About Top Women

There are still various barriers that prevent women from fully participating at the highest levels of business and government. Janine Hicks from the Commission for Gender Equality states that, “In South Africa, women represent just 29% of executive managers, 22% of directors of companies, 9% of chairs of boards and a mere 2.4% of chief executives. Under the employment equity legislation, companies are required to conduct an audit to assess what internal policies can be put in place to lower barriers that women face.”

Top Women Publication

Top Women celebrates South African organisations, in both the public and private sectors, that prioritise gender empowerment within their business strategies. Our well-established platform – comprising publication, digital, awards and conference – drives awareness locally and internationally around the value and impact of women in leadership.

Backed by nearly 15 years’ of research, the annual Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication is the country’s authoritative source on top gender empowered companies

The publication includes listed and unlisted companies with a turnover of above R35-million, SMEs with an annual turnover that ranges from R5-R35 million, as well as public sector organisations. Only qualifying companies are profiled in the publication.

Measured against rigorous criteria, organisations achieve scores based on the representation of women in senior positions, gender empowerment policies, ownership and percentage of female staff.


Top Women Conference

A must-attend conference for Women in Business

After twenty years of democracy the gender agenda is a question of how we can effectively reach the 50/50 gender parity goal, not only in line with the South African Gender Equity Bill but also in pursuit of the global Planet 50/50 By 2030 vision.

these stats underscore the importance of the annual Standard Bank Top Women Conference, in which industry experts unpack the business imperative tools and case studies on how key decision makers can influence policies and strategies effectively to accelerate bridging the gender gap in key decision making roles.

South Africa, while ranking as one of the countries with the highest number of female CEOs in Africa, only has 11.6% women CEOs and Chairpersons across all sectors and, of the 25 largest listed companies, only 2% have 21% or more director positions held by women. Top Women, together with our empowered and influential community across South Africa and Africa, is going to change these figures.

Top Women Awards

The annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards bridges the gap between the public and private sector and, each year, reaches an audience of over 700 key decision makers. In 2014 Standard Bank of South Africa took up the platinum naming rights to the Top Women Awards; hence the official title, Standard Bank Top Women Awards.

Our awards alumni currently sits at nearly 300 organisations and individuals who have been recognised and celebrated. The event, heading into its 17th anniversary year, will once again acknowledge the most sustainable and most successful gender empowerment strategies of organisations, across all sectors, in the August 2020 awards ceremony.

Top Media’s

Certification from the southern African association for the conference industry


Celebrating visionary organisations that prioritise gender empowerment as integral to their strategy for growth and success.

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