Top Women Awards

20 Judges

800 Attendees

24 Award Categories

15 August 2019 | Emperors Palace

Are you ready to showcase your gender empowerment?

Celebrating top women and the companies behind them. These annual awards honour and applaud outstanding leadership, inspiration, vision and innovation, in organisations that play a role in advancing women to the forefront of the economy. Covering all major economic sectors, and awarding business from SMME- to national-level. Enter for or sponsor your chosen award – or book your VIP table to share in the excitement and inspiration.

5 reasons to Enter

Winning a Top Women Award entitles you to a range of digital collateral to help you promote your gender-empowered status.

Winners will receive PR and multi-channel marketing exposure, promoting their winning status on our website and to our email subscribers.

Participating in the awards is a great way to honour your employees and build your brand by measuring  your performance against South Africa’s most gender-empowered companies.

A nomination will differentiate your business from competitors’ and raise your profile to attract investors and key industry stakeholders.

You will get the opportunity to network with other business people who are passionate about gender empowerment.

Take part in the Top Women Awards Here

Entry Option

Showcase your Gender Empowerment

General Criteria

  • The quality of your entry’s content is critical to the judging process.
  • Keep information brief and succinct. 1 200 words max.
  • Do not use press release material.
  • Supporting documentation unaccompanied by a motivation will not be read.
  • All entrants will be reviewed on these general criteria, as well as:

Other Criteria

Annual revenue generated must be above R35 million, except in the case of SME or individual awards.Only companies with a valid SANAS B-BBEE Certificate will qualify. Following your initial entry, additional information may be requested from you, for example:


  • Number of employees year-on-year 2015, 2016, 2017 or evidence of employment creation
  • Audited annual turnover for financial years 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Procurement from local suppliers for financial years 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Skills development spend on critical skills and/or core skills as a percentage of turnover for financial years 2015, 2016, 2017

The Standard Bank Top Women Award Categories

Organisation Awards

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Resources

Open to all mining, oil, gas and alternative energy companies that have a significant and growing number of women succeeding at all levels of management within the company.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Retail

Hardline, broadline and soft good retailers, as well as shopping centres, warehouse and wholesale concerns, and distributors may enter this category. These are organisations where women are fundamental to driving growth.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Tourism

Sponsored by Msinsi

Independent hotels, hotel chains, gaming and leisure resorts, exhibition and conference facilities, restaurant and pub holding companies, airlines, and on- and offline agents where women are driving growth and expansion will be considered for this award.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Health & Pharmaceutical

Hospitals, medical suppliers, pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology firms, spas and alternative healthcare companies that can demonstrate a healthy level of gender empowerment at all levels are invited to enter this category.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Transport

This category is open to airlines and airports; rail, road and freight operations; shipping and ports managers; import and export businesses; as well as alternative transport and logistics companies that have displayed an improvement in gender empowerment.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Energy and Utilities

Sponsored by Mdito Business Enterprises

This category is open to organisations creating energy-innovative or -alternative products, process-through-design improvements, source reduction, or energy or emissions reduction products that result in a reduced environmental impact while also empowering women.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Construction and Infrastructure Development

Sponsored by Mahlako a Phahla

Open to organisations in construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, engineering and other manufacturing concerns, this category recognises gender-strong organisations involved in the innovative, sustainable and efficient development that promotes business operations and economic growth.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Information and Communications Technology

Organisations involved in information technology hardware, software, fintech and computing service industries that are able to show women making strides through tech-based application and innovation may enter this category.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Biodiversity, Conservation and Environmental Management

Sponsored by SANBI

This category is open to women-led organisations that provide a product, service or programme that supports the growth of the Green Economy in South Africa by facilitating access to biodiversity data, and coordinating and interpreting such knowledge and evidence to support biodiversity policies and decisions. Organisations supporting the conservation of biodiversity in South Africa’s national parks and botanical gardens will also be considered.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Public Sector

Sponsored by Public Sector Manager

Reserved for parastatals, state-owned enterprises, government departments and municipalities, this category recognises the body with the highest level of gender empowerment, from staff to suppliers, through their programmes and policies. High levels of service delivery to the people of South Africa is a supporting factor.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Fast-growth women-owned SMME

Small, medium or micro-sized enterprises operating only in South Africa with an annual turnover of R5- to R35-million are eligible to enter this category. These companies must demonstrate success in empowering women in the workplace and must have seen significant growth over a three-year period.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Diversity in the workplace

Sponsored by Magethi Industrial Psychology Services

Multicultural and notably gender-empowered organisations demonstrating preferential recruitment policies and skills development programmes that have championed female representation in the workplace will be considered for this award.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Skills Development

Sponsored by EWC

Focusing on intensive learnership and skills development programmes that increase the capability of and opportunities for women, this category assesses how entrants are broadening women’s career prospects.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Corporate Citizenship

Sponsored by ITHUBA

Organisations demonstrating the greatest positive impact on quality of life and economic prosperity for South African women and girls may enter this category. The impact these efforts have had on building a gender-empowered culture within the organisation will also be assessed.

Top Gender-Empowered Organisation: Business of the Year

This most prestigious award is conferred upon the organisation that demonstrates exceptional practices, primarily in the HR or transformation divisions of the company. Those in contention must demonstrate processes, policies and procedures that ensure the employment of women, increase their skills development, provide a clear path for their advancement, and position themselves as a powerhouse at the forefront of gender empowerment.

Individual Awards

Top Woman in Aviation

Women providing networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for females striving to establish fulfilling careers in the challenging aviation and aerospace industries are eligible to enter this category.

Top Woman in Property

Female residential and commercial property executives operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry who have demonstrated the ability to steer their business through turbulent times and apply their business acumen to keep the organisation afloat.

Top Woman in Science

Sponsored by PPS

Top female executives who have demonstrated admirable leadership, business acumen and strategic foresight that has driven exceptional performance in health and science may be nominated in this category. Women from the medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, engineering, chemistry and other scientific fields may enter.

Top Woman in ICT

Sponsored by BBD

Women using technology to enable development and innovation, create employment, uplift other women and equip society at large with the skills necessary to function in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are invited to enter this category.

Top Woman Public Sector Leader

Sponsored by Motheo TVET College

This category is open to women working in the public sector who have demonstrated excellence in performance and delivery; and who have raised the visibility of women in government.

Top Gender Empowered Individual: Male Driving Gender Empowerment

Reserved for the male executive, leader or CEO who has been implementing and achieving gender empowerment initiatives, policies and programmes, and who can demonstrate the growth and success generated by his vision.

Top Woman Young Achiever

Sponsored by Standard Bank

Candidates in this category will be recognised for their contribution to the economy and growing employment in their enterprises. These women under 40 have contributed to their organisation’s positive success and performance through innovative strategies and solutions.

Top Woman Entrepreneur

Sponsored by Standard Bank

Entrepreneurs at the helm of companies with a turnover of R5- to R35-million who embody excellence, ingenuity and integrity are eligible to enter this category.

Businesswoman of the Year

Senior women executives who have shown exceptional performance, astute leadership, business acumen and strategic foresight in gender empowerment are invited to enter this category.

Headline Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor


Award Sponsors


Strategic Partner


Awards Lifestyle Partner

Breakaway Partner

Travel Partner

Premium Lifestyle Partner


The Standard Bank Top Women regional conferences: Giving Entrepreneurs access to markets

For women entrepreneurs, the biggest barrier to success is usually not business intelligence or innovative business models, but simply access to trade or markets – They have products and services but WHERE and HOW do they find opportunities to gain more clients and market share – locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally? Big corporates have recently been mandated through B-BEE and Supplier Development funding to start doing more business with black women owned suppliers. If South Africa’s entrepreneurial women can open up such opportunities their productivity will soar, job creation will increase and their success will ripple outwards into the wider economy.

The national Standard Bank Top Women Conference takes place in Johannesburg every August – but calls have come in from thousands of women around the country, who want to participate and boost their business prospects. Now, regional Top Women Conferences will travel to four key regions in the coming months, to reach out to entrepreneurial women in Cape Town, P.E, KZN and Limpopo, who can look forward to hearing first-hand from successful Top Women Awards winners. Attendees will come away with a new game plan for success, based on the personal journeys related by these women leaders – and a clearer idea of where and how to grow their own businesses.

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

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