Lipstick, laptops & leadership: Women on the rise

At Sudor, we’re all about celebrating diversity and inspiring inclusion. We pride ourselves on our community of strong, curious and ambitious women redefining success on their own terms. We are unapologetic in our beliefs and values of supporting women who are chasing dreams of both big and small. Sudor is more than just a fitness app. With trainers from all walks of life, and our very own co-founder being a woman in leadership, we’re here to help support women chase their dreams – fitness-related or not. 

With a suite of world-renowned trainers, we believe that being a successful woman in business means having the courage to own who you are, why you are doing what you do and how you can apply your vision to positively impact the world. A woman in leadership is confidently feminine and eager to learn and grow. She has achieved balance and perspective in all aspects of her life – which is why we took the time to chat to Sudor powerhouses Wanita Nicol, deputy editor at Women’s Health magazine and Sudor trainer, as well as Emma Heap, Sudor’s very own CEO, co-founder and all round fitness fanatic.

Wanita Nicol | Women’s Health SA Deputy Editor

“I’m fortunate in that I’ve had many strong, successful women role models in my life, starting with my mother. So I’ve never felt intimidated in a male-dominated environment. However, from my experience, I think many women still feel intimidated in business. This manifests in different ways – imposter syndrome, being extra tough so you don’t appear weak, losing touch with yourself, being overly cautious because you believe that making a mistake might open you up to ridicule. But luckily, I’ve always felt that I belonged in the business world as much as anyone else. That’s why it’s so important for us to be those strong role models for other women and girls.

Being in a position of leadership, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way (and I’m sure I still have many more ahead of me!) but if I could go back and change them, I wouldn’t. I’ve learnt a lot from my mistakes and I try to use those lessons to help not just myself, but other women, too.

I think the best thing we can do, as women, is to support each other. We need to support our sisters in business by buying their products and services. When your friend has a cool business, don’t freeload off of them. If you really want them to succeed, buy their stuff. And then tell everyone how great it is. Your endorsement means more when you actually spent money on the thing.”

Emma Heap | Sudor CEO & Co-Founder

“Sudor is committed to hiring the best people for every role, regardless of gender. This is something companies must proactively address – as there can be subconscious biases at play that we need to proactively counteract. On a personal note, I’m committed to being the best colleague, mentor and friend for the people around me. As a female founder, this is my way of paying forward the opportunities I’ve had to hopefully inspire the next generation of women.

Be a mentor to new women in your industry, and ensure your company puts proactive equality measures in place. If you have time, volunteer at an organisation that’s driving change. In Cape Town, I was part of an organisation called Great Girls, which was committed to upskilling girls with leadership potential in underprivileged areas. I can’t recommend doing something like this enough. 

In a perfect world, there would be equal opportunities for men and women, but sadly that’s still not the case. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible for women to be as successful as men – it just means you have to fight a little bit harder for it. Don’t be scared of that. As Sheryl Sandberg says, lean in and take your seat at the table.”