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Nissan Motor Company has won this year's Catalyst Award, a yearly worldwide prize that honours exceptional initiatives by companies that support and advance women in business.
"We are delighted that our global company is making its mark when it comes to recognising women as integral to the success of the business," said managing director of Nissan South Africa, Julio Panama.
Nissan managing director of Nissan: Middle East, Toru Hasegawa, said: "Nissan worldwide is very conscious of the role of women in business and in the automotive market and, as such, promotes women and gender diversity in the workplace. We empower women who show leadership qualities and who are innovative.
"Our aim is to inspire and encourage other manufacturers to embrace gender diversity."
Since 2004 the number of women in Nissan management positions has increased from 36 to 101 and the percentage of women managers in the design, planning and product planning function doubled. The percentage of female sales staff at Nissan dealerships has also increased, while the percentage of women in manufacturing plants more than doubled.
Holding a key position at Nissan SA is Pat Senne, general manager of group corporate affairs and communications.
"Cultural and gender diversity are obviously very important in a South African context and great strides have been made in the socio-economic and political arenas," said Senne.
Her determination has seen her climb the ladder from a nurse in the public sector, to top executive of a multinational corporation.
"It is a challenge breaking through the glass ceiling in a male-dominated industry and I am grateful that Nissan has recognised my potential," she said.