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The Women of KFC: Salute To The Queens Part 3


Sharon Naidoo Women of KFC

This Is Sharon - Hear Her Roar!

Welcome to the third installment of our Women of KFC blog series, where we give it up for the ladies that make the KFC brand as awesome as they are (which is pretty friggin’ awesome btw). Up next we have the amazing Sharon Naidoo who, as our Chief Financial Officer, makes sure it’s business as usual for the KFC brand. She’s been a valuable part of the KFC family and we hope her words inspire you the same way she inspires us every day.

1.    What are the opportunities for females within the QSR industry?

I am a firm believer in equal opportunities - I believe that hunger and passion are the deciding factor on whether opportunities materialise or not. You must be the writer of your own story!

Sharon Naidoo Women of KFC

1.    What are some of the challenges, if any, that you have faced as a woman in leadership? Woman are under-estimated, and respect/trust has to be earned. However, I see this as a strength as it brings the element of surprise especially during critical negotiations! A winning edge, in my opinion.

2.    What unique strengths/qualities do you think women bring to leadership positions? We all have key strengths, and to be honest I cannot attribute any quality to a specific gender!

3.    Some of the key learnings that you have had in your career thus far? We navigate environments that are very dynamic and fluid, having a hunger to learn and stay relevant is extremely important to successful execution. Always have a Plan A & a backup plan (the CFO in me). Challenge the norms, think creatively and don’t accept NO.

4.    Any words of wisdom that you would impart onto other females looking to grown into leadership positions? Be authentically YOU! Don’t emulate and mimic other leaders, learn from them but grow your authentic style!

1.    What did you want to be when you grew up and why? I always wanted to be a Leader of Others. Through school, university and my life I felt a deep sense of responsibility for the lives of others, and for making those lives better, happier and fuller. My passion for numbers and business came from growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, on all sorts of business ventures! I guess a CFO was a natural fit.

2.    What’s your advice to women entering the workplace? Bring the real, honest and “full of you” self to work every day! Listen to hear, trust your gut, pay attention to what goes wrong and the only stupid question is the one that is not asked! On a personal note, there is never “the perfect time” in a women’s life for children, so don’t press pause on life while you build a career. Children and family blend into the journey and bring so much love that you do not have to sacrifice on it or feel family and career is a choice!

3.    Who is your favourite female leader and/or a female that you admire and why? I don’t have a single favourite. I admire any one whom is courageous, brave and passionate about their beliefs and stays true to them. My favourites have been Marie Curie, Coco Chanel, Rosa Parks, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Sanger, Malala Yousafzia. I love history too – some great strategic thinkers including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, and Elizabeth I.

Dankie Sharon! Remember to keep it real this Woman’s Month by showing some love for your mother, sister, daughter, a female friend or even a stranger, in any way you see fit. Really - no gesture is too small.

Missed Part 1