Ms. Vanessa Phala

Senior Specialist, Employers' Activities

Ms. Vanessa Phala, a national of South Africa, recently joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the Senior Specialist for Employers’ Activities at the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean.

Prior to joining the ILO, Ms. Phala was the Executive Director for Social and Transformation Policy at Business Unity South Africa (BUSA). In this capacity she was responsible for policy advocacy and participated in negotiations of various labour legislation at the National Economic Development and Labour Council. She also represented BUSA at a number of ILO engagements including the International Labour Conference, and was spokesperson for the employers group during the Tripartite Meeting on Sustainable Development, Decent Work and Green Jobs in October 2015.

Ms. Phala was named one of the Winning Women in April 2014 by City Press, one of the biggest newspapers which recognizes young women making meaningful contribution to the business sector in South Africa. She was also nominated for the 2015 Most Influential Women in Business and Government in South Africa. On 8 December 2015, she was conferred the Global Sustainability Leadership Award by the World Sustainability Congress.

Ms. Phala’s working experience also extends to the public sector. Before joining BUSA, she was the acting Chief Director in the Ethics and Integrity Management Unit at the Department of Public Service and Administration in South Africa, and was appointed Head of the Special Anti-corruption Unit in November 2010 by the Minister of Public Service and Administration.

Ms. Phala graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004 where she obtained a Master’s Degree in International Relations.