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Women in beer: Heineken South Africa's leading ladies

National Women's Month is dedicated to honouring and celebrating the many achievements of phenomenal South Africa women, as well as the crucial role they play in society, their respective communities and families. It is in this vein that Heineken South Africa shines a bright spotlight on some of the fantastic female talent within the business.
Women in beer: Heineken South Africa's leading ladies

Vigilate Mokoena, sales representative for the Sandton region

While attending university, Mokoena was inspired to bring a woman’s perspective to the beer industry, as she was not aware of many female employees in that space. Kicking off her career at a beer company, she has learnt a great deal about the industry and what fascinated her the most was seeing women in the brewing process; from distribution, to the end consumers. She believes what has changed in the industry has been the growth in females in senior roles and contributing to the success of the brands and the business.

Some of the women in beer and other industries that she admires include Millicent Maroga, who is Heineken’s Corporate Affairs Director at Heineken, since she had an opportunity to work with her at previously, she played a huge role in helping taverns to get permits and start running a legit business and played a role in providing her customers and tavern owners with business training in the pursuit to upskill them to understand how to run their now professional business.

Her favourite beer is Amstel Radler because it combines the full flavoured taste of Amstel with lemon and other natural flavours.

Women in beer: Heineken South Africa's leading ladies

Portia Malele, learning and development manager

Malele joined the alcohol Industry because of its dynamic, innovative and fast-paced nature. Her desire to join Heineken specifically was mainly due to its brand proposition and being part of a business that brings products to consumers that form part of their enjoyment of life; whilst putting safety first, driving social responsibility and showing great commitment to the communities in which it operates. Her experience of this vibrant sector continues to be one that is full of learnings since the world of beer is not static, with every day bringing excitement and challenges that require an ability to constantly adapt.

The list of women she looks up to includes Yvonne Mosadi, who is leading the HR function at the company and is on the management team, as well as Dr Dorothy Ndletyana who impacted her career by helping her build the foundation to grow as a people development specialist.

She is a die-hard fan of Amstel Radler and on the cider side, she loves Strongbow Dry.

Women in beer: Heineken South Africa's leading ladies

Dana Katz, portfolio marketing manager

Katz has loved working in the beer industry, ever since transitioning from ‘beauty to beer’ (with some time consulting and working in pharmaceuticals in between). Of course, the unprecedented challenges facing the industry in the last period have been stretching to say the least, but she likes to think of them in the same way she thinks of woman facing hard times: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” She believes that thanks to strong leadership and creative problem-solving, the industry will emerge from this storm even stronger.

For her, asking what her favourite beer or cider is, is like asking her to tell you which of her children she prefers.  She loves all of Heineken’s products for different reasons. She loves Sol for its light refreshing taste and optimism, Windhoek for its unwavering commitment to quality, and Amstel’s ability to quench her thirst for its full and crisp taste. She also notes that she finds herself continuously star struck by Heineken®’s bold red star, continuous innovation and unmatched flavour profile.

Women in beer: Heineken South Africa's leading ladies

Millicent Maroga, corporate affairs director

Millicent Maroga, mentioned by Vigilate, is Heineken’s well-loved corporate affairs director. She is inspired by her mother for her ability to see opportunities in everything as well as her work ethic, and her father for his humility and optimistic outlook on life.


She looks up to Sarah Mthintso, CEO of the Telkom Foundation; and Bongiwe Njobe, head of social investing at FirstRand Group – as she had the pleasure of working with and being mentored by these two amazing women. She looks up to them for their assertiveness, ability to influence and more importantly, their authentic leadership style. When it comes to her drink of choice, it is either a Heineken® 0.0 or Sol.

Heineken South Africa
Heineken South Africa is an important player in the South African beer and cider market. We have an exciting portfolio of brands, spearheaded by our global flagship brand Heineken®.

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