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Cathy Harris

Internal Networks Expert | Executive PA | Author | International Trainer

Internal Networks Expert | Executive PA | Author | International Trainer

Cathy Harris is Executive PA to the CEO of Discovery Invest, with over 40 years’ experience in the administrative profession. She was nominated South Africa’s National Secretary of the Year for 2006/2007, and authored “The Executive Support Guide to Creating an Internal Assistant Network.”

Cathy is the founder and Director of the Platinum Assistant Network – South Africa, a member of the World Administrators Alliance workforce and a contributor to the creation of the Global Skills Matrix. She headed up the Office Professionals of South Africa, (OPSA) National Awards for over 10 years, and was instrumental in formulating all the assignments and assessments for the OPSA CPD and Designations certifications which is now officially a South African SETA-approved accreditation.

Having also held the role of Chairperson of Discovery’s internal network for many years she, and fellow EA Susan Engelbrecht, now co-manage the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence. Cathy has initiated various programs for the internal network, which includes the Discovery PA Centre of Excellence induction program, the Chartered PA program, and the National Certificate for Business Administration program.

Cathy is also one of four mentors on the Isipho Admin Bursary initiative, where previously disadvantaged young black South African women have an opportunity to train in the administrative profession.

  • Overcome the Silo Syndrome in Your Workplace by Connecting With Your Internal Network

    Whether it was because of Covid, or from old habits formed over many years, working in isolation away from your work colleagues and peer groups can be the reason for limited creativity, the lack of spontaneous collaboration and the feeling of being “left out.”

    Although working on your own certainly has its advantages it can limit your personal growth and unwittingly affect your self-confidence and self-esteem. Having a group of like-minded individuals to turn to and connect with, has exponential advantages and great benefits for you as an Assistant in the ever-evolving work environments.

    Learning Outcomes

    • This session will provide guidance to those who have unwittingly become disconnected from their peers and peer groups to realise the value of being both a recipient and a contributor of an internal network, or any network for that matter. We learn from and feed off the experiences and wisdom from those around us who face the exact same challenges as we do.
    • As the new world requires that we remain constantly informed and equipped to deliver on ever-changing workplace structures and economic shuffles, being educated on an ongoing basis on the skills we need to navigate this way of work, is essential. Being connected positively to your network will give you the tools and the opportunity to be on top of your game.
    • Having information at your fingertips, saves you time and gives you “brownie points” when having to answer to requests from your executive, as a network provides the complete “who’s who” in your organisation.


    This session is available on demand in our Learning Library

  • Are You Future-Ready?

    With the evolution of our role as administrative assistants, this session provides the opportunity to realign and level up your current skills. The question to ask is “Are you future-ready?” Cathy will share the importance and relevance on the “why” and will provoke the learner into questioning their current skill level and future preparedness. This will allow the learner to consider the opportunities on how to forge a new career pathway within the administrative profession.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Be accountable for your own development
    • Level up effectively with purpose and intent
    • Future-proof your career
  • Developmental Skills Training
    • Grow your career, expand your Responsibilities
    • Living Job Descriptions, CV’s and Skills Matrix
    • Building a portfolio of evidence
    • Confidentiality in the workplace
    • Unleashing your professional brand
    • Self -Management
    • Preparing for your Performance Appraisal
    • Strategic partnerships
  • Functional Skills Training
    • Communication
    • Time Management
    • Diary and email management
    • Meetings, and minute taking
    • Unravelling travel
    • Collaboration, team work and leadership skills
    • Document management
    • Practical budgeting, accounts and reconciliations
    • Managing your manager
    • Managing multiple managers
  • Interpersonal and Innovative Skills Training
    • The Proactive PA
    • Working in a team
    • Personal Leadership skills
    • Multitasking
    • Managing your EQ
    • Dealing with difficult colleagues
    • Office etiquette and business protocols
    • Professionalism in the workplace
    • Creating a PA forum within your organisation
    • DevArt: Creative teambuilding experience incorporating workshop initiatives.
  • Cindy Reddy

    Cathy Harris is a highly knowledgeable management assistant expert trainer and facilitator,  an authentic and kind spirited woman, who delivers an inspirational and honest approach to her topics.  She is an amazing teacher, who shares both life experiences and humor as part of her very interactive workshop sessions.  I learnt so much from her, have changed my views on how to manage my manager, and also how to take care of my own personal development to be the best me!

  • Glenda Lamont

    You will not find a more amazing teacher out there.  Cathy is passionate about her profession and passionate in delivering a learning experience that you can touch and feel at the same time.  She is unforgettable, and I look forward to attending workshops where she is presenting.

  • Leeann Taylor

    More down to earth you cannot find!  I loved learning from Cathy’s vast knowledge of over 38 years in her profession.  She is certainly an expert in her field, very knowledgeable and comes highly rated from various sources.  We enjoyed her session on Life Balance so much, we called her back to present to our management team as well.  They could only say good things about this lady.

  • Shaun - Spectacular

    To me Cathy Harris is a unique professional.  She is recognized as a top notch PA trainer, has a record of achieving 10/10 on our delegate feedback forms, and provides a wide variety of expert knowledge and learning opportunities for our delegates across Africa.  She is also a full time Executive PA, has written 2 books with 2 more on the way (I believe), and is one of the nicest, most down to earth, humble human beings I know.  Our PA delegates love her and come back to our sessions when she facilitates.

  • Susan Engelbrecht

    Cathy has facilitated many workshops here at Discovery for our PA’s over the years.  She is just fantastic in her delivery and knowledge of our profession.  She also provides coaching and mentoring to our assistants as and when they need it, and makes herself available  to help out any PA that finds themselves in need of direction or assistance.  Love her work ethic, her integrity, her humility and her professionalism.

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