Women who show the way
IN CELEBRATING women’s month in August, the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) forum is set to hold its annual Woman of Substance Awards, next week.
AWCA gives awards to African women who show excellence in the areas of governance and business to attain gender equality.
President of the AWCA, Lesego Sennelo said it was important to highlight the pockets of excellence that they had within the business community and the country, as well as to showcase what women were doing.
“It is still a very difficult environment to navigate both in the public and private sector. Part of the challenge this year is to find out what is that positive narrative in it being women’s month,” said Sennelo.
According to Sennelo one of the coveted awards of the night would be the Woman of Substance title.
“It is given to one person and this year will be the 13th year that we have had the award. Over and above that we recognise members who are in the profession (chartered accountants) who have been nominated by their peers,” she said.
“We recognise an industry and business leader who not only has reached the apex of their career but who has also demonstrated a good track record in terms of community development and mentoring others and developing young leaders,” added Sennelo.
“It’s not necessarily someone in the chartered accountants profession but certainly an African woman business leader who epitomises what we call a woman of substance,” she said.
Previous recipients of the accolade include women of great stature.
In 2014, it was under-secretary-general of the UN and the executive director of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in 2015 advocate Thuli Madonsela and last year Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, former chairperson of the AU Commission.
In her acceptance speech, Dlamini Zuma highlighted the pivotal roles that African women and their respective movements played in supporting women’s entrepreneurship, encouraging young women into higher education – including in male dominated professions such as chartered accounting. Among some of the people who will be recognised at the awards will be the chief executive of the year both in the private and public sectors, the audit partner of the year, tax partner of the year and just looking at members within the profession of chartered accounting, according to Sennelo.
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Sun City on August 10.
This year’s AWCA forum theme is Africa in the Rise of Localisation.
“Looking at the rise of a very internally focused political landscape or mandate the world over, what does that mean, not only for South Africa but for the entire continent ?” Sennelo asked.
“The intention is to have a conversation around how we start facilitating intra-Africa trade and how we start ensuring that resource-rich Africa benefits the citizens of the continent,” she said.
We recognise an industry and business leader
LEADER: Thuli Madonsela is a previous recipient of the Woman of Substance title.