Sunday, July 12, 2020

Business Engage announces winners of regional categories in Gender Mainstreaming Awards


Business Engage is pleased to announce the winners of two special categories in its annual 8th Gender Mainstreaming Awards – Positive Role Model and Inclusive Leader.

Business Engage is an exciting and inventive organization at the forefront of strategic thinking on gender mainstreaming in the private sector. The company engages in a number of exciting initiatives and hosts a number of events that celebrate diversity in the workplace and provide education about best practices in gender mainstreaming.

In recent news, Business Engage is announcing the winners of the Regional Positive Role Model and Inclusive Leader categories in their annual 8th Gender Mainstreaming Awards.

A Positive Role Model is a lady growing her career who understands the responsibility that comes with being a role model. In addition to the normal meaning of a role model, a Positive Role Model spends time encouraging and growing others. She inspires others to also be Positive Role Models.

Inclusive Leaders are both men and women, who are genuinely interested in the well-being of others and are able to inspire diversity by leveraging the talents and motivations of the teams they are responsible for. They have ingrained into their leadership style a recognition of the provable benefits to their business that diversity brings, with special emphasis on gender. They actively sponsor others up the ranks.
These Regional awards were judged in Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape. The winners are:

Positive Role Model : Beacon of Africa : Soria Hay

As the name suggests, these are the individuals who are lighting the way for other role models. We can think of them as the elders, not in terms of age but in terms of knowledge and wisdom.

Positive Role Model : Gauteng : Entrepreneur : Staff Sithole

Positive Role Model : Gauteng : Corporate : Carina Wessels

Positive Role Model : KZN : Entrepreneur : Nompumelelo Xulu

Positive Role Model : KZN : Corporate : Cathie Lewis

Positive Role Model : Western Cape : : Entrepreneur : Jaisheila Rajput

Positive Role Model : Western Cape : Corporate : Lee-Anne Singer

Positive Role Model : Western Cape : Trailblazer : Nicolette Jacobs

This is what the judges had to say about this individual.

“One person stood out so far above the other “great” candidates that we felt she belonged in a category of her own. She is the first in so many categories, in Accounting @PwC in the Western Cape, in her church, in her community where children are following her lead”.”

Inclusive Leader Award

Inclusive Leader : Gauteng : Eva Andren

Inclusive Leader : KZN : Subashnee Moodley

Inclusive Leader : Western Cape : There were two winners.

Gavin Fitzmaurice : “This is what the judges had to say : In the Inclusive Leader category, one individual stood out in a category of his own. We looked at an award such as Inspirational Leader but he is so much more than that. I think something in the line of Gender Based Champion is more in line.”

Simon Cranswick : “They are both inspirational in their own right, but their areas of influence are vastly different.”

“We are so incredibly pleased to acknowledge the winners of these two prestigious categories,” says founder of Business Engage and the Gender Mainstreaming Awards, Colleen Larsen. “Even though we are in our eighth year of running the Gender Mainstreaming Awards, we are continuously amazed by the impressive contributions of all nominees. All of these women and men are such remarkable individuals; we couldn’t be more proud to acknowledge their leadership.”

The winners in these categories will now go forward to be judged for the national awards which will be announced on 3 September at the 8th Gender Mainstreaming Awards event. The event is in association with the 30% Club Southern Africa, sponsored by Accenture South Africa and supported by the South African Human Rights Commission, Sunday Times, SABPP and BMF.

In addition to announcing these results, Business Engage is also putting out a call to businesses for entries in the company’s corporate categories. These categories encourage the private sector to buy-in to achieving more meaningful representation of women in mainstream of business.

“Our corporate categories include different levels of diversity to accommodate various businesses,” states Larsen. “Some businesses, for example, are just starting on their journey to diversity, so we want to make sure we use these awards as a springboard to further achievements. There is no cost to submitting an application meaning there is nothing to lose.”

For more information about Business Engage, please visit For more information about the 8th Gender Mainstreaming Awards, please visit and

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