4 Inspirational Female Leaders of 2022 & What We Can Learn from Them

Inspired by the best

As we celebrate Women’s Month in South Africa, we think it is the perfect time to highlight some inspiring female leaders shaping our world as we know it. Not only will we be focusing on what these incredible women are doing within their industries, but we’ll also be taking notes and looking at what we can learn from them.

The journey up the ladder looks a little different for men than it does for women, and while this is starting to change in many industries, women leaders are continually proving themselves time and again. Their leadership styles often differ from their male counterparts, and a better outcome is often achieved in many cases.

Jacinda Arden

New Zealand’s Youngest Female Prime Minister

While Jacinda Arden might not be the world’s first female prime minister, she’s made an impact, not only through her young age but also with how she leads. Jacinda has a fantastic way of communicating with people in such an open, honest way that she doesn’t sound like a politician. Those who work with Jacinda enjoy the way she keeps lines of communication open. She has also embraced the digital age we live in and regularly takes to social media to interact with the public.

What She teaches us:

Leading with compassion, empathy, and honesty can make all the difference.

Shirley Machaba

CEO of PwC in South Africa

In 2019, PwC Southern Africa made history by announcing Shirley Machaba as its CEO for Southern Africa. Shirley is the first black woman to take up this position and has worked at the company for the best part of two decades.

Machaba’s career history includes serving as a PwC Africa Governance Board member and as Chairperson of the PwC South Africa Governing Board from October 2012 to June 2018. Her leadership style is inclusive, agile, and transparent, which is just what this business needs in South Africa. However, Shirley is prepared to put words into action and make a positive difference regarding diversity, inclusion, and employment equity.

What She teaches us:

Women can be empathetic leaders while still standing firm, having confidence, and believing in themselves in a world or industry that men might dominate.

Sol Rashidi

Chief Analytics Officer at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

While we don’t hear about women in the AI space too often, we can expect this to change in the coming years, and Sol is certainly paving the way. Sol has worked her way up in a male-dominated industry and had to show huge courage and backbone to get to where she is today. She’s had to fall, learn, and pick herself up again many times, but this has moulded her into who she is today.

Sol has won many awards in her time, including Top 100 Innovators in Data & Analytics, and this is just the beginning.

What she teaches us

Sometimes, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to grow.

Candice Unsworth

CEO of PKF South Africa

Candice became CEO at 34 years old and recently won the SAICA CA(SA) Top 35 under 35 Game Changer Award in 2021. PKF also won the Xero Partner of the Year Award this year. Candice has made a name for herself for her technical knowledge, affinity for technology, and commitment to quality. She’s got amazing vision and is definitely a South African to watch!

What She teaches us:

Age is just a number, no matter your gender. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want.

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, becoming more inclusive is key to everyone’s success!