Skip to main content

Women In Business

By August 9, 2023August 10th, 2023Articles

We’re celebrating women in business and their incredible achievements this August!

At Three Peaks, we have the privilege of working with some incredibly successful and inspiring women within the financial industry who are smashing through those glass ceilings and breaking down the biases that women have had to face in the workplace.

This Women’s Day, we want to inspire more young women to pursue a career withing the financial industry, and as such we’ve asked some leading ladies to give us a bit of insight regarding some of the challenges they’ve had to face and how they have overcome them whether as a director of a firm or through vital supporting roles.

What Roadblocks have you had to overcome as a woman in the financial industry?

“One of the biggest challenges has been learning how to scale the business without compromising on the quality of the service we provide. I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as a “roadblock’ but rather as an ongoing challenge.”

~ Stephane Streuders – Key Accounts

“aXia Consulting, a tax and accounting firm was born in 2019.  When the company was registered in July, we (meaning I) had not one confirmed client.  This was against the advice of my peers who very loudly and soundly advised me to rather buy a practice, as starting something from scratch in our space is EXTREMELY difficult.  Unfortunately, I just could not afford that route, so I decided to go ahead anyway.

With this background in mind, the most debilitating roadblock that I have had to overcome (still a work in progress) is self-doubt.  I had to start hunting for clients. With no marketing experience and being an introvert, it felt like an impossible task.  There were days where I just wanted to give up and go back to a secure job, but my husband wouldn’t let me.  He believed in me even when I didn’t.  As the business grew and became more successful, the self-doubt didn’t go away, instead it also grew.

At this stage, I was worried about whether I could successfully motivate and manage the team? Would the market respond favourably to our unique business-model? Were we making the right strategic decisions? Were we pricing correctly? Were we hiring the right people, and so on and so on.

Being an entrepreneur has kept me humble.  Self-doubt still creeps in, but I continue to uplift myself up and just keep striving to do more. It isn’t always easy, but I have a stunning support system and I’ve learned to rely on their support and push through even if it is hard.

Sharing this is very personal to me and not something that I like to tell the world about, because in the finance industry it is all about trust.  How could I expect our clients to trust us, if I didn’t even trust myself at the time? We have come a long way in terms of gender equality in the financial industry and I’m sure my roadblock is gender neutral. Any person could potentially relate and by sharing this very personal issue, I hope that others may be inspired!  Inspired to still follow your dreams and make a success of yourself – even if you sometimes lack the confidence.  Inspired by knowing that you are not alone and hoping that this will motivate you to take that leap and follow your dream.”

~ Rochelle van Greunen – aXia Consulting

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in terms of finding a work/life balance

“Maintaining a Healthy Work-life balance is engrained in our Company Culture. It is something I have always valued for myself, and I wanted my staff to feel the same.  Each team member needs to know that their time away from the office is valued! Having an open-door policy has greatly helped in achieving this with our team.”

~ Stephane Streuders – Key Accounts

“A work/life balance was one of the most difficult challenges to address.  The business was started in 2019, just before Covid and I worked almost every waking hour to get this business off the ground.  I clocked 18-hour days even on weekends.  I kept telling myself that things would get better as soon as the firm is on its feet and established. Lo and behold, as we employed more people, my working hours did not automatically improve.  Instead, I felt the pressure of all these people being dependent on the success of the firm for their livelihoods.  It has taken me a long time to force myself to trust and let go.  A big help was moving out of the city.  My husband and I moved from JHB to Douglas about 2 years ago.  Douglas is a tiny rural town on the Vaal River.  We now live closer to nature and the town runs at a MUCH slower pace, so we have been forced to adjust.  This has given me the opportunity to take better care of myself and spend better quality time with the people I love.”

~ Rochelle van Greunen – aXia Consulting

How has using Three Peaks services contributed towards finding balance between your work/home life?

“Working Smarter and not Harder is a philosophy I live by. So, whenever a system offers me efficiency and accuracy by taking over some of the heavy lifting I am sold! -That has been exactly what Three Peaks has done for us in terms of collections.”

~ Stephane Streuders – Key Accounts

“We have been using Three Peaks for just over 2 years now and they have 100% complemented our strategy in being as efficient as possible.  We were able to cut down on admin time related to collections – it literally takes 5 mins to process our debit orders and, in an environment where we sell time, this is crucial.  We are also now able to ACCURATELY plan our cash flow 12 month ahead.  This has alleviated a lot of uncertainty and we are able to better plan and adjust our decision-making to achieve our strategic goals.”

~ Rochelle van Greunen – aXia Consulting

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the financial industry?

“Go for it! But be consistent in your output and put your hand up for assistance when needed.

Always remember that Success isn’t final, and failure isn’t fatal – so be kind to yourself when the challenges seem too big and lean on your peers and mentors to help you navigate them.”

~ Stephane Streuders – Key Accounts

“Being an entrepreneur is like riding a rollercoaster where no seatbelts are allowed, so develop a strong grip.

Secondly, find a role model.  I have been blessed to meet some strong, influential, and at times intimidating women in the finance and legal industry and I can honestly say that without their support and guidance, our business would not have flourished as quickly as it has.  Developing a network of people who are smarter than you, have more experience than you and look at the world differently from you, will absolutely enrich you and force you to grow.  The quote by William S. Burroughs “When you stop growing you start dying” has profoundly influenced my life and has helped me to stretch through those uncomfortable growing moments.”

~ Rochelle van Greunen – aXia Consulting

Would you recommend Three Peaks & what would your main reason be?

“Yes – I’ve certainly referred clients to Three Peaks due to the efficiency of the system and reliability I mentioned earlier- and will continue to do so.”

~ Stephane Streuders – Key Accounts

“I would absolutely recommend Three Peaks.  Not only for the reasons stated above, but also because of their focus on their clients.  With them, you are not just a number.  Their support is amazing in the sense that they respond to queries quickly and have a personal touch.  No call-centre type service here.  Instead, they make you feel valued, no matter how big or small your business may be.

Thank you, Three Peaks.  We are honoured to have you in our corner.”

~ Rochelle van Greunen – aXia Consulting