Supporting women empowerment in Africa through our partnership with the Gender Mainstreaming Awards

11 April 2023

Over the years, the Gender Mainstreaming Awards have proven to be a powerful indicator of the strides made to create more gender-balanced corporate entities.

Business Engage developed the Gender Mainstreaming Awards to encourage and motivate private corporates to buy into achieving more meaningful representation of women in the mainstream of business as a strategic imperative. Individuals are also recognised for their role in the gender mainstreaming journey.

"We believe the best way to influence change is to strengthen and grow the current conversation, then couple that with deliberate actions," says Colleen Larsen, Business Engage.

The awards are hosted annually to reward corporates and individuals for the change they ensure on the ground in terms of gender mainstreaming. The winners and finalists have continued to show remarkable commitments to gender parity. However, more must be done to ensure that issues around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging do not become a tick-box requirement but are inculcated into the culture of African public and private spaces.

"Our partnership with the Gender Mainstreaming Awards aligns closely with our continuous drive for gender diversity, gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace – ensuring that as a business and individuals, we hold ourselves accountable to being the change we want to see," says Esha Mansingh, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations at Imperial, a DP World Company. "We have a long-standing history with Business Engage and have felt the significant impact that these Awards bring to businesses and people. We look forward to this year’s entries and the continued commitment by corporate South Africa to driving and supporting women empowerment."

To drive change, organisations need to refocus their environments to support the development of women alongside their male counterparts – as equals. Both women and men must become agents of gender equality within their workplaces and spheres of influence. Each business leader must become a champion for change, supporting women's advancement into leadership positions by recognising and promoting capable women where it is due.

The Awards have been expanded into Africa for individuals and corporates in East and West Africa. The 10th Gender Mainstreaming Awards in 2022 comprised very successful simultaneous in-person events with 500 attendees in Gauteng, South Africa, 300 in Nairobi, Kenya and 100 in Accra, Ghana. The event was also streamed online, hosting 6,800 attendees from across Africa. Including the entire continent in the Gender Mainstreaming Awards intends to make Africa the gender hub from which stories of success are exported to the rest of the world, rather than constantly importing reports of gender equality.

The 11th Gender Mainstreaming Awards will be held on 5 October 2023, and entries are open for individuals and corporates until 31 May 2023. To view the award categories and enter the awards, visit

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