Mary Ovenstone is an Executive and Leadership Coach and Mentor, a Canadian-trained Counselor for individuals and couples, designer and presenter of corporate interventions, international workshop presenter and public speaker, author and frequent guest in the media.
After much research, clinical experience, and on-going personal and professional growth, she has developed an exceptional range of skills that can make a vital and valued contribution to any individual, couple, executive, team or organization.
Mary trained in psychotherapy in Canada and the U.S.A. alongside her corporate career. She returned to South Africa in 1999 and runs a successful counseling practice for individuals and couples in Cape Town. In addition, she has a diploma in corporate and life coaching from South Africa.
Drawing on her 15 years of senior management experience in North America in corporate communications and television production, Mary provides executive and leadership coaching and mentoring as well as corporate workshops incorporating interpersonal communications, life-management and leadership skills training. She has led large-scale team building, department merger and management restructuring interventions. She has facilitated problem-solving sessions and has conducted branding exercises for marketing teams and advertising agencies.
She specializes in providing executives with a fertile thinking space and in high-performance coaching that focuses on EQ issues in the workplace such as: developing self-awareness, managing oneself and understanding others, conducting relationships in a diverse and complex environment, achieving work/life balance, communications and team management skills, stress and anger management as well as in the area of addressing cultural and gender diversification.
In addition she has particular expertise in issues effecting middle-aged men such as depression, irritability, loss of energy, restlessness, etc. She assists business leaders in making optimal career choices. She has coached and mentored several Black executives in the development of leadership skills and in filling gaps in their training and experience to handle rapid career transitions. And she has coached women to develop assertiveness, to achieve work/life balance, and to confidently think with the complexity of women yet communicate appropriately to men in the corporate world designed by men for their thinking styles.
Her latest research has been on the neurological differences between the male and female brain, how we think, process emotions and relate differently. She is developing methods for cross-gender thinking and decision-making. She is studying at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) for an MPhil in Management Coaching followed by a PhD. Mary has developed courses for coaches and counselors in relationship coaching, and for healthcare professionals in coaching patients to make lifestyle changes.
Mary is often on the radio and speaks regularly to public and corporate audiences—most recently as the keynote speaker for the Honouring Women’s events sponsored by SAPIA and BWA in Jo’burg and Cape Town, and to Khathaza: Women in the Construction Industry. She is the Gender Expert Columnist for SAPIA’s journal. Recently she wrote articles in Business Day, Healthcare Review, and Psychologies and in the last year was quoted in the first issue of Women’s Health, in Ideas, Cape Town’s Child, Destiny, Foschini Club, High Flyer, BankMed, Fair Lady, Shape and Oprah. She wrote a series of peer-reviewed articles on Midlife for the SA Medical Association’s CME Journal. She wrote “The Menopausal Businessman” for SA’s Top Performing Companies. She is currently writing a book on 21st Century Relationship.