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Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa MD recognised with top gender empowerment award

Johannesburg, 05 October 2020 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) managing director Velaphi Ratshefola has emerged as the winner in the Top Gender Empowered: Male Driving Gender Empowerment category at the 17th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards for the second year running.

The Standard Bank Top Women Awards celebrate top women and the companies behind them, while also honouring and applauding outstanding leadership, vision, and innovation in organisations that have ensured that women assume leadership and strategic positions in their organisations. The awards cover all major economic sectors, and recognise businesses from small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) to big companies in the public and private sectors.

Commenting on being awarded this accolade two years in a row Ratshefola said, “It is a tremendous honour to be recognised in this forum again. This award is a testament to the hard work, dedication and belief that we hold as an organisation that women are phenomenal and capable leaders. When we embarked on our transformation journey, it was never with the aim of getting recognition externally but what we sought to do, was commit ourselves to doing what is right in terms of correcting past imbalances and ensuring the inclusion of women in all spheres of our organisation, especially at executive and senior leadership level – where they are a critical part of decision-making.

Finalists and winners were selected on their ability to foster an environment of diversity and inclusion for people from all walks of life.

CCBSA’s comprehensive drive to empower women inside its organisation, as well as its supply chain received high acclaim from award judges.

Congratulating Ratshefola, CCBA CEO, Jacques Vermeulen said, “Since inception, CCBSA took bold steps to contribute meaningfully to the country’s ideal of being an inclusive and transformed organisation.”

In 2018, the company launched Women@CCBSA, a women-led network which allows women the space to engage, coach and mentor each other and ensure they reach their full potential. The company now has 40.5% women in senior management, 44% in middle management and 33.2% in junior management.

Through its many initiatives in the supply chain, CCBSA has transformed R3.4 billion of its preferential procurement spend in 2019 alone, supporting 805 black-owned suppliers, 413 of whom are black females.

Vermeulen added, “For CCBSA, transformation of its workforce, from the factory floor to the highest executive level, is about so much more than ticking a box. We believe that gender equality is an essential asset that will stand any organisation in good stead that plans to grow their businesses and touch the lives of people in the communities where they operate either through employment, supplier and enterprise development programmes.”

“I am truly humbled by this accolade for the work we are doing at CCBSA around gender diversity and inclusion. As leaders, we must always set the tone and exemplify what we preach. For as long as I have the platform, I will advance the cause of women and gender parity in my professional and personal life. My personal challenge was to drive and entrench a sustained process and culture that would become a part of how we do business at CCBSA.

I believe that no institution will survive the future if women are not given the chance to play an integral and strategic role to make a tangible contribution towards the success of their organisations,” concludes Ratshefola.