The leading cement supplier in southern Africa, PPC Ltd was honoured with three awards at the 2014 Gender Mainstreaming awards held at Vodaworld in Midrand on the 21st of August.
The awards, which were first conceptualised by Business Engage in 2012, give recognition to those organisations that have demonstrated good practice and distinction in tackling gender mainstreaming. The ultimate aim is to stimulate positive conversation on gender equality in the public domain and encourage the private sector to become more focused on achieving meaningful representation of women in the mainstream of business.
Business Engage CEO Colleen Larsen shared the following insight on the issue of gender mainstreaming, “We are only at the beginning of this journey. Yes, we have started, yes, we have made meaningful strides, and yes, more and more women and men are getting the message. That said we should be mindful that globally, gender as a private sector issue in any form is only a decade old.”
PPC, who were nominated in seven of the nine private sector categories managed to scoop the following three awards on the night – Diversity and Transformation, Economic Empowerment and Gender & Disability. In addition, they were also named first runner up in three categories including: Equal Representation and Participation, Investing in Young Women and Women on Boards.
“This initiative, through Business Engage, has given us a scorecard to change the future of Africa for the better” said PPC Group CSI Manager, Francie Shonhiwa. On the issue of gender mainstreaming, Shonhiwa had the following to say, “It’s not about women versus men, we can’t push one agenda, we have to be equal.” Shonhiwa advised that PPC is not only about cement but also about going “beyond the bag” and transforming lives for the better.
“We believe in the empowerment ofall women, when a woman is given an opportunity, she will more than rise to the occasion and show the world just how powerful she can be. The PPC woman has been, and continues to be given the opportunity,” said Shonhiwa.
As the evening progressed, PPC received high praise from many of the speakers, including Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission, Advocate Bokankatla J Malatji who served as a judge on the Gender & Disability award category and had the following to say about PPC, “Please continue being a good example to all other businesses, never be ashamed of always trying to be number one.”
On PPC’s wins at the awards and their overall dedication to gender mainstreaming, Larsen had the following to say, “What can be said about PPC? Overall gender mainstreaming champions for 2013, runners up and winners in various categories this year; fantastic! But, that only tells a part of what PPC is about and in turn what the awards and gender mainstreaming itself is about.
PPC has been invited over the past year to address a number of corporates in South Africa, to share their knowledge and experiences, and we would strongly urge you to follow their spirit of collaboration.”
The first awards were successfully held at the Johannesburg City Hall on 22nd August 2013 and PPC took three awards including the Empowerment Initiative award, the Mainstreaming Gender and Disability award and the overall Gender Mainstreaming award champion.