A Q & A with Echo’s Claudia Sefatsa and her mentee, Ntsako Maswanganyi


I sometimes feel like she teaches me more than I teach her, says Claudia.

Mentorship emerges as a guiding beacon, especially for women seeking to navigate and excel in this multifaceted field. Time and time again it has been proven that mentorship is a powerful tool for fostering leadership, facilitating skill development, and breaking down gender-based barriers. Recently, CHRO South Africa caught up with Claudia Sefatsa, head of HR at Echo Service Provider, and her mentee, Ntsako Maswanganyi, on what makes their union work.

Claudia, what have been the most important things you have tried to impart to your mentee, and why?

You matter and you belong in “that” room. It comes with its challenges, but you have the capabilities and skills to get you through.

Ntsako, what have been some of the most valuable lessons you have learnt from your mentor, and how have they been useful in your development and career?

The most important lesson I have learnt from my mentor is to “do it afraid”, and not let self-doubt stop me from pursuing opportunities. Claudia constantly reminds me that I have what it takes.

Claudia, what have you learned from your mentee in the process? And how has it helped you as a leader?

To continue lifting as I rise, and to take moments of gratitude and learn to pause and breathe. I am learning that it is okay to be a vulnerable leader and to lean into my softer and nurturing side in leadership.

Ntsako, what do you think the current generation of business leaders could learn from those who are coming up?

I think the current generation of business leaders could learn to unapologetically show up as themselves and not let titles stop them from showing the human, even ‘quirky’ side from time to time. I personally find leaders who are unafraid to be imperfect quite refreshing and inspiring. I think Simon Sinek’s statement that “A boss has the title, a leader has the people,” speaks to this.

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