Finalists Compete for Businesswoman of the Year Award

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- A list of finalists for the 2001 Businesswoman of the Year contest was announced Monday by the Businesswomen's Association (BWA), organisers of the most prestigious award for women achievers in South Africa.
In contention are Lulu Gwagwa, the first woman to lead the Independent Development Trust, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, television talkshow host, businesswoman and author, Almorie Maule, the first woman to run Engen petroleum company, Moira Moses, the managing director who helped turn Land Rover South Africa into a billion- rand company and Maria Ramos, head of the National Treasury.
"The superb line-up of contenders for the 2001 BWOYA illustrates the contribution women are making to the economy and country as a whole", said BWA president Dawn Marole.
"The award is 21 years old this year.
In many respects we're entering a new era as the contribution of women in business to the economy draws greater recognition and acknowledgement wordwide.
" The banquet to announce the winner of the award will be held on 22 August at Caesars Palace in Johannesburg.
The current Businesswoman of the Year is Irene Charnley, executive director of Johnnic Holdings and chairman of M-Cell.
Since the inception of the award in 1980, the objectives of the organisers have remained consistent over the years: To recognise the success of women leaders in business, thereby creating a cadre of female role models whose achievements will inspire other women to raise their sights and reach their goals.
They also aim at creating a mechanism for applauding and celebrating women's contribution to the economy and to use the event as a fund-raiser to offer bursaries for women for business studies.
Entries were always open to all racial and ethnic groups, despite the objections of the former apartheid government.
Among early winners were the now deceased Marina Maponya (1982), director of Maponya Group and Dawn Mokhobo (1993), senior human resources manager at Eskom.
Figures from the ALL Media Products Survey (AMPS) show that by 1999 women formed 40 percent of the national workforce - up from 34 percent in 1990.
The number of female managers is also growing.
In 1990, 19 percent of managers were women.
By the end of the decade this figure rose to 28 percent.
Nedbank For Business which is sponsoring the event also monitors international trends.
As an example, 25 years ago in the United States, 4,000 women owned businesses.
Today's figure is close to eight million, with these women contributing $2.
3 trillion in sales and employing 18 million people.

10 july 2001 13:46:00

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