Wife, mother, business woman, dynamic leader and mountain climber who has successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro; today we recognise our own woman of vision and determination, Petro Joubert. Not only has she raised children, she has also managed to reach a tough personal challenge in climbing Kilimanjaro and, she is leading our company in recruitment in the male dominated engineering field as well as the technical pharmaceutical fields.
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honourably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give” – Edward O. Wilson
Petro has come to recognise how business in the recruitment industry is like climbing Kilimanjaro, in that there is much excitement in knowing that by working with others, sharing the obstacles and by motivation one another, we make a valuable difference to people’s lives. The many “No’s” that we get in the recruitment industry can make us feel discouraged and lose sight of our goals in the same way that the clouds would cover the top of Kilimanjaro while she was climbing. Petro remembers how she would look up into the white clouds and not be able to see the mountain top which was her goal but that after a while the clouds would open up and she would again be able to see the white-topped summit of Africa’s highest mountain.
Joined by her children, Petro succeeded in reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro after a gruelling four day climb.
Below are some of Petro’s memories of her triumph:
The journey begins in the rain forests where the beautiful trees and bushes flourish greenly in the low, grassy hills and valleys. As we get closer to the mountain, the lush vegetation gives way to the arid ground where only a few of the toughest plants can survive among the stones and rocks.
Towards the end of the climb, we stopped climbing in the dark and started climbing in the dark; and it was so cold that we had to sleep with our shoes on so that our shoes would freeze during the few hours we had to sleep. This was the final reckoning, the top of the mountain was so close but the climb was harder and there was no longer a chance for us to turn around or change our minds. All we could do was put one foot in front of the other, now to stop was literally to risk death and unfortunately on the day that we summited Kilimanjaro, three people died on the mountain.
On the mountain we would start climbing in the dark, early hours of the morning and while we climb, we are alone with our thoughts and we have only those we love for company and comfort. Taking on this challenge with my children gave all of us, as a family, the opportunity to get to know each other under some of the toughest conditions and taught us the value of supporting each other. During the last part of the climb the ground beneath our feet was made of small pebbles that would keep slipping and we would have to take 10 steps to get one meter further.
This is how it is with our careers; our families (children, spouses, parents) support us and encourage us each day. Our days are filled with challenges or opportunities – sometimes like the rain forest, but at other times like the wilderness – and before we can reach our goals, often when they are just within our grasp, we fall. It is at this point, when things are toughest that we need to get back up and try harder and through our determination we will achieve our goals.