#CareersFocus With Feryal Domingo, Operations Director Of Inyathelo

Feryal Domingo - Operations Director (003)
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1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I have worked in the non-profit and corporate social investment sector for many years and have been the Operations Director of Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement, since June 2013. My entry into non-profit work was as the programme officer with a multi-national corporation in 1999, which started in South Africa, and expanded into Sub-Saharan Africa, working with communities in eight countries on the continent.

2. What work do you do?

I oversee all operational aspects of Inyathelo, which means I get involved in multiple aspects of the organisation. A typical day can involve helping to formulate strategy, planning and facilitating a workshop, doing a media interview, convening an advisory clinic session with a non-profit leader, developing an organizational policy or standard operating procedure, planning a board meeting, negotiating with a service provider and liaising with our building tenants. I’m proud to work alongside a productive and creative team of individuals, who are full of passion about the vision of Inyathelo.    

Inyathelo’ s mission is to help build a strong, stable civil society in South Africa by contributing to the development of sustainable organisations and institutions. We do this through the development of effective grant-seeking and grant-making practices, and through capacity development in the higher education and non-profit sectors in South Africa, and on the African continent. We also work to increase corporate and individual social giving through promoting dialogue, sharing information, and providing support services to facilitate sustainable philanthropic ventures that have lasting impact.

3. How long have you been in the industry?

I have been working in the non-profit and CSI sector for 22 years.

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

My work involves making a positive difference in other people’s lives, and that is a strong motivating factor and passion. The best part of my job is working with the vast civil society sector, and learning every day. Being able to adjust and adapt as the need arises, and access opportunities that stretch my own capability and enhance my skills and knowledge. And having the most fun while at it!

I have had several work platforms from which to make a difference. My former work experience includes 23 years at the multi-national oil group BP Southern Africa, where I was responsible for the corporate social investment strategy; implementation of employee engagement programmes, and monitoring and evaluation of CSI projects in eight Sub-Saharan countries.

I also led an international non-profit organisation that uses soccer as a platform to educate South Africans about healthy lifestyles and the prevention of HIV/AIDS. I have also served on a number of boards of non-governmental organisations in various capacities, including, chairperson, treasurer, and secretary. These organisations focused on a number of sectors including education, road safety, child care, youth development, sports development and community development.

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

It takes hard work and application. I am a planner and thrive on being organised which helps tremendously in juggling work and home responsibilities to everyone’s satisfaction. Fortunately, many new opportunities have opened up for women compared to 30-40 years ago.

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

Growth is about making constant shifts to ensure that I have variety and purpose, which inevitably impacts my personal life. The challenge has remained constant – to balance office work and home life, respecting both as it is equally important to me. I try to see challenges as opportunities to learn.

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

Work hard, and aim to achieve qualifications that will support your career path. The opportunity to study for a postgraduate qualification in management studies at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, helped me a great deal in my career. Mentoring can also support your growth and development.  

8. Plans for the future?

I am passionate about the work I do. I want to remain integral to the work of the organsation I currently serve because there is such a need for the sector to think and plan around sustainability. I look forward to when we progress beyond the current confines of the Covid-19 pandemic and are able to implement more programmes and work more effectively to create the kind of change we exist for.

Short bio

Feryal Domingo has qualifications in public relations, corporate governance and citizenship, and a postgraduate qualification in management studies at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. Her former work experience includes 23 years at the multi-national oil major BP Southern Africa, where she was responsible for the corporate social investment strategy; implementation of employee engagement programmes, and monitoring and evaluation of CSI projects in eight Sub-Saharan countries.

Feryal led an international non-profit organisation that uses soccer as a platform to educate South Africans about healthy lifestyles and the prevention of HIV/AIDS. She served on several boards of non-governmental organisations in various capacities, including, chairperson, treasurer, and secretary. These organisations focused on various sectors including education, road safety, child care, youth development, sports development, and community development.

Contact information

Email: feryal@inyathelo.org.za

Social media links

https://www.inyathelo.org.za/ | Twitter @Inyathelo | https://www.facebook.com/Inyathelo/ |