EMPOWERING SUCCESS: THE INSPIRING JOURNEY OF KATHY VAN SCHALKWYK
08 August 2023
In honor of Women’s Month, we take a close look at the inspiring journey of Kathleen Valerie Mercia (Pottas) van Schalkwyk, fondly known as Kathy, who has left a profound impact within the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
Born in 1987 in Vanderbijlpark, Kathy’s early life instilled in her the values of hard work and perseverance. She pursued her academic journey at VUT, acquiring a National Diploma in Office Management & Technology (OMT) in 2009 and a BTech in Business Administration in 2011.
Kathy’s career at VUT began with Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experiences in various companies, eventually leading her to assume significant roles within the university. Started as a Data Capturer, progressed to a Senior Administrator in the Faculty of Applied & Computer Sciences. Her passion for empowering others is evident in her involvement in training Councilors from the Emfuleni Local Municipality and facilitating e-literacy classes for students.
As a driving force behind the VUT Administrators Forum, Kathy has played instrumental roles in fostering growth and development among fellow administrators. She has also contributed to organizing the National Higher Education Office Administrators Summit, promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange within the academic community.
Her passion for empowering women in the workplace is evident through her advocacy for continuous learning and support systems of mentors and friends. Kathy embodies the essence of female empowerment, aligning with this year’s Women’s Month theme of “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience.”
Kathy’s journey hasn’t been without challenges, particularly in balancing a career, academic pursuits, and motherhood. She made courageous choices, prioritizing her family at times and setting an example of the importance of work-life balance.
Kathy’s story serves as an inspiration for all women at VUT and beyond, emphasizing the values of inclusivity, resilience, and collaboration. “Together, we can build a workplace where diverse voices are heard, and every individual is empowered to thrive,” stated Kathy. As we celebrate Women’s Month, let us draw inspiration from Kathy’s journey and work towards a brighter future for women at VUT and beyond.