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12th Annual WeLead Women’s Leadership Conference

Johannesburg 8-9 March 2017

“When Women connect, the World changes” Debby Edelstein


QualityLife Company is proud to invite you to the most dynamic women’s leadership conference of the year.


The WeLead Conference gives you the opportunity to engage with some of Africa’s most exciting Women Leaders AND to explore your own leadership potential.


For the last 12 years, we’ve seen talented women relish the opportunity to take responsibility for their own leadership journey in an environment that encourages connection, inspires confidence and gives access to support networks.


It is also an honour to celebrate the women (and men) leaders who are paving the way for the future, our role models throughout society.


makrowlc2017           Soul City Logo Final





Why you have to be there

1. Create your own leadership goals in the company of peers and mentors who’ve been there too

2. Make connections with leaders and household names you’ve always wanted to meet (our facilitators make it easy for you to do so)

3. Learn leadership lessons from unsung heroes you might never have heard of but will certainly never forgot

4. Learn how to access your own mastermind of women leaders to support you on your leadership journey (or join a WeLead Circle)


Speakers confirmed so far



As the Special Envoy on Gender at the African Development Bank, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi leads a strategy to mainstream gender in the Bank’s policies and operations, making the institution a role model in Africa. Her career is characterized by commitment to development that is more inclusive and economic growth that is more sustainable  She has championed women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion and most recently she was named the “2016 New African Woman of the Year.” Previously Director of the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) Democratic Governance Group, Geraldine served as Minister for Public Service and Administration and as Minister for Welfare and Population Development in South Africa’s first democratic government and in two subsequent ones. She is a fellow of the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, and has completed a leadership course at Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania



Judi Nwokedi is a director at Tourvest, an integrated Tourism entity, and sits on the Board of SA Tourism. She has a distinguished business and community development career and is known for her business engineering feats, innovation and visionary leadership. She has successfully worked at the helm of leading multi-nationals and SOCs in SA. Upon her return to SA in 1994 the first few years saw her at the height of contributing to transformation in South Africa and culminated with her setting up loveLife as the leading HIV/AIDS programme and breaking ground globally. Judi chairs the AIDS Consortium and is on the Board of JSE listed CIG.



Dr Nolulamo (‘Lulu‘) Gwagwa CEO Lereko Investment, has a Masters degree in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Natal, an MSc (cum laude) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a PhD from University College, London. She serves as a non-executive director on the boards of FirstRand, Tsebo, Aurecon, Sun International and Massmart. She was a finalist in the 2001 Nedbank Business Woman of the Year awards. Lulu was the Deputy DG in the Department of Public Works and completed a five-year term as CEO of the Independent Development Trust. Lulu has also served on various government commissions. She is the founder and chairperson of Mhakazi Trust that supports youth in KZN.



Debby Edelstein is co-founder and CEO of QualityLife Company – the alternative school for business she launched in 2000. An entrepreneur, speaker, mentor and thought leader on women’s leadership and new leadership trends, Debby has championed women’s development and gender mainstreaming in South Africa for 20 years and has become one of the country’s most respected voices when it comes to women in leadership. Her latest project is the WeLead Circle Project – an innovative methodology for developing women leaders through peer coaching networks.



Tryphosa Ramano CA(SA), Chief Financial Officer PPC. Tryphosa completed her articles at PWC and then moved on to asset management at Rand Merchant Bank. In 2002, Ramano joined the National Treasury and participated in the listing of Telkom on the JSE and New York Stock Exchange, realising proceeds of more than R4 billion to the SA government. In Sept 2016 Tryphosa was appointed deputy chair of the SAA board. Tryphosa also finds time to pursue transformation in the financial services sector through her leadership of the African Woman Chartered Accountants (AWCA) society and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP).



Professor E.L. Van Harte was inaugurated as the Chair of the first permanent Defence Force Service Commission of the Department of Defence, RSA in 2013. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Work (UWC), two degrees in Communication (UNISA) and a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from Columbia University, New York. In 2002 she was appointed as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Rector of Stellenbosch University to advance transformation at the institution. She was the first woman and Black person to be appointed as Dean of Students at Stellenbosch University. In 2006 she was appointed as the first Black and female Dean at the Military Academy.



Lebogang Ramafoko, CEO Soul City Institute for Social Justice, joined Soul City as a life skills coordinator in 1995. She has many responsibilities; however, the role she cherishes the most is that of being a mother to two children who keep her grounded. Lebogang holds an Education degree and an Ethics diploma from Wits and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard.



Grace Harding, MD Ocean Basket, has a background in HR, marketing, people engagement and strategy. Since joining Ocean Basket in 2012, the group has grown from 147 stores in 7 countries to a franchise consisting of 203 stores in 16 countries, with expansion plans firmly in place for a further 76 stores. Grace understands the need for executives to align their employees to their vision, brand and business goals. Today she sees Ocean Basket as the perfect environment for her to fulfill her own dreams: It’s a down to earth, tenacious and very real brand – a true David in the world of Goliaths.



Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane, was most recently the CEO Richards Bay Coal Terminal, a world-class global facility responsible for the export of coal for all the coal mining companies in SA. She was appointed in July 2012 as the first woman CEO. Nosipho has a B.Com Accounting from the University of Transkei and completed articles with Ernst and Young in East London. She is currently studying for an MBA in Sustainability at Rhodes. Amongst many industry awards, Nosipho was IPM’s CEO of the Year in 2014, in 2015, she was announced as the winner of National Business Woman of the Year in the Corporate Category.



Dr Melanie Van Rooy, Marketing Director Makro SA, joined Massmart in 2013 after working for Coca Cola for 10 years as head of strategy and research at ABI, the soft drink division of SAB Ltd. Melanie’s department at Makro is responsible for all above and below the line advertising, big data customer analytics and insights, customer strategy and recruitment, digital marketing and eCommerce as well as brand reputation management, CSI and sponsorship. Melanie has a PhD in Econometrics and an MBA and is an eternal scholar.



Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation,  assumed this post after a successful and multi-award winning eight year tenure as the Artistic Director for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. He has contributed significantly to the Festival’s annual growth in terms of funding, content and audience development. He was awarded the Paul Harris Award by the Grahamstown chapter of Rotary International, the Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award for his visionary growth and transformation of the Festival’s artistic programme, the Arts & Culture Trust’s Arts Administrator of the Year Award and the Chevalier et des Artes et des Lettres Award (Knight of the Arts & Literature Award) by the French government.



Ruth Everson is a senior English teacher at St Stithians Girls’ College. As Leadership Director, Ruth is in charge of the whole school’s leadership programme and development of staff and girls. Ruth is also a published poet who has given poetry readings and workshops across the country, including the National Schools’ Festival of the Arts for over 16 years. Ruth’s poem, ‘Fatter than Life’ was used in a musical in Holland. In 2010, Ruth won the Woman and Home short story competition. Her passion is to use her poetry to inspire passion and purpose for all – even those who don’t like poetry.



Sinah Legong is the GM at Geekulcha which is an organisation focused on empowering young geeks through ICT skills development and training and hosting hackathons while giving them a taste of what awaits them in the big world through industry exposure. She also runs Raeketsetsa which is a movement that empowers girls and young women in ICT, giving them the confidence to pursue ICT studies, career and their daily lives. She holds a BSC in Computer science, from the university of Greenwich and is currently studying Project Management at UNISA.



Nomava Siwisa, National Projects Director and board member of Junior Chamber International (JCI) SA (operating in over 115 countries with over 200 000 members), has also participated in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance programs as part of Young Entrepreneurs South Africa. Nomvana studied B-Com Marketing at the UFS and gained business experience working with organisations such as Reckitt Benckiser, SABC, and SITA. In 2016 Nomava followed her passion for ministry, business and marketing and created her own brand Amavenkosi (meaning God’s Wisdom) focused on uniting the three elements.



Naledi Moleo presents the Talk Shop on SAfm. She is passionate about youth development and was a junior producer on “Youth Expression”, a youth current affairs programme on SABC News International. She was also the host of LoveLife’s “Make Your Move TV”. Naledi was Chairperson on the Board of the Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth), an organization that seeks to unite and empower African Youth. She is the Director of her own company Le Laka Media Solutions.



Nick Binedell is the founding dean and professor in the area of strategy and leadership at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He completed his PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was a Boeing Scholar. Nick’s key area of interest is in the area of strategic leadership with particular focus on strategy in complex environments. In 2015 the Academy of International Business elected him as global Business Educator of the year. He is a visiting lecturer at the Rotterdam School of Management (18 years), Erasmus University (15 years) and was recently a Visiting Professor at London Business School.



Location: Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg

Date: 8-9 March 2017

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Cost: Early Bird price until 15 Dec R6375 ex vat pp

Cost from 16 Dec R7500 ex vat pp