Cited in the published book “Leadership and Agency by Women Engineers in South Africa” authored by Dr Hannelie Nel, Isabella Makuta is lauded as one of the most courageous and insightful contributors towards the attraction and retention of technical women in corporate South Africa. She is an achieved business leader with a track record of working in technical environments. She is the recipient of BMF’s “2017 Manager of the Year” award and “Champions Award in Business- 2014” in recognition of her role in the development and empowerment of women in corporate South Africa.
Isabella has over 20 years’ working experience in Government and the private sector. Her qualifications include among others an MBA from Bond University (Australia); a Global Executive Development certificate from Wharton – University of Pennsylvania (USA) and an Executive Development Program from Harvard (USA). She has an impressive portfolio of skills spanning the fields of Human Resources, Marketing, Corporate Communications, Government and Public Affairs.
She is currently Group Corporate Affairs Director at Group Five; a leading JSE listed African construction, concessions and manufacturing group and serves on the group’s Social and Ethics committee. She is a member of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa (IODSA); board member of Sky Sands (Pty) Ltd- a construction materials company; member of the eminent group of women business leaders- the International Women’s Forum of South Africa (IWFSA) and current President of the South African Forum for Civil Engineering & Construction (SAFCEC).
Isabella is also director of the University of Johannesburg’s Women in Engineering and the Built Environment (WiEBE) programme. She championed the launching of Transnet’s Women in Rail program and was also chairperson of the Transnet Chairman’s executive women’s programme during her 7-year stint at the SOC. She served on the management committees of the Black Management Forum (BMF) and the Businesswomen Association (BWA) Johannesburg chapters respectively over a number of years. She is the founding director and chairperson of Group Five‘s award winning Basadi programme – a fast track initiative aimed at increasing females in the company and in the construction industry. The Basadi programme which she continues to lead, was cited as “the most innovative women training programme” in the sector at the 2015 Women in Construction Totally Concrete Awards. Most recently and as a result of her ongoing efforts, Group Five attained 2nd runner up position in SA’s “2017 Gender Mainstreaming Awards” under the Women Empowerment in the Workplace category.