bpSA’s efforts to advance women recognized at the Women Economic Justice Leadership Recognition Awards

At an event attended by some of SA’s top executives and held at the JSE yesterday, bpSA was awarded the Sustainable Impact Leadership Award, recognizing the company for ‘outstanding contributions and dedication to women economic justice and inclusive economy’. 

The Women Economic Justice Leadership Recognition Awards celebrate companies and individuals that lead with purpose and have taken concrete steps to address persistent gender disparities and barriers faced by women in the economy.

The inaugural awards are sponsored by the Catalytic Strategy’s founding members, the International Women’s Forum SA and WDB Investment Holdings, in partnership with the JSE and Anglo-American South Africa. The Catalytic Strategy was founded in 2019 to enhance access to research and use it to help shape policy and public discourse to improve women’s access to economic justice.

“I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of bpSA,” said CEO, Taelo Mojapelo. “At the heart of bpSA's commitment to economic justice is our passion for transformation. This shines through in our multipronged strategy of skills development, impactful enterprise and supplier development, as well as our focus on empowering employees.

“Our gender-inclusive leadership reflects bpSA's commitment to diversity, ensuring that different perspectives contribute to strategic decision-making.”

bpSA’s chairperson for the last decade has been a woman, in Advocate Thandi Orleyn, with Taelo Mojapelo being the second successive female CEO. In addition, a remarkable 55% of the executive management team are female, and 45% of bpSA’s employees were women at last count.

Some of the company’s well-publicized initiatives include the sale of its terminals infrastructure, to ensure inclusivity and localized ownership of critical infrastructure – the most recent being the sale of its East London terminal to WASAA, a black-female-owned company.

Its recent partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) aims to see significant bp funds diverted to helping black entrepreneurs access the finance they need to buy service stations or forecourt businesses. This fund, guided by a vision of inclusivity, specifically targets women-owned and managed enterprises, acknowledging the critical role they play in fostering a diverse and equitable business environment within bpSA's retail and franchise operations.

“We are capacitating our business to ensure that it is future-proof and relevant. By developing our women leaders, we are ensuring we have the talent and expertise to realize this strategic vision,” Mojapelo continues.

With the year drawing to a close, this award adds to a number of accolades bpSA and its leadership collected this year, acknowledging the company’s contribution to transforming the industry. At the Annual Standard Bank Top Women awards Mojapelo was named Standard Bank Top Women Business Leader of the Year 2023 for her exceptional business performance and innovative policies to empower fellow women. She was also a finalist for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace, and was recognized in Africa.com’s 2023 Definitive List of Women CEO’s. bpSA was recognized as the Top Empowered Company in Education and Skills Development for 2023, with its People & Culture director also recognized at the 2023 CHRO awards for Young CHRO of the Year, Employee Value Proposition and the Transformation & Empowerment awards.