“Working in a male dominated environment is never easy, back in the days I used to be the only local female executive in management meetings, but that did not deter me,” says Bofelo Mompati, an accountant in Choppies’ group of companies. Bofelo Mompati joined Choppies Group of Companies nine years ago, starting as an Accounts Assistant. It was not an easy road to travel for the 32-year-old Bobonong-born, married mother of four, who says hard work and dedication saw her handling the books of one of the most successful retail company in Botswana. Her position, she says, requires that she work closely with the company’s top management and it is because of this fact that one is then forced to up their game. The group CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu, according to Mompati, is a man who is on top of his game and has clearly accomplished a lot as evidenced by how he managed to steer the company to success both locally and regionally. “You cannot afford to disappoint such a kind of man, the least you can do is to learn from them,” says Mompati.
Hence, she says, she has managed to get to the position she is at currently by exercising due diligence and utmost caution in her work. Handling the company’s ledgers, Mompati concedes, requires that one be responsible for whatever little detail they do and not basically take anything for granted. “I now have an eye for detail. I can even be able to tell how certain things will turn out before hand, it comes with the experience,” she says. Mompati credits hard work and patience for where she is today. “Working in a male dominated environment is never easy, back in the days I used to be the only local female executive in management meetings, but that did not deter me,” she says. Being the only woman among her siblings, Mompati explains that her father had always preferred and trusted her brothers more leaving her to prove herself and in most cases she did. This, she says, is the same killer instinct she has since adopted at work. “I know what men can do, I can do even better,” she says.
The self-motivated accountant, however, says she has certain leadership figures that she looks up to for motivation and inspiration. This she says includes the CEO and her boss the Chief Financial Officer. “It’s important to know people who can contribute to your growth and who to talk to for inspiration,” she says. She acknowledges that her husband’s support and patience is also instrumental in her success. Mompati’s word to fellow women in the financial sector is that though it is clear that theirs is a tough industry, they need to take total ownership of the work they do to succeed.