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This Women’s Month: Carin King On Motherhood And Working

Carin King is a member of the RCL FOODS’ Food Partners team, working on strategic and category projects. Some highlights from her time at RCL FOODS include being part of the team that re-launched the PIEMAN’S and Food Solutions brands; and working with a consortium of other South African food businesses to help restore the hospitality industry during COVID-19.

When she is not strategizing on how RCL FOODS can do that little MORE, Carin devotes her time to her two children, joking that the real work starts in the afternoons when she fulfils the roles of CHO (Chief Homework Officer) and CTO (Chief Taxi Operator).

Reflecting on her journey as a woman, Carin is proud. “We have proved throughout history that we can hold our own in all spheres of life… often with the added ‘hands on’ responsibility of raising children.” The loss of her mother during her final year at university gifted her with the early perspective that success should not be at all costs. As a new mother with a limited support network and demanding job that often saw her get home in the dark, she was plagued by guilt. “I am grateful that I have subsequently been able to find workplace leaders and cultures that have afforded me the flexibility to be more present for my children” says Carin, admitting that the decision to put her ambition on the back burner for a period was not an easy one. “For now, I am enjoying the privilege of having the best of both worlds and am looking forward to the unwritten chapters in my career.” Carin maintains that a reputation for commitment, results and smart ways of working is key to building trust and enabling a healthy work life balance for all employees.

Carin has been fortunate to learn from, and model her leadership style on, several strong female leaders. “I will never forget the day that Gail Klintworth, then MD of Unilever South Africa, parked herself on my desk and took the time out of her schedule to chat to me as a junior brand assistant about some of my projects.” This was Carin’s first experience of genuine and visible leadership, and she has carried it with her ever since.

Her encouragement to other women aspiring to become leaders at work is this: “The workplace needs the empathy and compassion that often comes more naturally to women, be your most authentic yourself. Remember that your greatest legacy will not be what you achieve or do but how you went about doing it.” Her idea of celebrating women in the workplace is to let hard work speak for itself and that woman do not need preferential treatment. “I believe that all employees should have equal opportunity to be recognised and affirmed, women will shine naturally without a special spotlight. Our recent Food Partners Passion Awards ceremony is testament to this!”