Kovini Moodley celebrating South Africa’s Boss Babes

The head of risk management and audit strategy at Discovery Health is also the founder of Boss Babes of South Africa.

Hailing from a small town called Shallcross, south of Durban, Kovini Moodley was always involved in community projects, whether it be at soup kitchens or the local clinic. “In small towns, everybody helps each other because there aren’t a lot of resources to start with,” she says.

“My community projects fulfilled me and sparked an interest in making a difference. I didn’t know what channel I would use but I knew that I wanted to give back and impact people – and the world – in a bigger way.”

Having developed a passion for accounting at school and observing older cousins who followed the CA route and served as inspirational mentors, her professional path was set. “I've always wanted to be able to comfortably support my family – specifically my parents – in a meaningful way and I knew that becoming a CA would allow me to do that. The CA path also sparked something inside of me; I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Gaining an excellent grounding during her articles at Deloitte Durban, she later worked for Accenture, where she oversaw multiple corporate clients, both locally and in the US. “I’ve always been passionate about roles that allow me to impact and transform organisational landscapes using my knowledge and skills,” she says. “In my current role, I’m honoured to have the opportunity to leverage my technical and leadership attributes daily in a way that is transformative and adds value to the professional spaces I occupy.”

Kovini is also a dedicated leader who loves motivating and bringing out the best in her team. “That’s really what I’m passionate about doing – professionally and personally – helping people to find what they’re good at and to live from a place of purpose,” she says. “I don’t find a lot of people do that. I feel like you’re conditioned by what society wants you to do next – what you should be doing and how you should look. There’s a level of authenticity that comes with living from a place that is aligned with your higher self or purpose.”

Motivated by the desire to help others live authentically – and to live this way herself – Kovini started Boss Babes of South Africa in 2020 as the Covid-19 lockdown began. It was a time of increased anxiety, so people needed support more than ever.

“A nationwide online sisterhood, the group allows mentorship and skills sharing on a greater scale and it allows me to also use my authentic voice for good,” she says. “Boss Babes feeds into the fact that even though I always loved the jobs that I was doing, I still felt compelled to do more and to impact causes in a bigger way. I want to celebrate multifaceted women.”

While your career is a huge part of your life, it’s not what defines you, she continues. “We have so much to offer as human beings: you can be happy in 10 different things that you do in a day and that’s really what I want to convey – you should love your job, but simultaneously, you shouldn’t feel confined to not doing other things that you love. That’s the message I’ve been living over the last two years – living from an authentic place and bringing my authentic self to all I do.”

Through Boss Babes, Kovini also mentors 11 young CAs, which she says is a fulfilling way to use her knowledge and skills. “I help them navigate their careers together with the help of career and life coaches committed to the cause.”

Kovini believes that women should focus on building each other up. “There is a narrative of women competing with each other, instead of collaborating, supporting and uplifting each other. I believe that leveraging our true authentic purpose allows us to shine, both personally and professionally.

“It is also important to create safe spaces for women to collaborate and share their stories of navigating struggles to achieve success. Boss Babes is the perfect channel to allow for such collaborative efforts.”