South Africa’s only woman on the central bank’s monetary policy committee learned the nuances of finance and policy making from her time as an alternate executive director at the International Monetary Fund.
Working at the IMF allowed Fundi Tshazibana “to learn the language” that would lead to her appointment as South African Reserve Bank deputy governor, she said in an online panel discussion at the launch of Bloomberg New Voices, a global initiative to increase the visibility of women and other under-represented executives in finance across media platforms.
“When I first arrived at the International Monetary Fund I was one of the few females in the executive board of the IMF, short and one of two Africans that was around the table some of the time and so those things require you to sometimes learn the language that is being spoken,” she said during a panel discussion at the event on Tuesday. “Sometimes if you come too radical and too quickly with your ideas you can be shut out.”
Tshazibana was head of the economic policy and forecasting division and a deputy director general at the National Treasury before working for the IMF. She became an adviser to Governor Lesetja Kganyago and his deputies in February 2018 and was later appointed a deputy governor becoming the the first woman to join the MPC since former Governor Gill Marcus stepped down in November 2014.
“When I got to the Reserve Bank, I was already comfortable in my own skin,” she said. “I was already comfortable in fighting my way in and getting my ideas forward, but I think that there are elements that are quite important when you get into a new space.”