Impact SA

Bayer inspires inclusion with 2024 Women Empowerment Awards

Debra Mallowah - Bayer Africa_edited

At the heart of transformative change lie women entrepreneurs who are breaking barriers, leading innovation, and impacting communities. In honour of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Bayer Foundation has announced that entries are now open for the 2024 Women Empowerment Awards.

This initiative is a celebration of women who are pioneering solutions and leading transformative change in health, nutrition, and climate-smart initiatives, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Bayer Foundation has partnered the Impact Hub Network which comprises over 100 local communities worldwide, with members and partner organisations represented in over 60 countries. These hubs advocate for socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable businesses within the economy, actively fostering social innovations and supporting startups.

While women face challenges worldwide, the focus of this year’s Women Empowerment Awards centres around entrepreneurs from Asia Pacfic, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Fifteen inspiring winners from across these regions will be selected to participate in a 6-month accelerator programme, including a €25,000 cash prize, personalised mentorship, visibility through branded communication activities, a sponsored trip to the award ceremony in Berlin and access to the extensive Alumni Network including the Bayer AG’s expert network.

Aligned with their mission of “Health for All. Hunger for None,” Bayer South East Africa has also announced that this year’s theme for the region to mark International Women’s Day is to Inspire Inclusion.

Zandile Ndlovu, Lead of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Bayer South East Africa, says that to her, Inspiring Inclusion means recognising and appreciating the richness that comes from diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds.

“It’s about intentionally creating spaces and cultures where everyone feels welcomed, respected and empowered to fully engage and contribute to the collective goals and success of our organisation,” she says.

Bonolo Molewa, a representative on Bayer South East Africa’s Young Advisory Board, says that her experience within Bayer Crop Science has demonstrated inspired inclusion through great collaborations that continue to contribute to rural communities and economies. This includes supporting smallholder farmers, a majority of whom are women, while also working to expand access to everyday health for women and children in underserved communities.

“We have partnered with GrainSA through the Farmer Development Programme which fosters good farming practicies and products to smallholder farmers in South Africa,“ Molewa adds.

“Recognising International Women’s Day is not only a symbolic gesture but also a tangible way to demonstrate our commitment to gender equality, to celebrate women’s achievements and to foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture,” Ndlovu adds. In 2023, Debra Mallowah was appointed as Bayer’s first ever female lead in Africa for Crop Science, further reinforces Bayer’s commitment to building a more equitable and diverse workforce.

Bayer’s 100 million sustainability goals also reflect their commitment to driving innovation in women’s health and empowering female customers to self-directed and healthy lives. Moreover, Bayer has reaffirmed their commitment to providing 100 million women with access to affordable and modern contraception.

In today’s world, women continue to encounter significant challenges that hinder their success. The Bayer Foundation Women Empowerment Awards, along with subsequent empowerment campaigns, aim to enhance their capacity to generate social impact through grounbreaking inovation, seeking women-led enterptrises that constibute to driving social change and improving communities.

The application deadline for the Women Empowerment Award is 27 March 2024, with more information available here. Follow Bayer’s global social media channels throughout the month of March to learn more about how they are impacting 100 million futures.

Image: In 2023, Debra Mallowah was appointed as Bayer’s first ever female lead in Africa for Crop Science, further reinforces Bayer’s commitment to building a more equitable and diverse workforce.


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