Way Women Work

The Way Women Work is the place created especially for women from developing and emerging markets to seek/share career and business advice. Their goal is to complement and support the good work that organisations like the BWA around the world by providing regular career and business advice and interviews with successful businesswomen from around the world that is developed specifically for women.

Africa Businesswomen's Network


An important leadership conference held by the Africa Businesswomen’s Network (ABWN) in Johannesburg over the past few days has led to meaningful partnerships and strategies being developed to stimulate and support entrepreneurial programmes for women on the African continent.

Coordinated by US-based Vital Voices Global Partnership, an NGO that focus on empowering women economically and politically throughout the world and that founded the ABWN in 2009, the event was attended by businesswomen from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda with a view to growing entrepreneurship amongst women in these countries and many others.

One of the highlights of the three day event was a panel discussion on women’s leadership in business, featuring a number of standout panelists such as: Margaret Hirsch, Chief Operating Officer of Hirsh’s Homestores – the winner of this year’s South African Businesswoman of the Year Award (Entrepreneurial Category); Vuyo Mahlati, President of the International Women’s Federation-South Africa (IWF-SA) and a a judge at this year’s SA Businesswoman of the Year Award; and Mizinga Melu, Country CEO for Standard Chartered in Zambia, which is also the ABWN’s Africa Regional Sponsor. The founding global sponsor is the ExxonMobil Foundation.

Among topics covered by the panel discussion included how women have a different leadership style to men, how they are able to overcome challenges, and how they can create a better environment for female entrepreneurs. 

According to Celena Green, Senior Programme Officer-Africa, for Vital Voices Global Partnership, deliberations at the event also assisted the ABWN to make significant progress in building entrepreneurial direction, capacity and resolve that will economically empower women throughout the continent.

“Our meeting here in Johannesburg definitely helped the ABWN to strengthen corporate partnerships and engage with member associations towards building a stronger entrepreneurial outlook for women on the continent,” said Green, who is based in Washington D.C.

“This was also an extremely important opportunity to set the strategic direction for the network as it focuses on building entrepreneurial momentum for women across Africa.”

Vital Voices, which was founded in 2000is today an independent NGO that identifies and invests in women’s leadership around the world. In South Africa its partner is the well-established Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, the local partner of the Africa Businesswomen’s Network.

The Vital Voices ABWN arranges regional meetings of its partner associations, with August’s meeting in Johannesburg being the sixth gathering of ABWN members since 2009. The meetings enable ABWN local partners, stakeholders and women entrepreneurs to see and experience the work of businesswomen’s associations in other countries and to meet businesswomen and key stakeholders for women’s economic empowerment across Africa.

With full sponsorship from Vital Voices, Standard Chartered and the ExxonMobil Foundation, each country partner is able to send a delegation of three members to the ABWN’s regional meetings.

“By investing in the leadership of women entrepreneurs and the local partners, the ABWN continually builds the capacity and strength of the network. Each meeting builds on cumulative knowledge, experiences, and decisions of the network and its member associations and partners,” added Green. 

Information about previous and current activities can also be found in the ABWN newsletter, or on (Africa Businesswomen’s Network).

Since its founding in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, Vital Voices has empowered thousands of emerging women leaders around the world to make significant advancements in women’s economic empowerment, political participation, and human rights. Vital Voices believes that women’s empowerment and equality must be central to the future development of all nations.

Vital Voices is a founding partner and convener of the Africa Businesswomen’s Network, building upon its experience and success with the Middle East-North Africa Businesswomen’s Network (MENA BWN) launched by Vital Voices and businesswomen’s associations in the MENA region in 2006, and which has grown to 12 member countries serving over 20,000 women. The Latin America Businesswomen’s Network was launched in July 2011 in Mexico with three member associations, and an Asia Businesswomen’s Network is currently being developed. Vital Voices will continue to build upon this experience and share learnings and opportunities across the globe as we build the Global Businesswomen’s Network.


Headline Sponsor




BWA Cape Town Auction...

Read More ...



BWA Durban: International Women's Day Newsletter...

Read More ...



BWA PE Invitation to Participate in an Amateur Photo Exhibition!...

Read More ...




BWA Durban: Office Warming Cocktail & Networking...

Read More ...



BWA PE- Who is BWA? Information session...

Read More ...



Smartwoman - 27 March 2018...

Read More ...