The largest international business women’s organisation – BPW International – has launched South Africa’s first register of board ready women.
Keynote speaker, Mr Mohale Ralebitso, CEO of the Black Business Council, discussed the long slow haul for gender diversity on boards and the actions that the BBC are taking to ensure a swift progression to change. In addition, Mohale outlined the BBC’s stance on the recent JSE policy requiring listed companies to disclose the female representation on their boards and drive transformation at an executive management level.
We need to capitalise on every talent available to ensure a South Africa and subsequently an African economy that thrives, and not simply those of a connected few.
South Africa’s future women directors have organised under the “Get on Board” banner to passionately drive the transformation of boards. These talented women are operating at a high level in companies across industry sectors right now. The first 42 women on our Register all fulfil stringent criteria for corporate governance and legislation and are well trained through the BPW “Women on Boards” Director Development programme.
it’s time we provide opportunities to more women than just the “high flyers” who currently occupy more board seats than is practical, taking away opportunities from up and coming new talent. Placing unqualified non-executive female directors simply to tick a box or succumb to boardroom bullying, is neither acceptable nor ethical. Furthermore, the excuse that there are insufficient qualified women to occupy positions in the boardroom is simply a defence for not transforming. The high calibre of women on the Register highlights that there are more than enough eminently qualified women to help lead South Africa’s corporations through the 21st century.
We are urging companies to heed the “Get on Board” call now, and to profit from this pool of talent and we recommend that all businesswomen join our Women on Boards programme to equip themselves with all the responsibilities and risks associated with taking on board positions to ensure they are able to participate knowledgeably and with confidence.