Portia Derby to lead Aurecon strategic direction and women empowerment

27 June 2018

Effective 1 July, Portia Derby will take on the role of Executive Director: Clients Africa at the global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon. This follows her appointment as Senior Regional Director for Gauteng in 2017, which marked the first black woman appointed to a senior management position involved in the operations of the company.

In her new role, Derby will be responsible for the leadership and performance of key Aurecon projects across Africa. She is passionate about manufacturing and infrastructure development on the continent and is well-known for being proactive in building strong diverse teams that work across multiple disciplines and sectors.

Her new role is part of a larger strategic move to reshape Aurecon’s African business to further enhance its service to clients. Derby will lead the organisation to achieve its goal of partnering with African clients to design their future, determine their responses to industry and digital disruptions, and develop innovative pathways that will enable them to thrive in increasingly dynamic economies.

“I have always been a feminist, in everything I do, women are always a key consideration. Believing that the empowerment of women has not kept pace with the broader development agenda, I would like to participate in the creation of an environment that facilitates more women to take up positions of influence in the economy,” says Derby.

Within Aurecon, as well as the wider corporate sector in South Africa, Derby is a vocal supporter of initiatives that empower women: she actively promotes mentoring and the transfer of leadership skills to younger women within the business. She feels South Africa should be doing far more to narrow the gender diversity gap, particularly in the private sector and that there is a sufficient pool of women in strategic leadership positions contributing meaningfully towards economic growth and employment creation in the country.

“I hold the strong belief that women who occupy senior leadership positions should be role models and embrace the responsibility to actively cultivate the next generation of female leaders who will take the baton from them,” concludes Derby.

Please visit for further information.

Related articles

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue