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Cathy Smith of SAP Africa scores a spot on Definitive List of Women CEOs

The list was compiled over many months through a deep research effort to examine the management of big business in Africa. 



Cathy Smith
Cathy Smith undertook a rigorous research project to identify the women who run the largest, most complex businesses on the African continent.

The result of this extensive research undertaking is The Definitive List of Women CEOs.

SAP’s Cathy Smith, MD Sub-Saharan Africa, made the list of 50 women CEOs leading corporate Africa. The list was compiled over many months through a deep research effort to examine the management of big business in Africa.

Big business, for this purpose, is defined as being listed on one of Africa’s stock exchanges and having a market capitalization of over $150 million USD or being a global publicly listed company with a market capitalization of over $50 billion USD and significant operations in Africa.

Harvard Business School Professor Tony Mayo will present his research findings on what it takes for African American women to reach the top spot in the corporate sector as part of the Summit on October 13.

At this event, the names of the 50 women on the list will be revealed. In addition, a panel of women from the list will tell the stories of their rise to the top of Corporate Africa, and comment on Professor Mayo’s research by addressing what it takes to make it to the top in Africa, specifically.

Another high-profile panel will address what stock exchanges are doing globally to advocate for more women in big business, and will feature the heads of the major African stock exchanges.

Registration for the summit is free and can be accessed at’s Virtual Event Center .

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Cathy Smith was appointed Managing Director of SAP Africa in March 2018. She is the first female head of an emerging markets market unit in SAP’s history.

Cathy Smith started her career in the insurance industry as an application developer and spent three years in the UK, consolidating her expertise.

Overall, she has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, working for major global industry players like IBM and Cisco.

“I am truly humbled by this recognition from and to be in the company of so many incredible, successful and inspirational women leaders. My congratulations to each of them,” says Cathy Smith. “I believe that diversity of every kind brings enormous value to organisations and is something we should constantly strive for. I would love to see more young women studying in the STEM fields and encourage more women to enter the technology industry. It is such an exciting space to be in and there is so much positive impact we can make, not only in business but also in African communities.”

[Sources: We acknowledge African Business Magazine for contributing to the financial data on the African publicly listed corporations]

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