The 10th anniversary celebrations of the Top Women Awards, held on the 2nd of August at the Sandton Convention Centre, brought to you by Kaya FM and hosted by Topco Media, recognised a group of deserving women and organisations who have continually helped shape women’s roles within the private and public sectors.
Keynote speaker, Madam Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka praised Topco’s founder, Richard Fletcher, for having the foresight more than ten years ago to not just celebrate women and women’s roles in Corporate SA, but also for his continued commitment towards gender empowerment. She went on to applaud the judges, nominees and finalists for their achievements and urged them to encourage women from a young age to strive to pursue bigger goals.
“These awards are almost as old as our democracy. We have a common agenda, and that is the total emancipation of women. When we transform our lives, we ought to support those at the bottom of the pyramid,” she added.
Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini echoed these sentiments and shared some anecdotes about the difference between male and female leaders, but emphasised the importance of women raising themselves up and assuming leadership positions with the private and public sectors.
The overarching response on the night from all the speakers, judges and winners was that the cause of women progressing is a collective responsibility that needs continued support and recognition.
- WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS sponsored by Channel Africa – Wasaa Gasses (Pty) Ltd
- SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY sponsored by ARMSCOR – DELL
- NGO sponsored by COGTA Kwa-Zulu Natal – South African Women in Engineering (SAWomEng)
- CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION sponsored by the NDA – Ikwezi Farming Cooperative – Mpumalanga
- BEST WOMEN EMPOWERED COMMUNITY PROGRAMME sponsored the City of Johannesburg – Hirsch’s
- SMME sponsored by the City of Johannesburg – Legadima Personnel
- MOST INNOVATIVE GENDER EMPOWERED COMPANY sponsored by the City of Tshwane – Isilumko Staffing (Pty) Ltd
- BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR sponsored by Assupol- Nokwanele Qonde & Thando Sibisi, Wasaa Gasses (Pty) Ltd
- YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR of 2013 sponsored by the NYDA – Catherine Constantinides, Miss Earth South Africa
- ENTREPRENEUR OF 2013 sponsored by Kaya FM – Margaret Grant Hirsch, Hirsch’s
- YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD (35 years & younger) sponsored by TUMI – Sandi Mbutuma, Pentad Quantity Surveyors
- PUBLIC SECTOR sponsored by the Courier & Freight Group – Sindiswa Nhlumayo, SAMSA
The Top Women Awards, which reflect a comprehensive vision of the work of women in all spheres of public and private service, was independently adjudicated by a panel of leading business and government officials.
Dolly Mokgatle, co-founder and Executive Director of Peotona Group Holdings, and one of the Awards esteemed judges, noted: “The recognition of women in the different categories of these awards highlights the excellence, creativity and tenacity they possess. Beyond personal achievement lies an inspirational spirit that serves to strengthen and spur others on to scale heights they never dreamt possible. We applaud the women honoured at this event and challenge others to continue on their own journey to greatness.”
MC for the evening, Anele Mdoda, kept guests entertained throughout the evening sharing anecdotes of what these awards meant to her as a young woman who, ten years ago, was a matriculant aspiring to be like the women being honoured via the special tribute honorary achievers awards, organisational and individual awards and the lifetime achievement category.
Graca Machel, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but her daughter Josina accepted the award on her behalf. Josina reiterated the fact that her mother felt honoured to be acknowledged, and that her mother accepted the award on behalf of children and women’s rights, causes that she’s dedicated her life’s work to.