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Top Women Awards

SizweNtsalubaGobodo Chairperson awarded Top Businesswoman of the Year

Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chairperson of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, Southern Africa's largest black owned accounting firm, has been recognised as the Top Businesswoman of the Year at the 11thAnnual Standard Bank Top Women Awards. With an audience of 700 key stakeholders in South African business and government present, the awards honoured the top twenty-six companies, government parastatals, and individuals that have excelled at gender empowerment.

Considered South Africa's largest and most prestigious gender empowerment awards, the awards ceremony took place at Emperors Palace on 14 August and also saw the firm walking away withthe Top Gender Empowered Company: Financial Award. SizweNtsalubaGobodo currently has a combined national staff complement of approximately one thousand employees of which 41% of senior management positions and 20% of top management are held by women. In terms of ownership 23% of the firm is owned by women.

Commenting on the awards Gobodo said: "It is a huge honour being nominated for both these prestigious awards in the company of some of the country’s greatest gender empowerment leadersand organisations. As a firm we are deeply committed to building South Africa as a cohesive nation, and view job creation as a key lever to addressing the socio-economic imperatives of the country.

Job creation and job preservation is a fundamental element in bringing about meaningful change to the local economic landscape. Here through the attraction and retention of black women chartered accountants in the accounting and audit industry, SizweNtsalubaGobodo is actively bridging the equity gap within the profession and the country as a whole,” she comments.

Pfizer Corporate Affairs, Policy & Communications Director, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler detailed the external judging process that took place on 16 July at the Sheraton Hotel. "For these Awards we are looking for excellence, leadership, in terms of potential, and currently what are they doing to change the face of women empowerment within the various organisations and companies,” says Gunkel-Keuler. "It is not necessarily about awareness anymore, but around implementation.”

As part of the firm’s ongoing efforts to align the firm’s demographics with those of the country, akey focus area for Gobodo has been the establishment the SNG Women’s Leadership Forum. "This provides a platform to nurture and grow female professionals and leadership within the firm.

Here through collaboration we ultimately aim to resolve common issues and alleviate any perceived bottlenecks to career advancement.

"Going forward the firm’s strategy is to ensure that the majority of the directors and managers are from the designated groups. To this end the firm aims to eliminate all unfair discrimination in the work place and afford its employees equal and fair opportunities,” she concludes.