On 9 August 1956, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa to protest against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government's control over the movement of black women in urban areas. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated in 1994, and a re-enactment of the march was staged for the 50th anniversary in 2006.
To celebrate Women’s Day 2016, we asked five of USB-ED’s own powerful and inspiring women to share what motivates them, the biggest life lessons learnt, advice to their younger selves, and their definitions of leadership.
Today we introduce our fourth inspirational woman, Auriel Bayard, Manager: Operations and Programme Delivery at USB-ED.
Who do you look up to that inspires you most?
The person that inspires me the most is my mother. Through difficult times and during great adversity she always excelled in her profession and inspired her children – and all children she came across. She did the same on a daily basis, and amongst other things, ensured that we received the best possible education she could afford with limited resources. This inspiration is still continuously present in my life and in my career.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learnt to date?
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that there is nothing that I cannot achieve if I put my heart and mind to it and truly believe in what’s possible.
If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
My advice would definitely be to make every effort to further my education at the earliest possible age.
What does leadership mean to you?
A leader demonstrates what is required. To me, a leader should lead by example and hold him- or herself to a higher standard. An example would be Nelson Mandela. I expect only the best from myself and try to live up to the expectations of my employment.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would enable proper education for every individual. Education enables people to better understand the nature of civilised expectations, and develops their ability to resolve complex and potentially conflicting situations on an intellectual level. It also enables them to respect and understand historical development.
What does true beauty mean to you?
I believe that true beauty means to be true to yourself. It is a reflection of your inner happiness and you can see it in the laughter of children.