Shirley Zinn to inspire HR Executives in Cape Town


The author of 'Swimming Upstream' will speak at the upcoming CHRO Summit

This inaugural CHRO SA Cape Town event will feature Professor Shirley Zinn, CEO of Shirley Zinn Consulting, as one of the acclaimed speakers. The upcoming CHRO Summit, which will be held at the UCT Gradaute School of Business in Cape Town on March 13, will offer HR professionals valuable insights and will be a fantastic networking opportunity.


Among many other things, Shirley Zinn is the author Swimming Upstream: A story of grit and determination to succeed, which received plaudits as one of the most impressive biographies in recent years.


The following excerpt from the book reflects exactly the kind of calibre of person that our HR leaders will be hearing from:


There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what it takes to be a successful businesswoman, but I know from personal experience that it’s possible to conquer the boardroom in stilettos. It’s possible to crack that glass ceiling: set your sights high and aim for that apex.


Zinn’s story is one of determination, courage, and triumph over adversity. She was born and raised on the Cape Flats but, through sheer determination, was not a victim of gangsterism, alcoholism or teenage pregnancy, as many young girls from those neighbourhoods are. Instead, Zinn relentlessly pursued her goals and became one of the leading HR professionals in the country. With a doctorate from Harvard University, Shirley forged an impressive academic career before setting out to conquer the world of business.


The summit will focus on the reputational risk that many companies face in this era of social media. Shirley will be sharing her thoughts on the roles that HR executives should be playing in managing their organisations’ reputations.

She will advise attendees on how to prepare to have the most difficult and courageous conversations, and what to do when they meet an immovable force or a set of values/behaviour that doesn’t fit the culture of the organisation.


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