A qualified attorney with a master’s degree in commercial law and a background in human resources, Engelbrecht is the first to concede that her career journey has not been that of a typical CEO. Prior to joining Clicks in 2006 as Group HR Director, Engelbrecht worked for Spoornet, South African Airways, Transnet Group, Sea Harvest and Shell SA, the latter as an executive director. She was Group Corporate Affairs Director at Clicks before assuming the role of CEO earlier this year.
“From the outset, my job at Clicks has always been broader than the traditional HR remit,” Engelbrecht explains. She attributes both of the Group’s previous CEO’s for this, as they actively championed for the people agenda to be integrated into the business and for HR to have a seat at the decision making table. This philosophy facilitated her progression to the most senior leadership position.
Over the years, she has methodically set about shifting the employer brand by addressing the Group’s existing employer value proposition gap. Today, the Clicks Group is consistently rated as the top employer in the retail space.
Clicks continues to embrace its heritage as a proudly South African company. From being a laggard in the empowerment space, it was the most empowered retailer by 2015, integrating transformation into its overall business.
What Engelbrecht is most proud of, however, is Clicks’ employee share scheme. In 2018 the scheme vested fully, resulting in the first 50% pay-out of R1,3 billion to employees. A final pay-out of R1,5 billion was made in February 2019. The Clicks Group boasts one of the most successful employee share schemes to date.
Transformation is an ongoing journey for Clicks Group rather than an end-destination.
“Clicks is heavily focused on preferential procurement – by supporting local suppliers, black and female-owned enterprises and investigating how we can advocate for equity equivalence programmes that benefit local suppliers,” she says.
She aims to maintain Clicks’ positioning as the leader in the health and wellness sector.
“We will be strengthening our engagement with all stakeholders to share much more of the work we do particularly insofar as our localisation strategy, empowerment and sustainability commitments are concerned,” she says.
Clicks sources more than 90% of its products locally, a strategy which she intends to continue driving forward.
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