Our Ambassadors

Professor Shirley Zinn

Orbis Africa Ambassador Professor Shirley Zinn is the former Human Resources Director of Standard Bank South Africa and the Deputy Global Head of Human Resources for the Standard Bank Group and has since registered her own company: Shirley Zinn Consulting that provides consulting and advisory services in HR, Leadership, Transformation and Education. She is also currently an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Human Resource Management and is the Past President of the Institute for People Management South Africa.

She holds a BA (University of the Western Cape); Higher Diploma in Education (University of the Western Cape); B.Ed Honours (UNISA); M.Ed (University of the Western Cape); Ed.M (Harvard) and Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) (Harvard). She was awarded the Top Woman in Business and Government and Top Executive in Corporate South Africa by Topco Media in 2008. She also was recognized by the Black Business Quarterly and received the Award for Top Woman in Business and Government and most Visionary Woman in 2008. She also received an award in Mumbai in 2007 for Global HR Leadership. In 2012, was listed in the Top 30 Wonder Women in South Africa by the Wits Business Journal.

Shirley recounts her life story in her autobiography Swimming Upstream published in 2015. Therein lies a story of determination, courage, and triumph over incredible adversity. Former minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said: “Swimming Upstream is the compelling story of Shirley Zinn, who took life’s pain, who bounced back and is still rising.”


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