Being a finalist for the prestigious Women in Science Award bears testimony to the fact that Lorato Mongale has a bright future in science and business. This enterprising student of the Central University of Technology, Free State, was the only youth and has less experience than the four shortlisted finalists for the Top Women in Science Award of the 2017 Standard Bank Top Women Awards. Mongale fell short of winning the coveted accolade, which instead went to one of the three established candidates, Precious Hawadi of NTP Radioisotopes. The other shortlisted finalists in the category were Alison Lewis (University of Cape Town) and Faith February (Armscor).The winner in this category was announced with others at a ceremony held on Thursday (17/08) in Johannesburg. In total, 26 winners received awards. Entrants were evaluated against strict criteria of both gender empowerment and performance in order to designate the 150 award finalists. This year’s edition was the 14th edition of the annual ceremony organised by the bank to recognise outstanding women leaders and gender-strong companies across a host of market sectors. Mongale is proud that she made the grade and for being a finalist for the coveted accolade in her maiden year. Mongale is currently pursuing an MSc in Biomedical Technology at the CUT. “CUT is committed to becoming an institution that thrives on equal opportunities for all and a refusal to entertain the idea of a glass ceiling,” said Prof. David Ngidi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, about Mongale’s nomination for the accolade. “The resulting business performance and culture of enthusiasm prevailing at CUT attests to this being the right, the only, way to go.” The Bloemfontein-based Kathabo Group scooped up the Fast Growth Women Owned SMME Award. Kathabo is a company that is entirely owned by black women and is led by Lerato Rampana, its managing director. It has found its niche for success in the marketing and media industry. Thando Lepele, Interstate Bus Lines public relations officer, was a finalist in the Top Young Achiever of the Year award scooped up by Chelina Bodhie, the senior manager of safety, health, environment and quality at Gautrain.