SA’s Top HR Execs to Judge 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards

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It’s a “Who’s Who in HR” list of judges so far for the 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards taking place in in July this year.

The Awards identify, recognise and celebrate young talent across all industries in South Africa, and are a unique opportunity for these individuals to showcase their successes, as well as prove their commitment to development and growth – not only of themselves and their organisations, but also their industries and communities.

Standard Bank’s Global Head of Resourcing, Amelia Muller, says that Standard Bank is proud to be the headline sponsor again this year. “We have seen first-hand the significant role these awards play in identifying and celebrating talent across all industries,” she says. “They provide a unique platform for our young leaders to showcase the work they have done, as well as encourage us with their potential for reaching even greater heights. They also provide a cross-industry network of up-and-coming leaders that will soon be a powerful force to be reckoned with in the business world. Importantly, the awards are also putting Africa on the map when it comes to showing the global business community what amazing talent we have on the continent.”

The selection process is stringent – nominees (between 28 and 40 years of age) will be required to complete an entry form, and those who progress to the semi-finals will go through a second round of entry forms, which require more detail and supporting documents from the nominee, as well as verification from their nominator.

Finalists are then invited for an interview in front of a panel of expert judges – a three-hour question-and-answer session that delves into the heart of whether the candidate has what it takes to edge out the others. The criteria have been developed by USB-ED (University of Stellenbosch Executive Development) from their research into the Future Leader, and USB-ED will also moderate the judging process.

“It is a tough process, but it is rigorous for a reason,” explains Laura Barker, Managing Director of BlackBark Productions, organisers of the Rising Star Programme. “The Standard Bank Rising Star awards are aspirational, and representative of the cream of the crop where young talent is concerned. We know that these leaders really deserve to be winners, and that the award is meaningful as both a personal and professional recognition of their drive and determination.”

While the judges certainly have their work cut out for them, their credentials are impressive and they are up for the task! Judges include HR executives and directors from some of South Africa’s top firms – Bedelia Theunissen (Absa), Busi Mashiane (African Rainbow Minerals), Lorato Mogaki (AngloAmerican), Melody Lekota (Cell C), Deshnee Moodley (Foschini Retail Group), Lindy Mthenjane (FNB), Shaan Burnill (Standard Bank), Sharmila Govind (HSBC), Brigitte Chetty (Makro), Marc Privett (Media24), Jabu Mahange (Primedia), Shirley Machaba (PwC), Thami Msubo (Telkom) and Zaid Shaik (Standard Bank), amongst others.

The various industries are well represented, and the judging panel continues to grow as more industry leaders take the lead in playing a critical role in shaping our country’s future talent. The twelve industry categories are banking and financial services; construction and engineering; energy and chemicals; entrepreneurship; ICT; manufacturing, retail and FMCG; media and marketing; mining and minerals; professional services; service: public and private; tourism, leisure and hospitality; and transport, logistics and supply chain.

The deadline for entries is a few short weeks away on 31 March 2016. Human resource personnel and line managers are encouraged to nominate young people that they feel deserving of a Rising Star award within their organisation, and can do so via the online submission form to be found at www.risingstarawards.co.za. Finalists will be announced in June, and the gala dinner announcing the winners held at the Sandton Hilton on 22 July 2016.

“I am excited at the calibre of judges participating in the awards this year,” says Barker. “Who better to delve into the intricacies of what it takes to truly be a rising star than HR professionals who unpack these issues on a daily basis? All of our judges are well-placed to give excellent feedback to our candidates, and evaluate their achievements as talented individuals from an informed position. We have a wealth of young talent in South Africa, and I am confident that our judges will do an excellent job of allowing that talent to shine.”


Sponsors for the 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards include Standard Bank, ArcelorMittal, Sasol and Hilton Worldwide.


The Rising Star Programme is operated by BlackBark Productions, and is now in its fifth year. It recognises, celebrates and connects young talented individuals who have the capacity to excel in their chosen fields, and who contribute to the future of our nature in an inspirational manner.

Rising Stars are more than just top performers with technical expertise – they are polished, brilliant, and show tremendous promise as future leaders.

The Programme is a significant and sustainable vehicle through which organisations, our country and our continent can identify and nurture these “organisational and national assets” who are set to play a key role in shaping the future of our country and our continent.

The Rising Star Programme is establishing a living community of young African talent that will be developed, mentored and provided with platforms for development and communication, therefore enabling them to become role models, opinion leaders and the inspiration for other future African Talent.

Rising Star has successfully recognised over 200 talented young individuals over the past four years in its programme in both South Africa and Kenya.

Visit www.risingstarawards.co.za for more information or contact:

Cheryl van der Merwe

Media Liaison & Communications Director

eQ Online (Pty) Ltd

+27 72 174 9858



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