In a world where industries such as engineering, construction and logistics are typically male-dominated, Eastern Cape-born entrepreneur, Siphokazi Matsha, founder and chief executive of the logistics company, Go-Girl Logistic, is determined to change the status quo.
Siphokazi Matsha, founder and chief executive of the logistics company, Go-Girl Logistics
Go-Girl Logistics is a full-service logistics company that provides a selection of specialised and reliable services for a diverse clientele that includes individuals and organisations. It is also 100% black female owned with a mandate to empower women within the sector through the hiring, training and leadership of women.
With a BTech degree in logistics management and several years of experience under her belt, Matsha started Go Girl Logistics - a full-service logistics and courier company that provides a selection of specialised and reliable services for a diverse clientele that includes individuals and organisations. Matsha also completed a management advanced programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as gaining knowledge in imports and exports.
Growing up in Mdantsane, East London, and being aware of the struggles that women face daily is what inspired Matsha to work harder to create opportunities for other women so that she could play an active role in changing other people's lives. What really inspired her is the vision for the company to grow so that she could change other people’s lives for the better.
Here, we chat with Matsha as she shares more about her journey, what she most loves about the work she does and more.
Tell us about yourself - your background?
My name is Siphokazi Matsha, founder and chief executive of the logistics company, Go-Girl Logistics’, with a national diploma in stock management and a BTech degree in logistics. I also completed a management advanced programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as gained knowledge in Imports and Exports. I went on to further my studies in digital marketing so that I could learn how to market my logistics company online.
What do you love most about your work?
I love the fact that I get to actually live my passion. It can get quite stressful at times, especially with all the economical changes that are happening where petrol prices can play a factor. But overall I get excited and look forward to continuing to change the logistics industry every day by empowering women to also have a voice and a space where they can showcase their talents.
Who are the women who have had a particularly positive influence on your life?
I grew up around very strong women both in my own family and community who have had a great impact on me. I learned quite a lot about strength and resilience from the women in my family aunts, sisters, etc, which is what I have used to navigate my business journey.
What are your tips for climbing the career ladder in your field, particularly as a woman?
It takes quite a lot to be fully accepted in the industry but one has to allow the drive within them to propel them to reach higher levels. For me, it was the desire to make a difference and open up the industry for women, and at that particular time giving up was not an option.
The first thing that one ought to do is to make sure there is no compromise on the quality of service.
You can reach higher levels on the ladder of the logistics industry by making sure that all your clients are satisfied and eventually people start looking at you not just as a woman in the logistics industry but as a key player in the industry. From then onwards, it becomes much better with time for you to continue rising within the industry.
In your view, where does the value lie in a diverse, inclusive work environment?
An inclusive, and diverse work environment is key not to a business alone but to the employees as well.
Having an inclusive workplace culture will not only help you attract a diverse set of talent but also help you retain the diverse talent you attracted in the first place. Which for us has worked quite well as we try to uplift and empower women to get into an industry that is known to be hostile to women.
As the morale of the workers is high we have seen that translate into business growth as well, whereby there is higher revenue growth.
Do you think your industry could benefit from more female leadership?
Yes, there is a greater need to have more females take up leadership roles within the industry. One of the challenges that women face from time to time in the logistics industry is gaining trust and credibility. It still is because there are a lot of role players in the industry who have been in the industry for many years.
By having more women in leadership roles in the logistics industry we can overcome such challenges and perhaps be in a better position to point out that women can also become key role players in the industry.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
Family is very important to me and plays a huge role in my wellbeing. So I take some time and detach from work and spend time with my family as much as I can.
What have been some of your career highlights?
The proud moment of my journey is having the opportunity to execute the dream that I had when I was young. When I was growing up in Mdanstane, I had a dream to do work that will have a recognisable impact and bring about change. When I look at the journey that I’ve had, from being the only driver at Go Girl Logistics to actually employing other women, I will always take that and cherish it as an achievement.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't be intimidated by the fact that it's a male-dominated industry, just be confident in the services that you offer and learn your business very well. Believe in what you are offering everything is going to make sense in the future.
What is your message to women this Women’s Month?
Be prepared to work hard and have the resilience to keep going. It is not an easy journey, especially for a young woman but that must never scare you. Also, when you offer your services to your clients just make sure you cater to all of your clients in a way that they will keep coming for your services because of the great quality that you will be offering to them.