Announcing the Winners of the 2021 WINCC Gender & Talent Awards

  • Co-author Isabelle Roger

    Senior Policy Advisor
  • Co-author Caroline Lubbers


We are delighted to share with you the winners of our Women in Cocoa & Chocolate Network (WINCC) Gender and Talent Awards 2021. Many of you have voted in these special awards in November, and now it is time for the big reveal!

How often do you meet an inspiring woman in your professional environment, one who is really setting an example in the industry to achieve impact in the value chain, or strives for women empowerment? If your answer is ‘often’, then you are lucky: cherish and celebrate them.

If this hasn’t often been the case in your experience so far and it was a challenge to think of examples of such women, then we’ve got something for you. Let’s bring these women forward into the spotlight and celebrate their talents!

The function of role models has proven to be very important in empowering young women, and their visibility is crucial. Therefore, the Women in Cocoa & Chocolate Network (WINCC) has created the WINCC Gender & Talent Awards, in which we invite you to nominate and celebrate the talents of women you appreciate in our industry.

WINCC Gender & Talent Awards 2021

In the run-up to and during the World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting in November, many of you have voted for the WINCC Gender and Talent Awards 2021. Thank you again for helping us in drawing attention to these talented people!

After counting the many votes we found there was a clear majority for two women to be selected respectively as ‘Young Female Talent’ and ‘Gender Ambassador’ in the cocoa and chocolate sector. Meanwhile, we would of course also like to acknowledge the many women and men who were proposed as nominees.

Today we are happy to announce the two winners:

Winner of Gender Ambassador: Anne van der Veen
The ETG/Beyond Beans Global Program Manager, Anne van der Veen, over sees all ETG global sustainability programs. In doing so, she he brings innovative ideas, passion and energy to the team and people she works with. Anne is a strong advocate for gender equity at all levels, through the work that ETG does, as well as in daily operations and practices – and she does it all while raising two young children!

Anne van der Veen

Winner of Young Female Talent: Akoua Brognan N’guetta 
As a field agent for ETG, based in Daloa, Akoua Brognan N’guetta has grown up in very difficult conditions. At 15 she was the mother of her first child, but this did not prevent her from continuing her studies in order to get her Agricultural BT. Akoua Brognan is today seen in her family as a model of success, and with her salary she manages to take care of herself and her elderly parents in the village, as well as her two children. Despite this enormous burden for a young girl of her age, she carries out her work in an exemplary manner, always with a smile, without having to complain and with a lot of determination. A village chief described her as “someone who inspires determination and courage, nothing stops her, and she is a brave woman”.

Brognan Akoua N’guetta

Interested to find out more about Anne and Akoua? Read their story and vision in these two blogs (Anne van der Veen; Akua Brognan N’guetta)