The Woza Awards, which were launched in February this year, are the brainchild of Rehana Khan Parker, an attorney who saw the need to recognise female lawyers for their dedication, achievements and contribution to the profession across sectors, from lawyers working in academia to those in IT, tech, education, human rights or the pro bono sector.
Parker, who has been at the helm of TMACC for the last three years, said the judges in her category looked for a woman who used her law degree in the sphere of business to uplift, empower and engage both with communities and with young and upcoming lawyers, offering them guidance, assistance and coaching.
“The whole purpose of the Woza awards is to inspire women in the legal fraternity and to make them realise that even if you don’t fit into the courtroom with a law degree, you can actually find a space for you to operate in,” she said.
Parker added that team engagement was sometimes lacking in the legal profession.
“Lawyers can feel quite lonely in their practice and often struggle to work in teams - in business, teamwork is crucial and alleviates the sense of being alone,” she said.
Parker has carried her passion for possibilities everywhere with her through her various positions, which include being the general manager at the Sun International hotel and casino in Worcester.
“The change I think I’m hoping to bring about and have already started to bring about, is the idea of making sure that the concept of this great natural wonder is in the hearts of every South African, especially locals,” she said.
“It’s about instilling that idea that makes every local person an ambassador.”