Woman of Substance™
During the month of August, the AWCA holds its annual Woman of Substance Awards Fundraising Gala, where the award is bestowed upon deserving recipient. The event is not only about honouring a woman who has reached the pinnacle of their professional journey and has demonstrated commitment towards the development of women and communities, but also a platform whereby funds are raised for the AWCA bursary programme. In light of a key challenge facing aspirant Chartered Accountants being a lack of funding, the AWCA bursary programme was launched in 2005. Through which financial support is provided to black female students studying towards the Chartered Accountancy (“CA”) qualification. The majority of funds are raised through the annual Woman of Substance Award Gala.The AWCA Woman of Substance Award was created to honour women who drive the erosion of stereotypes and break down barriers for the creation of opportunities for the participation of black women in key strategic areas of business; mentor young women and participate in society by contributing towards social upliftment in communities which they come from or any other communities in South Africa or the rest of continent.
“Every year, AWCA presents an exceptional woman who has played a significant role in the uplifting of black women and has demonstrated quality and successful leadership in areas of governance and business to attain gender equality with the Woman of Substance award. Dr Mahlati was a perfect fit for this award as she is constantly breaking barriers.” said AWCA President Zama Khanyile.
Dr Mahlati honoured with the 2019 AWCA Woman of Substance Award
Dr Mahlati is a gender activist and the Global Director of International Women's Forum. She is also the President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA), as well as the Chairperson of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. In 2018, she was specifically handpicked by the President for the latter role. Dr Mahlati is also serving her second term as a member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission. Her wisdom, especially when speaking on issues of gender activism and advocacy, flows effortlessly — almost as though she’s reciting a Sociology textbook. In Dr Mahlati’s case, righting societal wrongs is ingrained in her. “I’m an authentic person by nature. It feels very weird when I try to conform to things that make no sense to me,” she shares.
Previous recipients of the accolade include:
- 2005: The late Minister Stella Sigcau
- 2006: Ms Gloria Serobe
- 2007: Ms Wendy Luhabe
- 2008: Ms Sindi Zilwa
- 2009: Ms Monhla Hlahla
- 2010: Ms Nonkululeko Gobodo
- 2011: Ms Futhi Mtoba
- 2012: Dr Brigalia Bam
- 2013: Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa
- 2014: Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
- 2015: Adv Thuli Madonsela
- 2016: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
- 2017: Dr Thandi Ndlovu
- 2018: Dr Judy Dlamini
- 2019: Dr Vuyo Mahlathi
AWCA has funded over 80 students from undergrad to postgraduate level who consistently managed to maintain an above 60% pass rate on an annual basis. With Black female Chartered Accountants only making up ~11% of the total number of CAs in the country, we still have a long way to go.