Like every mother, Niita Evaristus will give up all life’s comforts for the sake of her children. She has three daughters who motivate her to get out of her comfort zone. In a Question and Answer interview with the Inspirational Women in Business magazine Niita highlights the ups and downs in her career.

Q: Tell us about Niita Evaristus

A: I am a wife and a mother to three beautiful girls whose presence in my life motivates me to play outside my comfort zone. At work, I am a seasoned professional in the field of sales and marketing, coupled with experience in corporate communication and stakeholder management. Over the years, I have established myself as a leader who drives strategic intentions and catalyzes execution of tasks through performance management. With a passion for driving success and commitment to delivering results, the sky is the limit for me.

Q: What is your occupation and what influenced you to select it?

A: I am the Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer at the Namibia Institute of Pathology Limited (NIP). My exposure to the sales and marketing field, coupled with educational achievements influenced me to take up this profession that allows me to effectively use my natural interpersonal and diplomacy skills to develop and maintain mutual beneficial relationships.

Q: As a child growing up, what career did you dream of having and how far did you get on that path? What lessons, if any, were learned along the way?

A: Oh dear! – I wanted to become a pharmacist. However, I believe God always directed my steps and He gently led me to where I am today! About seven years into my formal employment, I had a desire for a career change. But all said and done, the move taken was scary. The lesson learnt was to always keep a positive attitude through it all. My optimism and faith turned this ordeal into a golden opportunity and since then, I have and still remain on course to scale greater heights.

Q: As a professional, do you have any role models you look up to –inside and outside your field?

A: I believe it all starts with the privilege of growing up with parents who provided guidance, coaching and mentoring. I believe my upbringing has a hand in it and I owe it to my parents.

As a young graduate at the time, I was given an opportunity to showcase my abilities through the leadership of Dr Tobie Aupindi, who then was the managing director of Namibia Wildlife Resorts. I will never forget that! He believed in the empowerment of young people and provided the necessary exposure to thrive and build a sustainable career growth – that’s when the love for sales and marketing was ignited.

Q: What are some of the challenges you meet on the job, which are brought about because you are female, and how do you tackle them?

A: I am either naïve or ignorant but my motto as a young leader is that of “adapt or die.” I strongly believe that our women leaders in all spheres have done exceptionally well to advance the women agenda at the corporate table, and our generation is enjoying the fruits of their labour. In this respect, assertiveness is key to circumventing any such challenges.

Q: How do you balance your roles as a mother or wife and professional? What did you sacrifice personally and professionally, at each stage of your career?

A: In all honesty, this subject matter is a give-and-take situation. With the notion of “to whom much is given, much is expected,” the pressure is even more intense. There are times where the professional outweighs personal life because the circle of attention grows when you are leading a team that equally requires your time and direction.

Over my career life, the sacrifice at personal level mostly happens whenever I embark on a new career opportunity. Through this, my family also gets to adapt to certain measures such as sending me a text message when my attention is urgently needed – else, I am likely not to pick up the phone during working hours.

For sake of wellness and sanity, my personal and professional calendars are aligned to strike a balance, of course, not fully but to a certain extent.

Q: What’s advice would you give to any woman thinking of embarking on a career like yours?

A: Work on yourself first, before you work on others. I encourage women to firstly establish good relations at all possible levels in life, especially at home because it provides you with emotional support that is needed to thrive at work.

The support that I receive from my husband and family at large makes me a lucky woman – it really becomes easy when there is an understanding on the role that you as a woman, play at the workplace.

Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A: This day means a great deal in celebrating women as game-changers in our lives and more so, achieving women’s empowerment.