DR FAHRIAL AMLA: Organisational Development Specialist at Smiths Manufacturing

#AutomotiveAllies: Dr Fahrial Amla, nominated by Paul Vermaak, is an Organisational Development Specialist at Smiths Manufacturing. Fahrial’s first contact with Smiths Manufacturing was as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018, whilst she was studying well-being at the company. Fahrial later applied for her current role.

Prior to commencing her career at Smiths Manufacturing, Fahrial has obtained a Doctoral degree and spent 14 years in independent consulting and academia. Fahrial completed her undergraduate degree and Honours in Industrial Psychology at the University of Johannesburg in 2004. Over the years that followed, she alternated between working as a lecturer, as a consultant, or doing both concurrently. Fahrial has had the privilege of working on various talent assessment projects in both the public and private sector, for several large companies and brands. Fahrial completed her Master’s degree with UNISA shortly after the birth of her first son at the age of 26 and completed her PhD, which focussed on exploring the psychological strengths of women in leadership, after the birth of her second son at the age of 32. Additionally, Fahrial has lectured, supervised Honours and Master’s level research students, and coordinated postgraduate academic programmes in Human Resource Management and developed content for an international MBA programme. Fahrial’s keenest interest, however, is understanding people and their behaviour – she has been practicing as a registered Industrial Psychologist for just over 10 years, and continues to find reward in facilitating individuals’ professional development so that they build rewarding careers.

Over the course of her consulting career, Fahrial has acquired many psychological assessment accreditations (South African and internationally) and spend quite a bit of time conducting assessments, interpreting profiles, consulting with staff and managers and providing input into talent management decisions so that they maintain an engaged workforce with the best people in the right positions. Fahrial’s role is to facilitate a performance development culture and implement programmes that support the effectiveness of the teams, departments, and Smiths Manufacturing as a whole by inculcating behaviours, values, and attitudes that drive an inclusive work environment and manufacturing excellence.

When considering #ThingsIWishIKnew about the automotive industry, Fahrial notes that the automotive industry offers great learning and career growth opportunities beyond the engineering fields and is an exciting sector to be in, at the forefront of technological developments being introduced in South Africa.

Not only has Fahrial forged a successful career for herself, but she is also committed to supporting other women in the industry achieve success too – “I work one-on-one in a coaching capacity with female employees at our company, and from a talent management perspective, I encourage both formal and on-the-job training and enhancing performance competence.  My longer-term goal is to expand this and reach and capacitate as many female employees so that they have a more representative and impactful presence in the  automotive sector.”