in the KwaZulu-Natal region, Peters has been involved in the tourism industry for over 20 years and focuses on driving economic development and promoting trade investment.
“I started when the industry was still very much undeveloped. It was initially difficult to ‘break through’, and I had to prove myself constantly, but I persevered and always did the best I could with the minimal resources at my disposal.
“I built key relationships and partnerships and leveraged off these to benefit the destination. I ended up working with and learning from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. I also formed some amazing friendships that I still maintain to this day,” said Peters.
Peters says being a woman has aided her in her career path and said women bring different aspects to the career field, enabling them to think and act differently from males in the working space.
“Women are creative and solution orientated. We are also efficient, organised and we are better at multitasking.
“We pay attention to detail, this I believe, allows us to see things that are not always obvious and therefore we can think and tackle problems differently. We are also determined, and so giving up is not in our nature,” said Peters.
Always looking on the positive side of things, Peters says the pandemic has presented a new obstacle since the first official diagnosed case made headlines in March 2020 but argued that women have had to overcome many obstacles and challenges before and have succeeded in overcoming those.
“This season is just that, an obstacle and challenge, and like those before this, it too shall pass,” said Peter.
Peters said the best advice she can give to other motivated and eager women hoping to break through in their careers is to surround themselves with peers in the industry.
“This is so that you don’t feel alone because you are not alone. Stay focused and remember that dream you had for your business. Pull out that vision board, move aside a few pieces of paper, make some adjustments, adapt if need be and smile.
“Women before us have done it, and so can you. We will rebuild!” said Peters.