This year the CEO SleepOut has moved the date of the charity event to accommodate a request from Minister of Women Susan Shabangu.
Shabangu asked for the date change so that the event could be used as a tool for raising awareness around gender violence - and to commemorate the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings.
So, this year the event is renamed The SheEO SleepOut and the idea is that women in business spend the night of August 8 sleeping out at the Women’s Prison at Constitution Hill.
The event’s brand ambassadors are former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Professor Yvonne Mokgoro, former Constitutional Court justice. Madonsela said that members of the community needed to be proactive instead of expecting government intervention and Mokgoro added that she supports the event because the statistics prove that women are not as equally involved in all aspects of life despite us having the most inclusive and progressive Constitution in the world.
With just a month to go before the event, the list of participants is shaping up nicely with more than 30 women signed up already from organisations around the country.
Among them are Mamokgethi Phakeng, deputy vice chancellor, Adopt-a-learner Foundation; Lorato Mogaki, executive head, Anglo American Platinum; Alexia Shuenyane, executive head of Human Capital, Bidvest Bank; Busisiwe Mabuza, chairperson, Industrial Development Corporation; Makgotso Letsitsi, executive director - head of advisory, KPMG; Angela Mhlanga, chief executive officer, Standard Bank; Faith Khanyile, chief executive officer, WDB Investment Holdings; and Roberta Naicker, managing director, Africa Business News.
Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Khumalo - head of public sector financing, Investec Bank: “South African nees a new approach to change. Government and business must work together, and be passionate and imaginative about shaping a new future!"
Candice Keick: client development at O’Keeffe and Swartz: “As South Africans we cannot change our future by simply thinking about it. We need to stand up and demonstrate the change that is needed.”
Beth McGuinness - managing partner, IQ Business - “We can each contribute towards the change we want to see in our own way; the time to start is now.”
Busisiwe Mabuza, the chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation: “Leaders (both in government and the private sector) are central to driving change in South Africa. And SheEO SleepOut Inititive is a classic example of that change. I am SHE and I am participating in the SheEO Sleepout this year.”Picture: Elizabeth Sejake
Mamokgethi Phakeng, deputy vice-chancellor of Adopt-a-Learner Foundation. “Working together to make South Africa a better place to live in is in our interests. It is not only for those we help, it is for us too. How can we be comfortable, when those around us live in abject poverty?". Picture: Elizabeth Sejake
This year’s charity is Door of Hope, an organisation that cares for abandoned babies and the organisers are calling on as many women in business as possible to sign up and take part.
Male CEOs who have taken part in previous years are challenged to nominate colleagues for the event - and donate themselves too. - Lesley Mpofu
This article was amended on August 4 to reflect the change in venue. The original article stated that the sleepout would take place at the Union Buildings.