Faith’s reaching out to women
WOMEN’S Month is coming to a close and what better way to wrap it up than to recognise trail-blazers making a difference in our world.
Standard Bank once again celebrated women with its 14th Top Women Awards and Conference which took place at Emperor’s Palace this week. Categories included top female entrepreneur (Lynette Magasa) and top woman in science (Precious Hawadi).
Magasa is CEO of Boniswa Corporate Solutions which in just 13 years has become a giant in an industry dominated by men. She has ventured into several other African countries. Looking ahead, she has her sights set on a public listing and the creation of thousands of jobs. Magasa competed against 17 other finalists.
The evening, hosted by Top Billing’s Ursula Chikane, was not all business. An emotional highlight was the awarding of the honorary lifetime achiever award to the “Princess of Africa”, Yvonne Chaka Chaka.The title was previously held by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
Chaka Chaka is a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian, teacher and icon in the fight against TB, HIV and malaria. The 800-strong audience gave her a standing ovation.
Speaking to The Sunday Independent, head of Standard Bank incubator Jayshree Naidoo said the criteria used was that businesses had to have a turnover of R35 million to be recognised.
“These women had to be making a difference in their organisations – except for the young achiever and the entrepreneur categories – where they were shown to be experts in their fields.
“If a big organisation can help empower women and help bridge the gender parity target of 50/50 by 2030 then other big organisations can do the same,” said Naidoo.
According to Naidoo, South Africa is doing quite well in having the highest number of CEOs in Africa. However, we are still lagging behind on boards of directors. “We need to get that right as well. We still have a long way to go,” she said.
“We need to get to that 50/50 parity as soon as possible.”