CAROLINE RHEEDER: Associate Director of Customs and Excise at Cova Advisory

#AutomotiveAllies: Caroline Rheeder, nominated by Duane Newman, is an Associate Director in the Customs and Excise team at Cova Advisory. She joined the team in October 2018, prior to which she held a similar role at EY. Caroline holds a BA Degree in Law and is an admitted attorney. Her role is to build up Cova’s customs advisory business, with a focus on compliance and cost-saving opportunities. Aside from her role at Cova, Caroline is the Vice-Chair of AMCHAM’s (The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa) Regional Trade Forum for 2020, is registered with SAIT (South African Institute of Tax Practitioners) as a Master Customs Professional (SA) and chairs the SAIT Customs Workgroup. She has also passed the SDS1 (SA Customs Compliance Part 1) and SDS 2 (SA Customs Compliance Part 2) exams, both cum laude.

As a leader in the Customs field, Caroline offers some key advice on #ThingsIWishIKnew and empowering other women in the sector:

#ThingsIWishIKnew: Don’t be afraid of the sector, the large companies that it encompasses, and the silly questions I may have had. I wish I’d asked more questions and I wish I’d engaged more in self-study when things did not make sense. I had more time then than I have now, with much responsibility.

#TheFutureisFemale – empowering other women in the sector: When you work in the Customs field you tend to find yourself in male-dominated situations, across most industry sectors. I attended so many meetings where I was the only woman in the room. It wasn’t good and I knew it. By committing myself to a career in Customs over a decade ago and to being involved in key sectors such as automotive, I commit to making those sectors more inclusive, which means encouraging other women with an interest in this field and actively encouraging their growth. It is difficult and can be uncomfortable but is so rewarding.