March 17, 2014
As the world focuses on Africa as a preferred investment destination, we need competent local leaders to serve on the boards of local and multinational organisations operating across the continent.
That means developing future African board leaders who understand the local context while thinking globally and adhering to sound governance principles. We need to draw on the skills of both men and women to meet the challenge of the current complex and volatile business environment.
Companies can play an important role by intensifying their commitment to gender diversity, targeting talented women for promotion and building a board that reflects market and customer demographics.
Global research by the Credit Suisse Research Institute shows that companies with one or more women on the board have delivered higher average return on equity, lower gearing and better average growth.
Its report states: “Net income growth for companies with women on the board has averaged 14% over the past six years, compared to 10% for those with no female board representation.”
McKinsey & Company’s European research supports these findings. It shows that companies benefit by accessing the different and complementary perspective and leadership styles that women bring. Companies with women in leadership positions have achieved superior organisational and financial performance, such as above average operating margins and higher share price valuations.
Like its global counterparts, the growing list of Africa Board Ready Women makes it clear that there are enough qualified women to help lead Africa’s corporations into the future.
All women listed in the African Board Ready Women database are suitable for consideration on public or private company boards, and meet a clear set of criteria in line with global best practice.