Roxanne Botman

Roxanne Botman (she/her) a Career Confidence Coach for Black and Brown women around the world and a People & Culture Consultant for a global tech company. She holds an Honours degree in Human Resource Management from Stellenbosch University and MBA from the University of East London. She works closely with her mother as a trustee for the Russel Botman Bursary Fund, a bursary fund established by her late father which provides funding for Stellenbosch University students. As a Black, queer, woman from South Africa, she believes in the genuine empowerment of people from marginalised and disenfranchised groups. Through her work she takes an active role in transformation by challenging norms and structural barriers. Her coaching business is called Bold Beings, which is dedicated to empowering Black and Mixed race, cis, trans women, and non-binary individuals to confidently navigate their careers and demand the recognition and compensation they deserve.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

I was born in Apartheid South Africa, just a few years before the country’s first democratic elections. I was fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents who forged remarkable careers driven by their commitment to transformation and education. As the youngest of four children in a blended family, I witnessed my older siblings struggle with finding their paths, which deeply influenced my own journey. This upbringing instilled in me a tendency towards people-pleasing, a tendency to diminish myself, a grasp for superiority, risk aversion, and a preference for safe choices.

My formative years were marked by navigating through instances of discrimination, micro-aggressions, and moments of privilege. Like many young girls, finding confidence in being myself without the fear of being disliked or judged was a significant hurdle. However, attending an all-girls’ boarding school surrounded by supportive friends helped me shed some of those inhibitions.

Upon completing school, I pursued Human Resources, influenced by the results of a career aptitude test. Embarking on what seemed like the default path, I started on a fulfilling career in Learning and Development. However, it was during this time that I paused to reflect on how I truly wanted to shape my life. This introspection led me to make a life-altering decision: relocating with my partner to London and enrolling as a full-time student.

This pivotal decision allowed me to delve deeper into self-discovery, unearth my purpose, and redirect my career towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, alongside people development. Today, as a People & Culture Consultant and Career Confidence coach specialising in supporting Black and Brown women, I am mindful of any lingering fears of judgment, allowing myself to pursue the desires of my heart with confidence and conviction.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

During the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I realised I wanted to play a more active role in the transformation of the world to one that is just and equitable. I wanted to live my purpose and help others (particularly those from disenfranchised communities) become their highest selves, freely and joyfully. When I remind myself of that, I can’t help but keep going.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

The change I would like to see is more people living with love, joy and freedom. Love, joy and freedom for themselves and others. For us all to have our basic needs met and live in dignity. I would love to contribute to this by helping those who have already overcome so much, to allow themselves to feel confident that things will work out in their favour.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

It’s truly remarkable to observe the growth of women in leadership roles. However, I firmly believe that at this juncture, it should be the norm for organizations to boast gender-diverse leadership, inclusive of non-binary and transgender individuals. The results of past efforts and implemented changes should be evident, and existing leadership should not require persuasion regarding the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Instead, they should be actively seeking professional guidance on how to effectively implement these principles.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

The most significant lesson I’ve gleaned from both my personal and professional experiences is the indispensable value of self-love in fostering a fulfilling and successful life. Self-love serves as the cornerstone of my personal motto, which is to have confidence in your competence.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

You have all you need within you. Allow yourself to let go of the beliefs holding you back. Keep dreaming and creating the life you want through an encouraging support network, seeking growth opportunities and self-love.