Summary ProfileMandy Ramsden – Business woman, mother of four and First African woman to climb the Seven Summits
Having spent most of her adulthood as a working or studying mom, Mandy set off to climb Kilimanjaro in 2006, a goal that had been lingering since childhood. She also set off on a journey that would take her around the world and to the highest point of each continent, although that wasn’t the plan at the time.
In 2010, Mandy became the first African woman to reach the highest point on each continent when she summited Mount Everest at the end of a ten-week expedition and a four-year journey of self -discovery and personal growth.
Each of these expeditions has brought new challenges, including extreme altitude, brutal cold and stomach-churning exposure. At times, Mandy has had to carry loads weighing almost half her body weight and has had to learn technical climbing and glacier travel techniques. In a world where the most talked about statistic is death, each mountain has delivered its own life lessons:
– resilience in the face of hardship;
– management of risk;
– the importance of preparation;
– the invaluable role of the unsung back office heroes;
– the impact of human relationships and how team dynamics influence the outcome;
– how to pare problems down to their simplest form;
– acceptance of circumstances beyond one’s control;
– resourcefulness and patience;
– when to cut and run.
On the summit of Everest, the horizon is 100 times further than at sea level and standing there brings a broader vision of what it is possible to achieve. Mandy shares this vision, and the lessons learned along the way, with the passion, humour and humility that has propelled her up to each summit.
Mandy was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1969 and emigrated with her parents to South Africa in 1982, where she matriculated in 1986.
She started articles with Pim Goldby in 1987, and registered for a BCompt degree through Unisa at the end of that year, graduating in 1991. She obtained an Hons BCompt, also through Unisa, in 1992 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1993 after passing the Public Accountants and Auditors Board Exam.
Her oldest son was born shortly before her first year exams and her daughter just prior to graduating in 1991.
After articles, Mandy embarked on a financial career in commerce, which she traded for a career in Corporate Finance at Standard Bank in 1999, having added another son and another daughter to her family. . In 2008, she was appointed Chairman of the Association of Property Unit Trusts, a position which she held until August 2010.
Mandy has recently left Standard Bank to pursue an independent consulting career. She remains a member of the Issuer Services Advisory Committee and the AltX Advisory Committee of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.