Philippa Dods is Meltwarer Africa’s Senior Marketing Manager, part of the Global Shapers Community, and Director of Future Females Foundation. Nominated for numerous awards and having already raised over R100k for charities close to her heart, this passionate and driven powerhouse has her head screwed on and her feet firmly on the ground.
What has been one of the most difficult lessons you’ve learnt over the past year? The past year has taught me to never take a hug or a beach walk for granted again! I’ve learnt that technology makes the world smaller and more connected and I’ve also learnt the lesson to always check my passport, the hard way!
Having completed Ironman 70.3 and the NYM, what is next on your radar/race calendar? Next on my radar is the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and the Wine 2 Whales mountain biking race – both were cancelled in 2020 but I’m hopeful we’ll be able to race this year.
How do you balance the demands of holding down a full-time job, being the Director of Future Females Foundations, training, and life in general? I’ve had to learn how to prioritise and plan and become super time-efficient – I don’t go anywhere without my calendar. But the biggest reason is that I just choose to do what sets my soul on fire. I am committed to only spending my time on the things and the people that I’m passionate about.
In your passionate pursuit of empowering women, have you thought of engaging with educators to discuss life orientation content to help shape attitudes and norms in children from a young age? Yes, this is so important – education is one of the pillars of Future Females Foundation. We truly believe that prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls to promote respectful relationships, sexual health and education, and gender equality. In 2021 we’ll be hosting these consent, gender equality and sexual health workshops.
Your philosophy to “aim higher, do better, go bigger” has stood you in good stead! What is another mantra you try to live your life by?
I also always say, “Lack of passion is fatal.” I see passion as a compass that drives me. I can’t imagine how anyone can make sense of life without having a passion that drives them. Also, “If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.”
Who is your idol in the media industry? Do you have a mentor?
Since joining the Future Females team at the company’s launch, I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with co-founders Lauren Dallas and Cerina Bezuidenhoudt. They’ve become close friends and mentors of mine.
What is your main focus/strategy for 2021? To drive massive impact with Future Females Foundation. We’re working to empower as many women and girls as possible and to reach as many educators and learners as we can.
Is there a new hobby you’d like to pursue this year in-between your very packed schedule? I love an adrenaline rush, so I’m thinking: white-river rafting or sky-diving next!
Any career advice for the aspiring technophiles out there? If you’re an employee – ask for that promotion, negotiate that raise, make yourself heard and always go the extra mile. If you’re an entrepreneur – make upskilling yourself a priority, build your personal brand and network your butt off!