1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Debby Bain (married name is Whitcher), I am a Veterinarian by profession, a wife and mother by luck as well as a daughter and sister. I reside in the Western Cape since 2020 but before that had spent my whole life in Johannesburg. I worked in private practice for 6 years after qualifying from Onderstepoort Veterinary faculty and since 2015 I have been with Royal Canin SA. I love walking, Pilates, TV and reading easy going books.
2. What work do you do?
I work for Royal Canin as the Scientific Communications manager, along with my Colleague Dr Angeliki Kaldelis in the same role. We are responsible for training of all of our internal and external stakeholders on our products and services as well as the basics of nutrition and responsible pet ownership. We create content to be used with our customers and work very closely with the sales and marketing teams.
3. How long have you been in the industry?
I have been with Royal Canin since 2015, I originally joined as the technical manager, I then moved to the Brand activation manager for Eukanuba in 2018 and in 202 came back to Scientific communications where my passion lies.
4. Has your work always been your passion? Tell us why?
Yes and No, I have always enjoyed my work, like everyone there are good parts and not so good parts to all jobs. But I have always been passionate about friends and family as well. I have always felt a lot more fulfilled in my job when I have a work life balance. I love the variety that my job and this industry has to offer.
5. Being a women in the industry – what does it take?
Like any one it takes dedication and focus and the will to succeed. Since being at varsity there has always been more women than men and my first employer was a women so very lucky for me I have not felt the competition with men.
6. What has been the most difficult challenge of your career?
Deciding to move into industry and stop practicing was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, it has been the best one for me that I could have made but there was a lot of push back by people and what I perceived to be a judgement of not doing exactly what I had studied to do. None of my decisions have been taken lightly and it was a decision that was very personal and best for myself and my family.
7. What advice do you have for other women in your industry?
There is nothing that you cannot do and if you are made to feel that way then you are with the wrong company. Find a place that you love, that supports who you are and what you want for yourself in the future.
8. Plans for the future?
My plan is to be happy and to continue to push myself to develop in areas where I may not be so comfortable so that I can experience other things and Royal Canin allows all associates to do that.
Debby Bain qualified from Onderstepoort faculty of Veterinary Science in 2008 as a veterinarian. She worked for 2 years in a mixed animal practice and after that she spent 4 years in a small animal practice. In 2015 she joined Royal Canin SA.
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