IWF member profile

Colleen Larsen

Colleen Larsen

Business Engage Association NPC (Chief Executive)

Colleen Larsen, Chief Executive of Business Engage, has a career spanning 28 years within the financial services market. She is best known, however, for her work in gender mainstreaming, having won recognition as one of the leading voices for the sustainable advancement of women in the corporate and entrepreneurial space in South Africa today.

She founded Business Engage (www.businessengage.co.za) in 2005, an exciting and inventive organisation at the forefront of strategic thinking on gender mainstreaming in the private sector.

In 2013, she started the Gender Mainstreaming Awards (www.genderawards.co.za), currently in its seventh year, to encourage the private sector to buy-in to achieving more meaningful representation of women in the mainstream of business.

Colleen drives the vision of the 30% Club Southern and East Africa.  The 30% Club is a global organisation of chairpersons and other senior business leaders publicly committed to achieving 30% women on boards, together with the associated pipeline within a default period of five years. The 30% club includes high profile companies like Anglo American, Old Mutual, Bloomberg, Absa, FNB, PwC and EY to name but a few.  

Colleen is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.  

Colleen is a winner of the Director’s Award in the Woman of Stature Awards 2018 and a Top 10 Finalist in the Conscious Companies Awards 2019.

Above all, she is a prolific networker, organiser and creative visionary in the world of business.