News & insights

Inspiring Women Interview with Jane van Zyl

By Fiona Frudd
IW Jane Thumnail

Inspiring Women, brought to you by SF Recruitment, presents Jane van Zyl, CEO of Working Families Charity, for its newest instalment of Inspiring Women interviews. 

It's our pleasure to introduce Jane van Zyl, who joins us for the first instalment of Inspiring Women, Series 3. In honour of UNICEF’s International Day of the Girl, SF Recruitment has conducted a series of interviews with Inspiring Women across various industries and sectors to continue raising awareness of women’s issues and successes in work and life.

Jane was born and raised in South Africa during the apartheid years. Jane credits these years with teaching her a lot about privilege, lack of privilege, and about what sexist and racist societies look like. Consequently, she developed a strong sense of social injustice and an interest in governance. This eventually led Jane to make the conscious decision to move into the charity sector in 2006, taking on various senior roles until settling into her current role as CEO at Working Families in 2018.

UNICEF’s International Day of the Girl is an awareness day that serves to bring positive change to the lives of girls around the world. It calls for all girls' rights to be respected and for their voices to be heard. As an advocate for equal opportunities for all, Jane talks in the interview about some shocking statistics around the gender pay gap and explains how her wish for girls is for them to feel safe, have physical freedom, and be able to be their own person.

Jane believes work is a powerful mechanism for getting people who wouldn't normally meet one another to collaborate and open their minds. She has great ambitions for Working Families, which recently celebrated a significant success in helping to get the Flexible Working Bill passed.

“I want to make a difference in the world, and [the charity sector] is where I felt I could make the most difference,” says Jane van Zyl.

Jane also openly shares with us the challenges of being a CEO, the women who've inspired her and continue to inspire her in her life, and her frustrations around the seemingly endless issue of the gender pay gap.

Jane, thank you for sharing your story with us and providing us with your insights into the charity sector, senior leadership, and the cost of childcare and its impact on women and working families. It was a pleasure to record this interview with you, and we appreciate the time you gave to this project.

You can watch the full interview here:

We hope you enjoyed this interview. Please stay tuned for the second episode coming very soon. And, of course, please contact Fiona Frudd if you are an inspiring woman with a story you’d like to share or if you know an Inspiring Woman you’d like to nominate to be featured in our next series!

Fiona Frudd
Fiona Frudd
Head of Marketing