The Positive Role Model Award recognises women who have grown in their careers as well as to those women who understand the responsibility that comes with being a role model while inspiring others to do the same.

Mabuza is one of South Africa’s leading businesswomen and a true example of black excellence. She is the first black female to run a Lottery Operation in South Africa. Her hard work and resilience have been exemplary and have inspired other women, especially young women to pursue their dreams.

ITHUBA CEO, Charmaine Mabuza, “I am honoured for being recognised as this year's overall Champion in the Positive Role Model category. Over the years, I have strived to pull women off the sidelines and to ensure that they are fully integrated into decision-making positions. This is important to me as a black female leader who is not immune to both racial and gender discrimination.”

“At ITHUBA we have been deliberate in implementing women empowerment programmes that are impactful and measurable. In my view as well as the position shared by the board of directors of ITHUBA, is that economically active women must be a strategic focus for our country to make sustainable socio-economic progress. If this is our ethical stand, we must lead by example. At ITHUBA, 60% of our Executive team are women. Our women empowerment programmes are an integral part of our business. We are very clear that we cannot have a sustainable economy if women are still on the fringes”, said Mabuza.

Through the company’s CSI initiatives and her outstanding leadership, Mabuza has become a role model for women across South Africa and an advocate for women in leadership positions, giving support to female entrepreneurs, mentoring women, and closest to her heart, investing in young people and education.

Amongst many other accolades, Mabuza was awarded the Top Empowered Business Leader of the Year Award by Top Empowerment this year. This award celebrates outstanding leadership demonstrated by South African business leaders who drive transformation and empowerment through their business operations.

Business Engage launched the Gender Mainstreaming Awards in 2013 to encourage the private sector to prioritise meaningful representation of women in mainstream business. The company is at the forefront of strategic thinking on gender mainstreaming in the private sector in Southern Africa. It has hosted a number of events that celebrate diversity in the workplace and provides education about best practices in gender mainstreaming.