#CareerFocus With Wiedaad Shaik Chief Talent Architect At SAPRO

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a young mom, qualified CA(SA) and Auditor-at-heart with a growing interest in technology and data.

I made the big leap from a conservative small town on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu-Natal to Cape Town to pursue a profession in Accounting & Auditing at UCT.  After qualifying and completing my articles at a Big 4 firm, I continued to seek ‘more’ in terms of life experience and career growth.

After 3 years of living in the UK, I returned to Cape Town to start a new chapter in my life. I am currently expanding my skillset outside of the profession but continue to be engaged by the variety of experiences and learning opportunities available.

The world of work has evolved, and businesses have had to adapt by investing in technology that promotes collaboration in virtual ways and enables change. I see endless possibilities in using technology as a force for good – in creating more opportunities, accessing larger networks but most importantly supporting the upliftment of our communities.

I am excited for what lies ahead, and hope to bring together my interests, experience and skills to make a positive impact in my new role.

2. What work do you do?

I was recently appointed as the Chief Talent Architect at SAPRO. I have been with the team for over two years where I have had a unique opportunity to diversify and expand my skillset, outside of Audit.

My previous role as Head of Resource Management required a deep understanding of our talent requirements in order to successfully deliver client value and provide meaningful career opportunities to our PROs.

As the way of work evolves, a new ecosystem of talent is emerging. As the Chief Talent Architect of SAPRO, my role involves designing and executing a talent strategy that promotes design thinking, digitization and a quality mindset. My goal is to create a global talent network that can access diverse opportunities and whose skills align with our client needs, while ensuring that we deliver on our unique employee value proposition and stay true to our SAPRO values.

SAPRO is a global talent outsourcing firm providing our clients with expert professionals in tax, advisory and assurance, seamlessly growing and placing them where it’s needed, when it’s needed to bridge the resource and opportunity gap.  

For our people we connect them to agile career opportunities, by co-creating world-class experiences that allow them to pursue their passions while advancing their careers as expert professionals.

Our culture and values are the foundation of our purpose: to make a meaningful impact by building better futures for our people, clients and our global community.

I am truly excited about SAPROs future, what we can achieve as a team, and the opportunity to engage with some of the best talent!

3. How long have you been in the industry?

I was in Audit for over 9 years with experience as a Senior Audit Manager in both South Africa and the UK. I have spent the last 2 years leveraging this knowledge and gaining experience in talent augmentation.

4. Has your work always been your passion? Tell us why?

Not exclusively. I have an intense enthusiasm and interest for what I do. However, I have other passions in life which I feel complement each other. Passion is a powerful force, and that energy for me comes from various sources including my family, friends and faith.

5. Being a woman in the industry – what does it take?

It is a constant juggle!

Having a strong support system, an employee who respects your time and making time for yourself is crucial in fueling your passion and creating a healthy mindset.

6. What has been the most difficult challenge of your career?

My decision to leave audit surprised me as much as the people closest to me. As I noted previously, I am an Auditor-at-heart, and have so much respect for woman in the profession who bring a fresh perspective and continue to promote diversity and inclusion.

I will always be a proud member and ambassador of the Accounting and Auditing profession.

7. What advice do you have for other women in your industry?

Don’t discount opportunities outside of what you know and are familiar with. Leverage that experience and explore your interests while you continue to grow and learn in the process.

8. Plans for the future?

To be present by appreciating the little things in life, listening, and being okay with not knowing all the answers. To continue to acquire knowledge and grow both personally and professionally, and to share this knowledge in co-creating and nurturing a culture of continuous learning.

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I am an experienced Chartered Accountant with strong problem-solving project management and people leadership skills. I am the Chief Talent Architect for the global consulting firm, SAPRO and have over 9 years of audit experience, including a 3-year international secondment to London, UK.