Sophie Chandauka on using 'difference' as a strength

Defy the odds and you’ll be even stronger in life - Sophie Chandauka talks to us about her fight for equality.

everywomanClub member Sophie Chandauka is now Global COO, Shared Services and Banking Operations, Morgan Stanley

Sophie was a 'scholarship' child and given good educational opportunities thanks to the sponsorship of others. Learning quickly from day one she felt very different to the other privileged students; instead of being intimidated, she used her differences to her own advantages and has since spent her life vowing to get noticed and remembered for all the "right reasons".

Growing up with apartheid, her biggest influence was Nelson Mandela

She always knew she wanted to be a lawyer for the advocacy of human rights. Sophie recalls: "Before I could sing lullabies, I could recite speeches from Nelson Mandela. I knew what they meant in terms of freedom, the right to vote and equality freedom. It felt like a natural part of my growth and evolution would celebrate and remember the importance of equity and rights."

Her family were her role models. "I come from a line of women who 'believed they could'. Having the visible presence of women who have managed to do things against the odds, meant that I believed very early on that if I put my mind to it, and worked hard enough, if you are a good person, good things can happen."