About us

The International Women’s Forum (IWF) is a global organisation of pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement who come together across national and international boundaries to share knowledge and exchange ideas, to learn and inspire each other,  and to promote better leadership for a changing world. Furthermore, through its Leadership Foundation , the IWF helps prepare the next generation of women leaders.

With forums throughout North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the IWF facilitates networking among women of achievement and promotes opportunities for women in leadership. Founded in 1982 in the United States, the IWF has grown across six continents into 33 nations and 76 affiliated forum locations and currently has a membership of over 7 000 women leaders. Through international programmes, conferences, galas, symposia, communications, publications and special functions, members are able to meet, experience and exchange ideas and goals – some of which influence industry, shape economies and define government policies worldwide.

The International Women’s Forum of South Africa (IWFSA) was established 19 years ago when its patron, Mrs Zanele Mbeki, together with a group of women leaders, set up a South African chapter of the IWF. IWFSA currently has 100 members drawn from government, business, the sciences, the arts and numerous other areas.

The IWFSA members, who are at the top of their fields of endeavour and who have nationally and internationally identifiable track records, enjoy unique networking opportunities with access to a network of local and global influential, high performing, like minded and accomplished women, opportunity to foster meaningful relationship with peers and connect in a safe space through dine around and member events where members can connect, access to local and international conferences, workshops, meetings and forum events.

Our mission

IWFSA is a powerful membership of pre-eminent women across sectors and cultures who come together to inspire and invigorate each other on key issues which will impact a changing world. The IWFSA is committed to developing and building a pipeline of the next generation of women leaders through:

  • Specific leadership Development programs
  • Mentoring and coaching

Our vision

IWFSA is inspired to be  the voice of women leaders who bring change and to be the catalyst for ethical leadership.

Our initiatives

Young Leaders Connect ( YLC) is an initiative of IWFSA Leadership Development. IWFSA has a 6 pillar strategy; Members Affairs, Leadership Development, Funding and Sustainability, Advocacy, Stakeholder Management, Brand and Reputation. Leadership Development as one of the 6 pillar strategy, aims  to develop and strengthen leadership capability of women leaders.

Read more on the ylcideal.co.za website.


Membership is by invitation only and nominations should be supported by two current IWFSA members. The nomination process follows strict criteria as laid out by the IWF membership committee. Some of the criteria guidelines are:
  • preeminent woman in her field, profession or corporation
  • holding a position of significant professional accomplishment
  • highest professional abilities
  • influential in her company, field or industry
  • successful entrepreneur as evidenced by size, scope, clientele etc
  • of the highest integrity
  • significant position of leadership in organisation, industry or community
  • influential
  • internally and externally recognised as preeminent
  • significant influence
  • built a sustainable legacy
  • track record of taking action for women
Should you feel you would qualify for membership, please submit your resume here for a preliminary discussion.

IWFSA member Code of Conduct

Code of Professional Conduct
for Members of the International Woman’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) – 21 August 2020