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Shaping the conversation for women in business - Standard Bank Top Women Awards announces most diverse judging panel yet

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.
The 2019 Top Women judging panel
The 2019 Top Women judging panel

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."

2019 Top Women judges' review
2019 Top Women judges' review

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.

To attend the awards contact: Judy Chileshe at az.oc.ocpot@ehselihc.yduj. For more information visit

2019 Top Women judges' review
2019 Top Women judges' review

The full lists of judges includes:

  • Kobus Maree - managing director of Savino DelBene
  • 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

2019 Top Women judges' review
2019 Top Women judges' review

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.

Topco Media
DYNAMIC BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA Topco Media is one of South Africa's leading business-to-business media houses, producing high profile, relevant conferences and awards. Our conferences include Africa Tech Week, Standard Bank Top Women, Top Empowerment, Future of HR, National Business Awards and Future of Sustainability. We also produce authoritative and informative business and investment publications such as Top 500, Top Empowerment, Nelson Mandela 100 years to name a few.

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