Izelda Swanepoel


Company: Chiaro Business Transformation
Role: Session Presenter

2022 Conference Session: Deep Democracy—The Methodology for Healing in Organizations and Communities (S5-F)

Izelda Swanepoel is a South African-born transformation consultant. She grew up as a white Afrikaner woman during the height of the Apartheid years, but through government censorship and for various other reasons, she was not aware of the dire circumstances under which Black people were forced to live. When she was older, she attended a Process Work seminar with Stephen Schuitevoerder. During this event, she heard the stories of heartbreaking circumstances and experiences that Black people went through and she was deeply shocked and touched. She was the only Afrikaner in the room and felt the responsibility of representing the perpetrator of the Apartheid system.

At this stage, she was busy with her MBA at Stellenbosch University and proceeded to do her thesis on the topic “Transformation in South Africa: How the Private Sector Can Help.”

Izelda is passionate about transformation, diversity, and inclusion work. Currently director of Chiaro Business Transformation, she gained valuable experience by facilitating diversity workshops in various companies, like Massmart, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, the SPAR group, and WesBank. She also invested in community projects where she was exposed to the social fabric in South Africa. Her articles on relevant subjects have been published in various business magazines and she was a speaker at diversity and equality forums, such as the IODA International Conference (2017) and a panelist for CRR Global and ORSC Afrika.

She headed up the National BEE Committee of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHi), an Afrikaans business chamber, where she obtained extensive exposure to the political situation surrounding transformation laws in South Africa and how it translates into practice in the business community. Reconciling these polarities became part of her life goals. She also has broad experience as a strategist, consultant, project manager, and team leader.

“I have a passion for reconciliation among all race, gender, nationalities, and age groups and I believe I can make a difference in society by engaging with organizations to change their culture from within.”

Before this pivot in her career, she was director of Plexsa Manufacturing, a military company that designed and manufactured components for fighter airplanes and submarines. She started and managed Plexsa with her husband, Herman Swanepoel.

• MBA University of Stellenbosch Business School
• ORSC trained coach (Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching)
• Accredited Enneagram coach
• OD training with Connect to Grow
• Process Work training at the Process Work Institute, UK
• Alchemy training with CRR Global


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