D.I.V.A of the Month – May 2012
Read about how Janice Maliwa created a networking group to inspire and connect professional and entrepreneurial women and is growing it from strength to strength.
Lelemba: Who is Janice?
Janice: Janice is a mom of 3, determined, relentless and sometimes fierce. I come from a line of very strong women so determination, tenacity are an intrinsic part of me. It was engraved in me to always put in my best and never give up. I’m also a person who highly values family, loves to laugh, read and travel. Travel is a great love of mine.
Lelemba: Tell us what Corporate Heelz is about?
Janice: Corporate Heelz is a group I formed to connect and inspire business minded women and career minded women. I think women are true working class heroes and should be shown as such. It’s a platform where achievements are celebrated. Everyone needs a cheerleader; Corporate Heelz is meant to be one of the cheerleaders for women who are driven and women who need that little nudge in the right direction. It’s not for career women alone but for women entrepreneurs as well. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, Corporate Heelz will be the platform that places importance on your achievements.
Lelemba: Why did you choose this type of business?
Janice: I’ve worked in the communications and marketing field for 10 years now. Enabling people using communication and structured networks has been a long-time dream of mine. There’s a gap where women networks are concerned, though a couple are now beginning to fill that need. I had worked with one such network, but unfortunately other commitments took me away from this path.
After toying with the idea for a while, I decided to start with a group on blackberry messaging service. Before long, friends invited friends and the group grew. It indicated to me that my instincts were on point, and that women needed such a platform. I later formed a group on Facebook where I share communications on career/entrepreneurial trends worldwide.
Women need to be shown that we are great leaders, our female intuition gives us the edge though sometimes people would want to use it against us in the corporate/business world.
Lelemba: How are things moving along so far? Have you had any moneymaking events? Do you enjoy it?
Janice: So far, I am pushing to have more women talk about their achievements as per initial objectives. I have a few but most are mums. I think it’s a case where people feel sharing their success is “showing off” but men do it all the time and it’s regarded as being assertive! So I am working on a plan to encourage more interaction from our “Corporate Heelzers”.
I’m looking to have an event/fair mid 2012 as a forum for women to interact and exchange ideas/ information. I’m currently Marketing & PR Manager for a local ISP, and I would like to include technology as a tool for success for this women’s event. Not enough women are using these tools to enhance their career/business.
So far we had the ‘Set yourself up for a financially abundant 2012 workshop’ facilitated by you which was well attended and we formed some lasting, meaningful relationships with the ladies that attended.
Lelemba: What are your plans for the future?
Janice: The future hold infinite possibilities for Corporate Heelz. I would like to see it as an important place for women to get support, to give support and grow exponentially. We always talk about the “all men’s club”. I would like to see us becoming “all women’s club” celebrating without fear our achievements. The plan is to diversify the material Corporate Heelz will provide to our community, and ensuring the recognition of our member’s achievements in order to show our non-members that its is possible.
We also intend to develop partnerships with experts in various fields, from law to venture capital, social media and marketing.
Maybe even launch “Corporate Heelz of the Year” awards. One thing’s for sure, I’m extremely optimistic of the future!
Lelemba: Thank you for sharing your story with us, I am sure many women will find inspiration from it