194: The Stigma of Authenticity | Sane Ngidi

The Leadership Enigma

12-04-2024 โ€ข 43 mins

Sane Ngidi is a young female black leader in Africa working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is an episode of two halves, the first focuses on some of the learning Sane has gained in her early corporate life and the second is a story of vulnerability, self reflection and resilience.
Sane started corporate life as an industrial psychologist with her initial roles in Durban until she moved to Johannesburg.
Sane is thankful for the strong role model of her mother when growing up and being told that you can always pave the way for others and lift those around you.
During Sane's Phd she carried out research into perceptions of black African leaders in financial services. A common theme was of leaders not feeling ready or worthy of the role. However they also reported the power of male ally ship which helped them through their careers.
Sane describes Africa as a place that lacks diversity but craves diversity in the workplace. Organisations are trying to ensure that they 'see' everyone as they build diversity of thought in their leadership teams. The Employment Equity Act is also a powerful guide for African businesses for the quotas they must fulfil.
When Sane initially moved to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2021, life changed. In December 2021 Sane's father died suddenly and unexpectedly. She later discovered he knew he was dying but didn't share the news with his family. Whilst still grieving, in February 2022 Sane's aunt fell ill and died, followed in April 2022 her uncle was tragically stabbed and died. Sane realised that the cumulative impact of these losses meant she was not coping and she openly asked for help. She was not able to be her best self and she took a break from work for about 6 weeks. Then in September 2022, Sane's mother passed away. Of all the deaths, her mother's was emotionally peaceful due to a long illness. 2022 fundamentally changed Sane's view of mental health. She told this story in 2023 at the 'Ignite' staff event so people could understand her personal story. She was overwhelmed by the care, love and compassion from others and for their understanding that is OK not to be OK at times in our life. Trauma, grief and mental health can't be seen and Sane realised the need to speak up and be vulnerable in order to get the help she needed.


Big thank you to Mark Watt, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles for being my super connector for great guests especially in Africa.

Watch & Subscribe: ๐Ÿ‘€ https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videos
Listen & Subscribe: ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5P
www.leadersenigma.com


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