As the country’s best Organisational Psychologist, it seems fitting that Dr Natasha Winkler-Titus would end up becoming the president of the ‘Society for Industrial & Organisational Psychology in South Africa’.
The society is one the largest in South Africa, representing its members (Industrial and Organisational psychologists across the country) and making sure that the industry is constantly improving its scientific knowledge.
Now, for those that are a bit confused on what it is that the Eersterust native does: She is hired by companies to set up strategies and tactics to make sure that employees and managers are happy and productive.
Not only that, but she is the founder and head of SigniFYER, one of the most respected ‘work psychology’ consultancy companies in South Africa.
Natasha’s resume includes a PhD in Organisational Psychology (University of Pretoria) and she has spent most of her professional life serving as a senior manager and management consultant to large, multinational corporations.
These corporations include KPMG, Anglo American, BHB Billiton as well as the local Transnet, to name but a few.
As noted above, she is the country’s best Organisational Psychologist and this is no exaggeration.
Last year, she was awarded the title of South Africa’s “Organizational Psychology Practitioner of the year” and in 2018, her academic paper was named as the best at the British Academy of Management’s Annual Conference (which was held in Bristol, UK).
She also holds memberships of the British Academy of Management and the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, and she is a sought after speaker; delivering papers, keynote speeches, master classes as well as serving on professional panels locally and abroad.
This year, she was asked by the ‘Centre for Global Inclusion’ to serve as one of 114 expert panellists from around the world.
She is one of two South Africans who have been invited and their job will be to look into the ‘Global Standards and Benchmarks’ for organisations all over the world.
In other words, she is part of the group of people who looks at the international rules of how companies and other organisations are supposed to conduct themselves in a legal and ethical manner.
Always looking for a new challenge, Natasha’s next role will be that of a senior lecturer, teaching Organizational Behaviour and Leadership as part of the MBA and post-graduate programs at Stellenbosch University’s Business School.
This is however not her first foray into teaching, since she already serves as a part-time faculty member and external examiner for the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg as well as supervising Masters’ research students and Industrial Psychology Interns.
During her spare time, Natasha is very community orientated, choosing to participate in activities for her local church and raising funds for the local school’s feeding scheme.
She is also fitness orientated, not only enjoying her jogging routine, but also participating in half marathons (she has already completed 11 of the Two Oceans half marathons).
As to her becoming president of the society, she says that she hopes to use this position to focus on issues that she feels will have a positive impact on the industry.
She says that she had not aimed for the position of president and had not expected to be nominated and elected.
However, she thinks it is because she is always vocal about the issues that she feels strongly about and the members seemed to have appreciated her views.
To those who want to follow in her footsteps, she advises that it is a long road that includes having maths, completing a masters degree and doing a 1-year internship.
She also says that kids should do research in what this highly specialised field of science (there are only 3000 registered Industrial and Organisational Psychologists in South Africa) entails by speaking to people and ‘googling’.
You should also find a mentor and join a professional body to become part of a network early in your career.