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The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

“Africa is our home, we drive her growth in everything that we do.” – Standard Bank Group’s COO, Margaret Nienaber

Written by Staff Writer

October 18, 2022

By Sinazo Mkoko

Since 2003, Top Women has been South Africa’s leading gender empowerment brand; celebrating visionary organisations that prioritise gender empowerment as integral to their strategy for growth and success. The brand, along with its valued partners, is dedicated to showcasing these organisations as leaders by example to be emulated across the economy – in a country where less than 50% of the population are men. Our well-established platform – comprising publication, digital, awards and conference – drives awareness locally and internationally around the value and impact of women in leadership.

Last week, the Standard Bank Top Women Virtual Conference brought together global thought-leaders and experts to offer inspiration, practical solutions, networks and support to more than 10 000 women entrepreneurs in Africa.

This two full-day immersive conference featured multiple breakaway sessions, live Q&A sessions, remote meetups, and access to fast-track networking sessions for top women and women-led companies — amplifying both individual and company successes in diversity and inclusion while celebrating #RiseAboveTheNoise. 

If you missed the conference, you can watch it here

Here are a few key takeaways from the keynote address made by Standard Bank Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Margaret Nienaber. 

  1. Women continue to make extraordinary contributions in different sectors across the country and the continent. 
  2. Standard Bank is proud of the decade-long partnership with Topco Media- the country’s fastest-growing platform for women who lead.
  3. Standard Bank recently welcomed its first female chairperson, Nonkululeko Nyembezi, to show the Group’s commitment towards women empowerment and upliftment
  4. “To inspire someone, don’t show them your superpowers, show them theirs.” 
  5. “I was constantly pushed to do more than I thought was possible and this is one of the greatest gifts that we can pass on to others, to let them know that we believe in them and we have their backs, particularly so from women to women.”
  6. “Africa is our home, we drive her growth in everything that we do.”
  7. As Standard Bank becomes more gender-neutral, it becomes a better business.
  8. We must always wear our own shoes and never try and fit into someone else’s shoes
  9. Standard Bank doesn’t only believe in gender diversity and race diversity, but it’s also about diversity of thinking and embracing those who come with their unique and authentic voices to the table.
  10. Women empowerment is a role that can be played by everyone in the organisation and the male colleagues at Standard Bank have been driving this cause passionately. 



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