Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Shani Hurwitz, Senior Case Manager at Discovery Life.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

I am a Senior Case Manager at Discovery Life. I assist clients who are going through disabilities to try and help them achieve their optimal life goals, despite the trauma that they are going through.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

I am a qualified physiotherapist and love working with people. Working as a physio, people tend to “offload” their emotions during their treatment. It was then that I began to realize, not only the inherent link between pain and emotion, but the power of attitude in creating or destroying the ultimate story of your life, and I knew that I had to try and use this information on a greater scale.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

Even when you are hating what you do at that moment, do the absolute best you can and treat every single human that you come into contact with, with the utmost respect.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

Gratitude. In your darkest hour, there will always be something to be grateful for. And once you find it, you will find the light.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

I am pleased to say, that women are treated with absolute respect and authority. This is due to the company’s culture of diversity and strong leadership. We constantly raise each other up and encourage greatness in every woman and man in the organization.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I have multiple mentors throughout the organization and in life. From each mentor, I try and find that part of myself that radiates and reflects the energy given off by that person. Sometimes, that energy may be practical, like learning to study while having a baby, and sometimes it’s a paradigm shift, like putting yourself out there without any fear of failure.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

If you follow your passion and only seek to do good, you will find success. Also, set smart goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely—and then keep resetting them.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

Companies help advance women through education and conversation. Intellectual leadership is born through opening up the space for women to speak and allowing their voices to be heard. Helping to educate women will always open up opportunities.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I would like to set up a platform within the company to try and reduce mental disabilities. There are so many people at the moment struggling with mental health issues, many in secret and alone. I believe that the pandemic has exacerbated an already very frightening situation. By opening the conversation around mental health, and brainstorming ways to help the community as a whole, we can try and help some of those that are struggling in silence.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

I am passionate about mental health and wellness. Your mental state will affect the outcome of any illness or injury that you face and it will allow you to either achieve your goals or it can destroy you from the inside out. I assist those suffering from mental illness, whether it’s their primary disability or a result of another life changing trauma, through counselling and rehabilitation programs at the company.

What does Pledge 1% mean to you?

Pledge 1% shows that when we each do something small collectively, we really can change the world.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I love to travel. Learning about other cultures and witnessing every raw, untouched, and magnificent part of this planet enlightens my soul.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I love listening to TED Talks. It’s an easy way to find daily inspiration, even when my days seem crazy, I can listen to other peoples’ stories or deep insights into random topics while driving or exercising. It might sound cheesy, but learning from everyone’s passion tends to help me find my own.

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Aside from creating a healthy routine, where work does not flow over into “after-work time”, find a way to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you can be proud of. I was never able to cook, but the extra time has allowed me to whip up some gourmet meals for hubby!