CONTINUOUS EDUCATION AND SELF-EMPOWERMENT, KEY TO HELPING WOMEN GROW
By: Nontobeko Moimane – 14 August 2023
Cleo Du Plessis, the Head of Faculty Administration in the Faculty of Human Sciences, is a single mother of three biological children and three adopted children, has had a successful career in higher education for the past 24 years. She started at then Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR), now known as University of Johannesburg (UJ), as a Financial Aid officer. Later, she joined VUT in 2011 in her current position.
Despite not having formal qualifications initially, Cleo was determined to advance her career and pursued an MBA at UJ while juggling her job, raising her children, and studying. She advocates for continuous education and self-empowerment through research and reading to grow personally and professionally.
Cleo actively supports her community by participating in Career Expos and helping prospective students and parents with university and college applications and financial aid. She is also the chairperson of the Progressive Woman Club, which supports families in the community during difficult times.
Customer satisfaction motivates Cleo, and she takes pride in providing academic and administrative support at various levels within the University. She strongly believes in women’s equal representation in leadership and emphasizes the need for women to empower each other and engage at all levels.
Cleo acknowledges the challenges young female students face in higher education, such as social adjustments, relationships, and unexpected pregnancies. She emphasizes the importance of supporting and assisting these students to overcome obstacles and continue their studies without feeling isolated or discouraged.