In line with the Amazons Watch (AW) Magazine 2020 vision of showcasing diverse perspectives, insights, strategies & case studies that will challenge women at all levels across emerging economies, to tread uncharted waters and scale new heights, we are excited to bring you our brand new segment- ‘The Spotlight’.
The Spotlight was designed to follow and track the activities of the Magazine’s/CELD’s Honorees and GWL Hall of Fame Inductees to showcase and spotlight their new achievements and heights attained. The aim is to inspire more women as change leaders as well as congratulate these amazing women for their continuous and undying contributions to society.
On this first episode, Reinette van der Merwe, aka ‘The Only Woman in the Boardroom’ is on ‘The Spotlight’.
Let’s take you through the journey of what Reinette has been up to.
Reinette van der Merwe received CELD’s Global Inspirational Leadership Award and was also inducted into the CELD Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame, at the 2019 edition of the South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia Women Summit (SAMEAWS 2019) which held in Dubai-UAE last November 2019. The award was conferred on Reinette owing to her contributions to the growth of the financial services sector in the Southern African Development Community(SADC), as well her role in strengthening financial inclusion across the African region.
She currently serves as the Managing Executive, Relationship Banking Products’ at ABSA Group, and is the immediate past Managing Director of Barclays Bank Botswana.
For more than two decades, Reinette has made immense contributions to the banking industry in Africa and risen over the years to be one of the region’s finest and formidable professionals.
She is quite popularly referred to as the ‘’only woman in the boardroom’’, a phrase she used to describe the gender disparity that exist in top management of organizations she has worked for.
The Amazons Watch Magazine had followed Reinette since she received our well-deserved award in November 2019, and found out that the hard working, resilient Reinette was not restricted to the boardroom as she is also a humanitarian who has taken it upon herself to make a difference in the lives of those in need.
Reinette van der Merwe and Linda Tolkens recently initiated a soup kitchen where they provide approximately 150 underprivileged people with soup and bread in Kingfisher Avenue on Tuesday mornings. This laudable initiative by one of our own inspirational women, expanded rapidly and now has a handful of volunteers assisting with the distribution and cooking of the soup.
It is noteworthy that the free and nutritious meals are funded from their own pockets, though they receive support from New beginnings.
Reinette explained further that the initiative was meant to give hope to the people who tend to lose hope so quickly. According to her “Serving the hungry is a call from the Lord and we wanted to reach out to the people who need help. It’s not just about the food; we want to spread hope and His word.
Alongside the distribution of food is often distribution of copies of the bible.
From the onset, as far back as her childhood days, Reinette had set her mind on being a leader and was determined to be one as she once said- ‘’I never thought I’d end up where I am now, but from the time I was a child, I wanted to become a chartered accountant and then one day become the chief financial officer of a company.’’ Today, Reinette has achieved more than her dream.
We love the new initiative by our Amazon; it highlights why she wears our crown in new ways, and hence on ‘The Spotlight’
Way to go madam Reinette.