The Mail & Guardian’s Power of Women is an annual showcase of South Africa’s women frontrunners that has become a hallmark on our calendar. The initiative honours exemplary South African women by recognising their professional achievements.

Women are the powerhouses of this nation, ensuring that communities are fed, businesses are run and the future of our country and continent is bright. The Mail & Guardian is proud to showcase 50 powerful women who are on a mission to better the future of this country. The future of trade, business and profitable, impactful connectivity lies in collaboration. When women come together, great things happen.

Under the theme “Stronger together” this year’s edition is positioned to spark national interest and support, as has been the case in the past. It is important to note that our world has changed. This year, we have included two new categories that focus on women’s role and contributions in keeping our nation fed and spearheading sustainable adaptation within traditionally male-dominated sectors of industry, towards a new global dispensation.

The final 50 Powerful Women chosen this year are a niche selection of change-makers and industry influencers who have made a positive, notable impact in their respective sectors of academia, agriculture, business, communities, healthcare, mining, media/telecommunications and sports.

We need to continue creating cultural change and look at how gender attitudes are affecting our socioeconomic and political environments. We as women can choose to rid ourselves of self-limiting beliefs and to choose positive ones that enable us to move forward, taking our rightful place in society. Women are the strength of the world, and I gather my strength from those that came before me. Hearing the stories of these women, and seeing them face to face, helps us to forge a new image for ourselves in society. Women are an ocean, strong and nurturing!

Yvonne Chakachaka