Imperial is committed to gender diversity and to advancing gender equality in all spheres and at all levels of the organisation.

We believe that a successful, sustainable business is one in which everyone can thrive and advance, and that our people are key to realising our strategic ambitions. Accelerating gender diversity is thus a strategic imperative for Imperial. It is integral to our goal to achieve a workforce that represents the demographics in our countries of operation and ensuring relevance in our markets. It offers a competitive advantage because diverse teams with varied experiences, backgrounds and styles are better able to meet the needs of a diverse client base. Empowering, advancing and investing in women enables us to deliver optimal value to all our stakeholders.

Our Global Women’s Forum is one of the initiatives that Imperial is leveraging to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women are prioritised across all of our operations and regions. With representatives from around the world, the forum’s mission is to support the development and the advancement of women across the group, across the world. Its focus areas include mentoring and training, graduate programmes, industry positioning and targets for women in senior leadership roles. Creating an empowering and enabling culture for women to grow, motivate and network with each other across the group is also a key focus.

Regional representatives meet quarterly to progress strategic initiatives and identify global issues impacting women.

Read more about women@imperial

Global
Women's Forum

Our Global Women’s Forum was officially constituted on 3 October 2019 - with representatives from each division, alongside group representatives.

  • Our Vision: achieve gender equality and empowerment of the women of Imperial
  • Our Mission: promote opportunities that support the development and the advancement of women within Imperial

The forum’s focus areas will include mentoring and training requirements, graduate programme objectives, industry positioning and targets for women in senior leadership roles. Creating an empowering and enabling culture for women to grow, motivate and network with each other across the group is also a key focus.

The diverse EXCO of the forum is constituted as follows:

Esha Mansingh

Executive Vice President: Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations

    Esha Mansingh is currently the only woman serving on Imperial’s executive committee and is responsible for key strategic stakeholder communications across the group - including investor relations, media liaison, communications, sustainability, ESG and integrated reporting. Esha has been instrumental in driving the first Global Women’s Forum at the company as well as intrinsically involved in creating a female led culture underpinned by true empowerment, to create opportunities for women within the organisation and the community. She has supported the business to invest in and lead female initiatives.

    Esha also steers the group’s corporate social investment initiatives and Imperial’s partnership and sponsorship of the iconic Imperial Wanderers Stadium. These initiatives are focused on uniting people through sports and sports development - including developing women in communities and in sport. She currently serves as a director of the Imperial and Motus Community Trust, the Unjani Clinics NPC, and is a founding member and director of the Investor Relations Society of South Africa.

    Niki Cronje

    Vice President: Marketing, Sponsorship & Brand

      Having played a fundamental role in the development of road safety advocacy for the Imperial Group, over the past 9 years, Niki has taken this deep passion for brand building and CSI initiatives and has reignited road safety, as well as the three other pillars of CSI for the brand including: education, healthcare and sports development. Her aim is to create a truly holistic approach to CSI outreach – intrinsically looking inward to develop key areas that impact South Africa’s youth.

      She is passionate about education and its transformative power and - as a mother of three – she is an energetic advocate for the empowerment of young children through practical learning and knowledge acquisition.

      Niki believes the Women’s Forum will give the talented and committed women of Imperial a much needed voice – and will provide a platform for learning, sharing and sisterhood.

      Siphiwe
      Madiba-Vara

      Senior Vice President: People & Culture | Projects

        Siphiwe believes deeply in the power of community to drive sustainably change. Whether at church or at home in her kitchen, she has seen what women can achieve when they join forces! Siphiwe is accordingly hopeful that the Women’s Forum will be a vibrant, inspirational community for the women of Imperial. Siphiwe also has her eye on a larger prize and believes the Forum has the potential to change not only our business but the industry at large!

        Sandi Ntshongwana

        Vice President: People & Culture | Market Access | Consumer

          Since joining Imperial in 2017, Sandi has always looked at ways of being part of the solution in combating gender inequality. In her personal capacity, she volunteers her time in various women empowerment organisations, namely FOTAD (Future of the African Daughter) and Qina Maqhikiza Solution Cooperative (translation: ‘The strong and wise woman’). Central to the activities of these organisations is the focus on the power of education, mentorship programs, an empowered future for women and girls, and integrating men into the solutions.

          She hopes that the Women’s Forum will be the beginning of ‘sisterhood at work’ within Imperial where we can build each other up and positively impact the future of women so that they are able to do the same within their communities.

          Sibongile Zikalala

          Transformation Director | South Africa

            Part of the business for 11 years now, Sibongile is a passionate advocate for education, self-empowerment and community development. She hopes that the Forum will inspire women at Imperial to step up on their career aspirations and be bold enough to occupy roles currently occupied by males. Women should also be better able to identify outstanding mentors that will take them through the journey of their empowerment - and likewise fulfil the role of outstanding mentors themselves.

            Nomawethu Ringani

            Executive Assistant

              Noma recently joined the Global Women’s Forum Exco as Administrator and loves being part of such an empowering forum that focuses on the support, development & mentoring of women across the Imperial business. She has over 10 years’ experience as an Executive Assistant and is currently a 3rd year student studying towards a BBA Marketing Degree. Noma enjoys giving back as she believes that we are more blessed in giving than receiving.

              Tanja Vinnepand

              Head of Marketing | International

                Tanja joined the business in 2012 and heads up marketing and communications for a highly-diversified portfolio of companies and activities at Imperial’s International division. She’s proud to have been selected as a member of the Global and International Women’s Forum, considers it an ideal vehicle to give women a voice and empower them, and looks forward to sharing her experience and insight to help her female fellows share in her career success. “Today, logistics is not really a women’s business. But, if we stand our ground and excel . . . tomorrow, it will be!”

                Melissa Arjoonan

                Vice President | Marketing & Communications

                  Melissa joined Imperial at the beginning of 2021 and leads the Marketing & Communications function for the Group. She is committed to challenging gender bias and believes that the Global Women’s Forum is a crucial platform for uplifting and empowering women in the workplace and in our communities. The Forum also fosters a healthy and safe environment for women in the workplace to support dialogues around holistic well-being.

                  Liza Clay

                  Vice President | People & Culture | Organisational Effectiveness

                    Liza leads Organisational Effectiveness for the Imperial Group. This capability prioritises our ‘One Imperial’ culture, focuses on building an organization that values and empowers talent across the group. Liza is an accredited ICF coach and is passionate about transforming businesses through leaders. She believes that to achieve the strategic ambitions that Imperial has set rests in the hands and hearts of all our people and she hopes to influence the Imperial EVP to attract, retain and enable achievement of the Imperial vision amongst our existing and future talent.

                    Lauren Rota

                    Vice President: Group Environmental, Social & Governance

                      Lauren joined Imperial in 2020 and leads the ESG function for the Group, which considers the social factors that will make Imperial resilient. Equality for women within the workforce and the communities in which Imperial operates is not only a human right, but it makes communities healthier and safer and is also good for business and the wider economy. She believes that an effective Global Women’s Forum will be an important platform for female colleagues to empower each other, toward achieving true equality within the organisation. Beyond our fenceline, bringing a gender equality lens to our CSI initiatives is also important toward Imperial’s gender diversity objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals, and validates our education and healthcare focus.

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