Africa's Top 10 Women in Business [List]

Africa’s Top 10 Women in Business

BE Siza Mzimela
Siza Mzimela, founder and CEO Fly Blue Crane (Image: File)
Siza Mzimela, CEO, South African Airways (Image: File)

It can be said that it’s a man’s world, but women are holding the power reins in the international business landscape. From law to politics to media to the arts, females are making major boss moves, leading movements, corporations and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Take a look at some of the top 10 women who are at the top of their game in Africa’s business arena:

Siza Mzimela

Mzimela is the first female CEO of South African Airways (SAA), having been appointed to the role in February 2010. She was the first woman to be appointed to the International Air Transport Association’s board of directors in 67 years. Previously CEO of South African Express Airway (SAX), Mzimela’s first job was in the small business and retail division of Standard Bank in 1991. Three years later she joined Total SA as a Corporate Planning Analyst responsible for managing capital projects, before joining SA Airways (SAA) in 1996 as a research analyst. After various promotions at SAA, Mzimela was appointed Executive Vice-President of global passenger services in 2001, later taking on responsibility for global sales and the airline’s Voyager programme. She is also a board member of SA Tourism and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. In 2002, she was a finalist in the Nedbank Businesswoman of the Year Award.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita

CEO of the South African arm of Luxembourg-based global steel company ArcelorMittal, the largest producer of steel on the continent, Nyembezi-Heita has had a difficult year after the firm reported drooping returns and pessimistic projections for the future coming quarters in late July when stock prices hit their lowest low since 2008, slumping to roughly $9 a share. Nyembezi-Heita has attributed the fall to the worldwide economic situation and a slowdown in construction. She has been in her post since 2008, having begun her career as an engineer at IBM’s Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. She then worked for IBM in Dallas before returning to work for the company in South Africa. Nyembezi-Heita then switched direction to head the financial services group, Alliance Capital Management before joining Vodacom as head of its Mergers and Acquisition division.

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