You wouldn’t expect a fiercely protective and passionate labour lawyer to have a soft spot for a good thriller movie, a fascination with Grey’s Anatomy, and an undying love for face cream. But Carlene van der Lith, a Dispute Resolution Official at the Consolidated Employers’ Organisation (CEO), is no ordinary attorney. Born and bred in Kimberley, Carlene values family and loyalty above all else, just as she does the laws she represents.

Inspired by her hardworking parents, particularly her mother who served in the Department of Labour for 40 years, Carlene found her calling early in life. The values instilled in her and the exposure to labour law sparked a passion for the field that followed her into adulthood.

A firm believer in the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” Carlene prides herself on her meticulous approach to both her work and life. She’s the first to admit that she can sometimes get pushy to get things done, but it’s this tenacity that has seen her achieve some notable accomplishments. Among them, completing her LLB degree via distance learning – a feat not easily achieved – and raising her cherished children.

Carlene’s friends describe her as someone who doesn’t befriend easily, but once you’ve earned her trust, she’s a loyal and steadfast companion. And just like her approach to friendships, Carlene applies the same intensity to her work at CEO. She appreciates the proactive nature of the organisation, which focuses on protecting employers’ interests while ensuring compliance with labour legislation.

However, being protective and methodical doesn’t mean she lacks fun! Carlene’s love for a thrilling movie or book is just as intense as her work. She never misses an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and Tess Gerritsen’s books are a must-read for her. And when it comes to food, she insists life is a blast with good food and good company!

Despite her achievements, Carlene acknowledges there are areas she wants to improve in herself. Chiefly, she wishes to have more confidence and trust in her abilities. Furthermore, she admits she needs to learn to live more in the moment and not feel the constant need to plan.

With a vision for the future that includes raising successful, independent children and achieving professional success, Carlene van der Lith is a remarkable embodiment of hard work, family values, and personal growth. Much like the face cream she can’t do without, Carlene brings a refreshing and vitalising presence to the world of labour law.