Cape Town, 15 September 2020 – Considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the country. The Standard Bank Top Women Awards are in their 17th year and their judging panel reads as a list of who’s who of corporate South Africa. Cumulatively responsible for hundreds of millions of Rands worth of revenue and with decades of experience the judges include the likes of Managing Director of De Beers, Mpumi Zikalala, MD of Savion Del Bene, Kobus Maree and PwC Southern Africa CEO, Shirley Machaba. With previous winners going on to ascend the ranks of corporate South Africa and even represent the country at a United Nations level, these awards play a major role in shaping the conversation for women in the business world.
Due to the pandemic the awards which were traditionally held in Johannesburg have pivoted to become completely virtual. A complete departure from the traditional format but, “this actually allows us to reach more men and women than ever before,” explains Karla Fletcher, Director of Marketing at TopCo Media, the organisers.
The judging panel includes men and women who have succeeded in their respective industries while championing the gender empowerment agenda. “While women are still vastly underrepresented in business we believe now more than ever we need to recognise the individuals and companies that continue to make impactful strides for gender empowerment in the country,” explains Fletcher.
The awards have over 20 categories including Top Gender-empowered Individual: Male Driving Gender Empowerment, Top Women In Tech and Top Woman Public Sector Leader. Fletcher further explains, “As part of ongoing transformation within the awards we recognise that the conversation needs to become more intersectional. As we progress we hope to increase the number of categories and be even more reflective of the future of women in the workplace.”
Among the list of highly esteemed judges is Prathna Singh, MD of Accenture who highlights the critical role of awards recognising women, “it is imperative to create a space for women leaders to be celebrated and through platforms like this, to inspire young women around South Africa to not hold back and to live their dreams out loud. As a culture champion at Accenture, women leaders play a critical role at the leadership level and continuously strive to unblock the barriers for women.”
The judge’s review will be held online via Zoom and discussions will take place amongst the panel regarding entrants they received. Winners will be announced at the virtual awards ceremony on 2 October 2020.
The full lists of judges includes:
Kobus Maree – Managing Director of Savino DelBene
Smart Digital Veronica Motloutsi – Smart Digital
Liz King – Mott MacDonald
Mpumi Zikalala – De Beers
Shirley Machaba – PwC
Busi Selesho – IST Solutions
Deidre Mitchell – Honeycomb BEE
Theo Pouroullis – Manhattan Corp
Zandile Mkwanazi – GirlCode
Prathna Singh – Accenture
Siphumelele Nhlapo -Schneider Electric
Mohammed Akoojee – Imperial Logistics
Sobantu Tilayi – SAMSA
Kutoane Kutoane – ECIC
Maredi Thema – Maredi Technologies
Zanele Matlala- Merafe Resources
Rhulani Nhlaniki – Pfizer
Dolly Mokgatle – Peotona
Themba Mkhwanazi – Kumba Iron Ore
Videsha Proothveerajh- Lexis Nexis
About Standard Bank Top Women
Standard Bank Top Women aims to build a trusted network of gender-empowered companies and female entrepreneurs to accelerate the realisation of gender parity in Africa and the world. Launched in 2003, the brand showcases and awards gender-empowered companies, and gives iconic female leaders a platform from which to share their success stories with the next generation of women achievers.