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Published by tasch, 2019-05-27 04:40:10

FM WOMEN - May 2019

Keywords: FM WOMEN,Financial Mail,Online magazine,Women's Interests,Women's magazine,FM WOMEN Magazine

MAY 2019

Gender diversity must be championed

MAY 2019

Gender diversity must be championed
From top left: Veronica Motloutsi,
Zeona `Jacobs, Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo,
Wrenelle Stander.
Bottom from left: Kirshni Totaram,
Colleen Larsen, Yolanda Miya,
Nthabiseng Moleko


Gender issues still moving at a Three women at the height of
snail’s pace their careers discuss their success Tourism is one of South Africa’s most
and challenges on their journey to important industries. We interview three
6 PRIORITISING DIVERSITY the boardroom women making great strides in this area
A reportback from the 30% Club
Southern Africa’s fifth annual 25 EXECUTIVE EDUCATION 34 GENDER BALANCE AND MEN
members’ dinner How business schools are shifting
their focus to creating leaders and We ask what men should be doing to
9 ETHICS, PROFITS supporting gender equity champion gender representation

The difference female leadership 26 TECHNOLOGY
can make in organisations Lack of gender representation Is government practising what it
continues to be a challenge in this preaches? How do SOEs stand up to
10 REPRESENTATION ON sector. Two high-flyers discuss the scrutiny where gender is concerned?
importance of diversity in IT

Report reveals that transformation 28 OIL, GAS AND ENERGY YOUR CAREER
is still moving too slowly
We profile three women in this Valuable advice from a business coach
15 FINANCIAL SERVICES sector and learn about their rise up and businesswomen who have paid
Why gender transformation the corporate ladder their dues and risen to the top
still evades this sector
18 AVIATION FIRST Two women talk about
We profile Comair’s what it takes to be a leader in TRANSFORMATION
Wrenelle Stander this industry
Thought leaders in the industry
talk about why gender diversity is
a must for modern organisations


Why companies are taking wellness
programmes far more seriously today

15 18 41




Gender issues WOMEN
still moving at a PUBLISHED BY

SNAIL’S PACE Picasso Headline
13th floor, 2 Long Street
T he world is split roughly have made that journey to the
evenly between men boardroom, despite many Cape Town 8001
and women — challenges. They talk about Tel: +27 21 469 2400 | Fax: +27 86 682 2926
and that should their experiences and
be reason offer advice to others
enough for companies to be hoping to follow in
representative. But, even if you their footsteps. EDITORIAL
don’t think that’s a good enough We also look at some
reason, there’s a plethora of broader issues such as Editor: Mandy Collins
studies that show a strong business workplace wellness and Content Manager: Raina Julies
case for bringing more women into Copy Editor: Brenda Bryden
leadership positions in all spheres of society, ways to boost your career, and Content Co-ordinator: Vanessa Payne
and particularly in the corporate world. of course, we haven’t left the men out of the Contributors: Kate Ferreira, Ryland Fisher,
equation — on page 34, we discuss how men Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor, Kim Maxwell,
Puseletso Mompei, Adam Oxford, Thando Pato,
There are some changes, but they aren’t nearly
the strides women had hoped to be making by now. Tiisetso Tlelima

So, until those proverbial playing fields are DESIGN
truly levelled, we will continue to bring this
Head of Design: Jayne Macé-Ferguson
issue to the fore. Design Team: Mfundo Archie Ndzo,

Women still have to fight harder than can help to transform their workplaces into Lesley-Ann van Schalkwyk
their male counterparts to be heard, to be more gender-representative spaces: what Advert Designer: Bulelwa Sotashe
seen and to be given their rightful place their role can and should be.
at the boardroom table. And this despite SALES
all the strides that have been made in It’s clear that simply raising awareness
legislation, in raising awareness about these about gender issues is not enough to spur Project Manager: Jeanette Nicholson
issues, and the conversations that take companies into action. Awareness without [email protected] | Tel: +27 21 469 2566
place on platforms such as social media and action is useless.
mainstream media. PRODUCTION
It’s going to take continual hard work to
There are some changes, but they aren’t ensure that women are given equal access Production Editor: Shamiela Brenner
nearly the strides women had hoped to be to the opportunities for leadership in South Advertising Co-ordinator:
making by now. So, until those proverbial African companies, and we’re proud of Merle Baatjes
playing fields are truly levelled, we will playing a part in keeping this issue at the top
continue to bring this issue to the fore. of people’s minds. Subscriptions and Distribution:
Shumiera Fredericks
This issue of FM Women is packed MEdiatonr dy Collins
with articles about inspiring women who [email protected]


Senior Bookkeeper: Deidre Musha
Business Manager:

Lodewyk van der Walt
General Manager, Magazines:

Jocelyne Bayer

Copyright: Picasso Headline.
No portion of this magazine may be reproduced
in any form without written consent of the publisher.
The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited

material. financialmail Women
is published by Picasso Headline.
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those
of Picasso Headline. All advertisements/advertorials
have been paid for and therefore do not carry any

endorsement by the publisher.



A s the world reflects on the status of the gender gap 2. Don’t let gender mainstreaming
in the global workforce, we crunch the numbers overshadow inclusivity
(currently, according to a World Economic Forum
Global Gender Gap 2018 Report it will take 108 While our business employs more females, we make sure that
years to close the male-skewed gender gap if we create an inclusive environment where everyone experiences
the current rate of change continues) and make plans to speed up a sense of belonging. We regularly engage with employees to
change. Pleasingly, South Africa is doing better than many other assess their working life experiences and the outcomes of these
nations, the World Economic Forum (WEF) report ranked us 19 out of engagements are fed back into our strategic framework.
144 countries when it came to closing the gender gap.
3. Use the unique traits of both genders to
As a woman employed at Santam, I am privileged to be part of a make 4IR work in your organisation
group that is bucking the global trend. We are one of the few JSE-
listed companies with a woman as a chief executive and 58 per cent e fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is an interesting shi for
(3482/6041) of our current workforce is female. We have women in our industry. To take full advantage of new technologies, we need
key leadership positions, from underwriting and nance to human to place emphasis on what makes us human: the capacity to
resources, operations and transformation. learn new skills as well as our creativity, empathy and ingenuity.
By developing our unique traits and talents, we can cope with
But, make no mistake, we didn’t get here by accident. We made technological change and ensure broad-based progress for all.
gender equality a board-level strategic priority. Here are some
insights that may be of use for companies wanting to focus on e equal contribution of women and men in this process of
improving their balance, particularly against the backdrop of economic and societal transformation is critical.
technological progress.
4. Make sure that 4IR doesn’t set you back
1. Make gender mainstreaming a
strategic, ongoing priority Unfortunately, a World Economic Forum Gender Gaps in AI
Report raises some implications for gender diversity in the 4IR.
Gender diversity should have a permanent slot
on the EXCO agenda. When leadership is It states that automation and arti cial intelligence will impact
committed to diversity, it is able to permeate roles traditionally performed by women more than it will those
every facet of the organisation. Our approach performed by men. It cites a LinkedIn analysis that highlights
is to drive diversity across our workforce, the gender gap in AI careers, with women representing only
marketplace and our supplier networks. 20 per cent of the workforce. ey are also less likely to be
Appreciating diversity and embracing in senior roles, occupying instead jobs such as data analysts
the bene ts it brings to the business is and information managers. Men are more likely to be heads
fundamental to who we are and how of IT and so ware engineering. is, coupled with the lower
we do business.
representation of women in STEM (science, technology,
DRIVING engineering and mathematics) careers, means we need
GENDER to be on our toes to ensure that the 4IR doesn’t erode
DIVERSITY the gains women have already made. ■
in 2019 and
“Appreciating diversity
and embracing the benefits

it brings to the business is

fundamental to who we are

and how we do business.”

Enid — Enid Lizamore

ENID LIZAMORE, executive For more information
head of HR, shares Santam’s
diversity agenda



gender agenda

The 30% Club Southern Africa celebrates five years and a growing membership,
reports Thando Pato

“G ender mainstreaming is not a Colleen
women’s issue, it is a business Larsen
issue … and we cannot have
the conversation without men. From left: Delise van der Bijl,
Women should be shaping the Mike Morgan, and Jacqui Gogele.
economy, not just fitting into it.” These were some of the
messages Colleen Larsen, president of the 30% Club Southern
Africa chapter (30% CSA), delivered during her introductory
address at the fifth annual members’ dinner in March.

Hosted at the flagship Maserati dealership in Bryanston,
Johannesburg, the celebratory gala was attended by 170
members and invited guests, with Lauren Berrington, chief
audit executive and chairperson of the IT forum at Bidvest, as
keynote speaker.

Founded in 2010, the 30% Club is a global campaign with
11 chapters worldwide that aims to achieve a minimum of 30
per cent female representation on executive boards globally.
The 30% CSA chapter was launched five years ago and,
according to Larsen, has doubled its membership in the last
year. The 30% CSA currently has 65 members spread across
its branches in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

Larsen said that other 30% CSA accomplishments
were garnered from the BoardWalk and LeadersWalk
programmes, which, since inception, have been attended
by more than 2 000 women, six of whom have gone on to
become members of major boards.

From left: Jeanette Jacobs, Gender diversity on JSE boards
Megaree Naraidoo and
Dineo Molefe. In South Africa, the 30% CSA is particularly crucial in light of
the 2017 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) mandate that all listed
companies need to have a gender diversity policy for their boards.

A research report on the state of gender parity on JSE-listed boards compiled by
the 30% CSA in association with the Institute of Directors Southern Africa, WDB
Investment Holdings and Korn Ferry in 2018, revealed that in 2017 only 10 of the 267
companies analysed had managed to achieve gender parity on their boards.

The good news though, said Larsen, is that the report “identified that there are
currently 62 companies with 84 [board] positions that are going to become available
for women in the next three to five years”.



The big debate: how to make board membership From left: Caron Molosiwa,
more inclusive? Ziningi Khoza and
Lynda Pefile.
The debate about women’s inclusion on boards continued with a spirited panel
discussion, chaired by Malcolm Larsen, company secretary of Business Engage, which Andy Klee
included Christine Ramon, chief financial officer of AngloGold Ashanti; Michael
Judin, partner at Judin Combrink Inc. Attorneys; Dineo Molefe, managing director of
T-Systems; and Norman Mbazima, chairperson of Anglo American South Africa.

The discussion covered various topics such as the effectiveness of introducing policy
to enforce gender diversity. Was the JSE on the right track? Are women being sought in
the right places? How do we ensure companies do not approach gender diversification
as just another compliance challenge? And how is technology going to change the skills
requirements for board memberships in the future?

The panel was in agreement that the JSE took the right step in mandating women’s
inclusion on boards, however, we could not rely solely on policy. As Judin pointed
out: “The people who actually should be pushing the gender agenda are shareholders
because they ultimately decide on who sits on the board. So, they should actually be
dictating to boards about their aspirations in this regard.”

Leadership accountability

Molefe, whose company T-Systems has been a key sponsor of the 30%
CSA since inception, says that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any
of the issues raised in the gender inclusionary debate. “What the JSE has
done is a good first step, but more needs to be done. We need to be more
definitive in terms of the actual number of women required on boards and
issue firmer guidelines as to the kind of numbers that create balance. For
example, are we aiming for 30 per cent, because it has been proven to be a
figure that facilitates impact? The same approach that was taken around BEE
and transformation in terms of guidelines needs to be introduced in this
instance. Companies and sectors must aspire to set out guidelines.”

From left: Isabella Makuta “The same approach that was taken to
and Getty Simelane. BEE and transformation in terms of
guidelines needs to be introduced in
this instance. Companies and sectors

must aspire to set out guidelines.”

— Dineo Molefe

IMAGES: JOLANDI WESSELS CWP PHOTOGRAPHY, SUPPLIED But, Molefe says, the onus is not on the JSE to ensure that gender
transformation happens, it is also up to the individual company boards that
need to have concrete strategies in place. “I have found that organisations
will have a talent pool of women, but they do not create the tools for them
to succeed. The tools include things such as organisation-wide support,
succession planning, sponsors, mentors and coaches. I have often seen
that women are promoted to senior positions, but no one is invested or
accountable for their success. For gender mainstreaming to be successful,
someone, preferably the CEO, needs to be held accountable,” Molefe says. ■

From left: Dante Mashile and xxxxx
Faith Khanyile. xxxxxxx

For more information: 30% Club
Tel: (+27) 084-353-9865 wwwwww..3300ppeerrcceennttcclluubb..oorrgg..zzaa

AAnn iinniittiiaattiivvee ooff BBuussiinneessss EEnnggaaggee



W hile the majority of “While maximising shareholder value is usually the
companies are run goal of business, there is an increasing awareness that
by men, numerous ethics is essential for good governance.” — Colleen Larsen
studies reveal that
women leaders offer
organisations definite strategic advantages, says

Colleen Larsen, chief executive of specialist increased profitability of these companies”, and positions, while a 2015 survey by Pew showed
certainly ethics and profitability are linked in that American workers perceive female
gender mainstreaming group, Business Engage. today’s world, says Larsen. “While maximising executives as being more honest and ethical
shareholder value is usually the goal of than they do men.
This includes a more ethical company culture. business, there is an increasing awareness that
ethics is essential for good governance.” “Yet, despite increased profitability when
“Surveys show that women are likely to be women are in the top job, and despite the move
More than that, ethics avoids the huge costs in society towards an ethical ethos, which
more ethical than men and that women are of fraudulent activity, she notes. “Remember women may fulfil more readily than their male
Enron and the concomitant demise of Arthur counterparts, the road to the boardroom is still
more inclined to make decisions that are right Anderson? More recently, Volkswagen, which an obstacle course for many women. Certainly,
intentionally misrepresented diesel emission many men who are more likely to be hiring are
for the organisation rather than serve their own levels, saw its stock price plunge with huge inclined to maintain the status quo, even if out
harm done to the Volkswagen brand. Steinhoff, of unconscious bias, and hire other men. Even
self-interests,” she says. Women are also more found to have declared false profits, is a local today, to many, a leader still means a man.”
case in point.
likely to believe that corporate ethical codes But, she says, if women are more likely to
“Looking at only profits is not sustainable, maintain their integrity and ethics as well as
make a positive difference in an organisation. and anything that is not sustainable cannot be show better results for shareholders and the
ethical. You are just causing problems for the bottom line, isn’t it time to agree that business
“Ethics is no namby-pamby intangible,” says all-round would be better if we paved the way
next generation to solve,” she says. for more women leaders?
Larsen. “It means making decisions and acting Last year, US polling
As Larsen says: “What would our business
in a manner that enables the organisation to organisation Pew Research world look like if we subverted the status quo
Center found that about and appointed more women leaders? I’ll tell
satisfy the physical, emotional and spiritual 70 per cent of women believe you. It would look more ethical, more profitable
there are too few women and more sustainable.” ■
needs of all its stakeholders — both now and in top executive business

for a sustainable future.

“Paresh Soni of Mancosa’s Graduate

School of Business writing in the Financial

Mail recently, puts it succinctly: ‘Lack

of ethical leadership is destroying

natural ecosystems that sustain

us, undermining our economic

future, dismantling trust in self-

government, undoing the sense of

shared interest that allows us to

co-exist and unravelling the threads

of community that nurture us’.”

Larsen also cites Bonang Mohale, ETHICS,
CEO of Business Leadership and women

South Africa, who wrote With studies showing women leaders are
more likely to be ethical than men,
recently: “South Africa
it’s time to subvert the status quo, writes
and the world is Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor

crying out for ethical

leaders.” A 2016

Peterson Institute

for International

Economics paper

that surveyed nearly

22 000 companies

globally found “the

presence of more

IMAGES: SUPPLIED female leaders

in top positions

of corporate

management Colleen
correlates with Larsen


The road to


remains rocky

There are still too few Wendy Lucas-Bulls and Bridgette Radebes in SA’s boardrooms,
but this also means opportunities for gender balancing, says Business Engage’s
Malcolm Larsen. He chats to Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor

T he inaugural launch of gender diversity at board level in available information in the form of Integrated
of The State of these publications. A number Annual Reports for the period 1 January 2017
of other companies noted to 31 December 2017.
Gender on the requirement and
advised that they are He says it was a response to often-asked
JSE-Listed looking at it,” he says. questions, such as “What are the opportunities
Boards report Zeona Jacobs, the for women on boards in South Africa?” “Why
shows that, collectively, director of Marketing are there not more women on the boards of
and Corporate Affairs listed companies?” and “Are there enough
women have yet to break for the JSE, also focuses women of the right calibre to fill board
on the possibilities: “While positions as they arise?”
through the barriers imposed
women remain significantly No room for tradition
by gender bias. Malcolm under-represented at board level, the JSE and other bias
Of the 267 JSE-listed Larsen listing requirements appear to have been a
contributor to motivating companies to be There are many reasons why there is limited
companies evaluated from their introspective regarding their gender diversity board representation by women, he says. “It
at this level.” may be unconscious bias on the part of those
2017 Integrated Annual reports, only These developments are something Larsen hiring, or more consciously, an extension of
calls a “quevolution. It’s no revolution, but the old boys’ club.” There’s also the double
10 achieved gender parity — that is, 50 per we’re expecting a quick evolution”. bind women face such as the responsibility
Larsen says the report, released late last of balancing work and family. There’s no
cent female board representation — at the year and compiled by the 30% Club Southern doubt that the “old way of working” still has
Africa chapter of which Business Engage is the a major influence on attitudes. Engineers,
time of the report, with another seven close to custodian, in association with the Institute of mostly men at the time, built the original great
Directors Southern Africa, WDB Investment American companies. It was infrastructure
achieving parity with the appointment of just Holdings, management consulting firm Korn — skyscrapers, railroads, oil pipelines — and
Ferry and Brand SA, was based on publicly those engineers and project managers moved
one more woman to the board. into management. Nothing much has changed.

But looking at it from a glass-half-full

perspective, specialist gender mainstreaming

group Business Engage’s company secretary,

Malcolm Larsen, says this presents

“opportunities” for 84 women to join the

boards of 62 of these JSE-listed companies.

“In most companies — 94% in all — there

is space for one or two women to join a board.

Investment holding company Stellar Capital

says it plans to go from 10 males and no female

board members to gender parity, giving an

opportunity for five women to join that board “While women remain significantly under-represented
at board level, the JSE listing requirements appear to
over the long-term.” have been a contributor to motivating companies to be
introspective regarding their gender diversity at this
Larsen says 32 of the companies analysed
level.” — Zeona Jacobs
still have no women on their board while

50 companies chose not to report on

gender at board level to their shareholders.

“This is despite amendments to JSE listing

requirements to include a policy of promotion

10 F M W O M E N


“While we can probably forget about “Gender diversity takes away from group think and encourages
more debate that leads to better, thought-out decisions with fresh
complete parity in the short-term, we insights. It also affects company culture positively with women
generally more collaborative. The argument that the issues are
can work on moving the dial a little complex and females do not have the required experience is generally
nonsense,” says Larsen.
more each year.” — Malcolm Larsen
Women must seize the opportunities
“Even modern companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon
have ultra-modern processes and Victorian attitudes,” says Larsen. “Right now,” says Larsen, “everybody accepts that business is not
‘business as usual’. This creates a great opportunity for women, but
He says while the “Golden Skirt Syndrome” — where the same, they also have to take that opportunity. It’s not going to be given to
usually politically well-connected, women are appointed to multiple them on a plate — far from it.” He says many men feel threatened
boards at the expense of other women — is a global phenomenon, it’s a by the push for more women at senior positions in the workplace,
self-defeating exercise. “Directors who sit on multiple boards run the risk so it is as important for men to be as much part of the conversation
of becoming too thinly stretched. Despite their considerable expertise, as women.
they may struggle to give sufficient attention to their respective board
responsibilities. Executive search companies have a responsibility to The report, says Larsen, is the first of its kind and will be used
expand their search for available female talent in South Africa.” He as a baseline to measure future progress and track companies in
attributes this to human nature. “All things being equal, would you want relation to commitments made.
Jane Soap on your board or Bridgette Radebe? Of course, the board is
concerned about themselves, their future and the company. Societal needs The next report, which covers 1 January to 31 December 2018,
are usually low on most boards’ criteria.” expected in September 2019, will be more subjective. “We’ll look at
why the boards made the decisions they’ve made, what challenges
Larsen says if anything stood out for him after analysing the report, they face and how they’re overcoming them.”
it was that very few companies tie in their race diversity in terms of
B-bBEE with their gender diversity. “This surprised us. We thought Still, Larsen is clear: the report is not meant to be a “reproachful”
many more companies would see an advantage in merging their race document, but a “constructive” one.
and gender policies.”
He is also cautiously optimistic: Larsen believes a “collective
On why gender representation is important, he says it’s about consciousness” will take hold. “While we can probably forget about
“societal balance. The days of men being the sole breadwinners are way complete parity in the short-term, we can work on moving the dial
gone — the family framework can’t support that today. And what other a little more each year.” ■
resource other than labour does society use only half of and think it a
IMAGES: SUPPLIED good idea?”

It also makes a difference to a company’s bottom line. After a 2016
study, US think-tank Peterson Institute for International Economics
concluded that gender diversity boosts profitability. (But other studies
show it usually takes more than one woman on the board to make
a difference).

• In Norway, all listed companies must have at least 40 per cent women on their boards or
face fines until compliant.

• Spain and Iceland have also set their minimum female quota at 40 per cent. In Iceland,
it applies to public and private companies with more than 50 employees.

• In Switzerland, women must occupy 30 per cent of board seats and 20 per cent of top
management positions.

• Germany has set a 30 per cent quota for board seats to be filled by women.
• In the UK, while not legislated, the female board gender target is 33 per cent.
• California is the only US state to impose a quota requiring at least one female

director on the board of each California-based public corporation by the end of 2019.
Companies will need up to three female directors by the end of 2021, depending on the
number of board seats.

Sources:;; and

11 F M W O M E N



Obtaining unique skills that allow you to add value to the culture of an organisation

is fast becomming a business imperative, shares VANISHA BALGOBIND, Exxaro’s

executive head of Human Resources

E xxaro’s 2026 strategy of Pretoria will be moving to a new o ce soon. enhance their understanding of how
following a cultural journey Balgobind believes the new o ce, featuring technology can make their jobs more e cient.
to success includes, but is open-plan workspaces, will enhance the Another interesting programme is Biomimicry,
not limited to, exercising Exxaro culture in terms of new ways of which allows us to solve complex human
diversity and inclusivity of working. “Inclusivity is important in the sense problems by adopting systems, processes and
all employees at the company. “Diversity and that it allows people to speak their minds and elements of nature patterns,” says Balgobind.
inclusivity will allow us to move forward bring new thoughts and ideas to the table.
and have a diverse culture where we bring By means of constructive conversations and An important part of being adaptable is
different minds and skills together. People collaboration and a conducive environment, being aware of your own paradigms
and frame of reference. “ is will allow you to

who possess unique skills the organisation will only move understand the person next to you and engage
can add value to their forward. With the new o ce, e ectively. If you understand yourself,
respective departments people will be encouraged to you will be able to see diversity in a positive
and the company adapt to new ways light versus seeing it as a form of resistance,”
as a whole. “Going of working. says Balgobind.
forward, we “We’ve created the
are looking at workplace to encourage us far, the various training programmes
implemented by the organisation have been

people who have collaborative behaviour hugely successful. It is no wonder that the
valuable skills company has such a low turnover of employees.
and can assist with and teamwork,”
solving problems by In conclusion, Balgobind says she is a big
being innovative and Vanisha says Balgobind. believer in the power of positivity. “I truly
collaborative to enhance Balgobind She believes one has believe that employees should feel a sense of
value creation for us,” says purpose, appreciation and belonging. People
to be adaptable to obtain want to be recognised for their value and

results and business solutions.

Exxaro runs many programmes

Vanisha Balgobind, executive head at all levels in the company to assist with performance and if you choose to believe this,
of Human Resources at Exxaro. just that. they will continue to surprise you and soar to
new heights time and time again,”
Exxaro welcomes new workforce “Currently, we are running digitisation says Balgobind.
generations of all ages, cultures, religions and training programmes so that people can
ethnicity. e attributes of the Exxaro culture
of success include diversity, being open and “Culture is not static, but rather an outcome of
connected, responsibility, taking ownership your behaviour and the action you take within the
of one’s career and performance and being organisation. We believe that these attributes will
adaptable. “Culture is not static, but rather an
outcome of your behaviour and the action you go a long way towards achieving Exxaro’s 2026
take within the organisation. We believe that strategy.” — Vanisha Balgobind
these attributes will go a long way towards
achieving our 2026 strategy,” said Balgobind.

In the same vein, the Exxaro head o ce in

12 F M WO M E N


Bontle Mtshengu says she finds joy in making To aspiring engineers, Mtshengu has
Mtshengu a positive impact on other people’s lives, the following message: “Regardless of
which makes her ideal for the position your background or ethnicity, don’t allow
Exxaro Leeuwpan she is in. As engineering manager, her people to redirect your life. There are so
role is to ensure Leeuwpan engineering many opportunities, but only you can
Bontle Mtshengu, Exxaro’s engineering strategy is in place and executed to meet the decide how best to use them. You are the
manager at Leeuwpan Coal Mine, hopes that business plan. As a legal appointee, she is driver of your own destiny and you run
the work done by her team and herself will also responsible to ensure compliance with your own race.”
serve as a benchmark for other Exxaro the requirements of the Mine Health and
Business Units. “The world is rapidly changing Safety Act. This is no small task as she leads “The most important
and you have to keep abreast with all the a team of more than 200 employees and resource for any
change, especially with regards to insights and contractors. Her secret, she says, is to put business is its
possibilities brought on by the world systems in place and also to identify gaps
of technology. There is a lot happening in the that would allow her to create the ideal employees. Making
asset maintenance space,” says Mtshengu. working environment. time and taking care
of their basic needs is
“For me, leadership is about people. an important role for
The most important resource for any
business is its employees. any leader.”

“Making time and taking care of their — Bontle Mtshengu
basic needs is an important role for any
leader,” she says.

Malathee and coaching junior engineers. However, in all its forms, be it gender, youth,
Padayachy since she was a junior at the company, language or race, does result in resistance
she realised that she needed to stand her at times, but you needs to overcome that.”
Industrial Engineer ground to make a name for herself in
the industry. “I can remember when I Looking to the future, Padayachy says
As a principal industrial engineer, Malathee started out being asked to take minutes industrial engineers at Exxaro play a
Padayachy, entered the industry at a very young at meetings. Even though I was junior, critical role in the digital future of
age and learned to stand her ground in order I realised I needed to stand my ground the company. “Part of my job involves
to reach new heights. She is proud of her early on. So, I agreed to assist, provided supporting decision-making. Data is
position and excels in her role of improving and that the task would be rotated and becoming a strategic asset and those able
optimising processes, systems and mentoring included my male colleagues,” she says. to understand data and derive insights
from it will become valuable resources.
Padayachy believes in taking
an integrated approach to solving “In addition to this, industrial
problems. She is inspired by Dr Judy engineers have the ability to apply a
Dlamini’s book Equal but Different and systemic view and understand system
says there are pockets of good and bad complexity. We are currently enhancing
that are not industry specific. “Diversity our skill set to include data science to
support this digital future.”

Contact Details
+27 12 307 7298
13 F M W O M E N



diversity and transformation

The advancement of women employees within Nedbank is of utmost importance to not

Nonly transform the sector, but also create economic growth “One must lead by example. When a woman
edbank welcomes sees another being recognised on a senior
clients to a bank that management level, it inspires her to achieve
is passionate about more. Anything is possible! At Nedbank, we
achieving gender diversity empower women by listening to their unique
and transformation in issues and develop systems that cater to them,”
the workplace. The transformation of the she says.

financial sector is crucial in building a better With more than 20 000 employees in her
structure and 28 years of experience, Lechaba
South Africa with regards to economic says gender equality is very close to her heart.
“When it comes to people’s practices, we take
growth, development and, of course, client particular care to ensure equality around
recruitment, appointments, development
service. Nedbank is building an equitable Millicent programme interventions in the organisation.”
society with a 62 per cent female workforce Lechaba
In conclusion, gender equality goes further
that is people-centred. At senior management than a gentleman opening a door for a lady. It’s
rather about opening a door to possibilities.
level, 35 per cent of Nedbank’s leadership Retail and Business Banking
“At Nedbank, we aim at
is female. The advancement of women and bringing diversity to work

development of skills in the workforce is key Millicent Lechaba, executive head of Retail for all our clients.”

to the organisation. Nedbank is changing the and Business Banking relates of how male — Millicent Lechaba

so-called “man’s world” into a world of endless role models encouraged her to work hard and

possibilities for all. achieve her goals.

“With hard work and opening doors for one

another, we can truly achieve gender equality in

the workplace. Every solution must work for the

external client, both male and female. With that

said, we have a large representation of female

voices in the organisation, that are looking for

Mike Davis solutions and showing true leadership,” says

Lechaba. With gender equality at the heart of

transformation, recognition is key for Lechaba.

Balance Sheet Management (BSM) female talent. It goes without saying that gender pay discrepancies must be
eliminated,” says Davis.
Mike Davis, group executive, Balance Sheet Management, says women may
be hesitant to take on leadership roles due to unfair business expectations. True to its mission, Nedbank has several training interventions in place
“Often, business practices, operations and functions don’t take into account such as media training for female leaders, entrepreneurial workshops as well
the dual role that women (and to an increasing extent men) have to play on as take-a-girl-child-to-work days. Furthermore, awareness campaigns on
the home front and in the workplace. This is not necessarily by design. Due breast cancer and sexual harassment are held and female colleagues have
to unfair business expectations, women may deliberately not take leadership special breastfeeding rooms. With this in mind, Davis encourages both male
positions,” says Davis. and female leaders to speak up and take a strong stand for gender equality.
“Gender equality starts at the top. Women in senior positions must speak up
The solution, he says, is for organisations to promote work-life balance while men need to become allies in promoting gender equality.”
and flexible work practices. “Furthermore, organisations need to create
gender-specific strategies, coaching and mentorship programmes to develop

Contact Details
[email protected]

14 F M W O M E N



in previous

SA’s financial services sector is sophisticated, well-regulated,

and world-class, but it underperforms when it comes to

transformation, writes Kate Ferreira

A ccording to National Treasury, assets in must be cognisant of the difficulties and Kirshni
financial services are three times larger challenges,” she says. “But we can’t make Totaram
than the country’s gross domestic product excuses for no effort.
(GDP) — higher than most emerging
markets. But, 25 years after the dawn of “Women have outperformed men
democracy, the sector’s demographic makeup, which is academically for more than 30 years, and we are
lacking in both race and gender, still does not reflect that of in an industry that is about mental processing,
the country. not heavy lifting. There is no ability impediment,
no reason why we shouldn’t see equal numbers of
Kirshni Totaram, global head of institutional business at men and women. Rather, the impediment comes
Coronation Fund Managers, says that is because we’ve had through societal issues and old structures that
to unravel inequality on two fronts simultaneously. “We haven’t changed to be more accommodating.”

Forging their own paths This is why Bravura runs an internship one that might just provide a competitive
programme aimed at bringing in young, advantage. “One of our biggest strengths at
In the face of these “old structures”, black women (and people who 27Four is that every single division is headed
some top South African women come from different academic up by a woman, myself as MD and our chief
in finance chose to strike out backgrounds too). She also investment officer, our financial director, the
on their own. Soria Hay mentors both men and CEO of our life company, and so on. We have
was 29 years old when she women and says that women women leading the organisation, and I think
founded her firm, Bravura, have to work harder to shake women are sensitive to meeting client service
in 1999. Hay says she had off the expectations of society requirements.” ›
become frustrated with a
workplace that curtailed her, Soria – like being a caregiver, the Fatima
and so decided to create the Hay primary parent, and the pressure Vawda
environment she wanted to be in,
one where she could consult directly to be “nice” at work. “You can’t be
with clients and run with the ideas she had. all things to all people; you have to pick
your priorities.”
To Hay’s mind, the problem is self- Fatima Vawda founded 27four Investment
perpetuating unless tackled directly. People Managers in 2007. “I felt I had had sufficient
tend to hire those who look and think like experience to see where the gaps and needs of
themselves, so changing this requires a the market were. I wanted to follow my own
concerted effort. “Diversity doesn’t happen by vision,” she says.
itself; it needs careful thinking and planning,” For her, being a woman in financial services
she says. isn’t just a matter of equal opportunity, but

15 F M W O M E N


and provide support and mentorship to other flexibility to be responsive to family needs, but
they work hard and are incredibly accountable.
women,” she says. Home and work support structures give them
the framework in which to best juggle — not
Ramathe cautions that she is not suggesting balance — their responsibilities,” she says.

it is only the responsibility of women to give “Juggle” is a word that comes up time and
again. Yolandie Ferreira is a member of audit
other women “a step up”, rather, she says, the and accounting firm Mazars South Africa’s
executive committee. She reiterates that the
cultural norms of the workplace are dictated by
“dual burden” of home responsibility
the dominant group, “and that is men”. in conjunction with climbing
the corporate ladder places
Mamokete In her experience, progress has meant that “tremendous pressure” on
Ramathe executive women.
much of the blatant discrimination has been Given this, she says,
Attrition and the widening gap fostering “a corporate
removed. “People don’t come out culture that allows enough
Bringing in women is one thing, keeping them flexibility and understanding
is another. The inequality is most evident and say they don’t think women of personal responsibilities”
at the C-Suite level. 27Four produces an
annual report on transformation in the asset are capable. We’ve moved is the only way to support these
management space, and this past year’s report executives and other up-and-coming
(September 2018), found that big gains year- beyond that stage.” The women employees, allowing them “to juggle
on-year mean that this subset of the industry their day-to-day tasks without choosing
is moving towards being almost equal (48 per barriers lie in the subtle between the two”.
cent women).
unexamined practices — A joint effort

things like doing business Yolandie Ramathe, who is also a non-executive
on the golf course, or in Ferreira director of Business Engage, which hosts the
bars after hours. annual Gender Mainstreaming Awards that
recognises the efforts of industry to support
“Culture can’t be measured, women and celebrates the companies that have
taken progressive actions to raise women up,
but it is real. We need open argues that the sector has to extend reporting
efforts beyond the company-view, to get a
engagement to interrupt this. It is sector-wide view of the situation and efforts
to equalise. “Really though,” she adds, “the
“Culture can’t be measured, but it is real. We need issue of transformation must go beyond ‘just’
open engagement to interrupt this. It is important for representation of women, towards inclusivity.”
organisations to take specific initiatives to create this
awareness, and these need to be driven from the top by Furthermore, we need men to be allies. “It
decision-makers, so they can have credibility.” cannot just be women talking to each other.
For true transformation to happen, we need
— Mamokete Ramathe everyone on board, because it is not the women
who still hold power. It must be a joint effort
“Some will say we’ve come so far, while important for organisations to take specific and sponsored from the top.” ■ IMAGES: SUPPLIED
others feel hopeless about the lack of progress,” initiatives to create this awareness, and these
says Mamokete Ramathe, CEO of Mamor need to be driven from the top by decision-
Capital. “It is a topic for discussion: Why are we makers, so they can have credibility,”
not there yet? When are we going to get there?” Ramathe says.

It is, says Ramathe, not unique to financial Totaram says that traditionally financial
services, but cuts across sectors. “The main services has a reputation as a hard
reason for this attrition is because of the environment, but this doesn’t have to be the
cultural environment, which is not conducive case, especially since technology is enabling
for women to thrive, be themselves, and take remote work. “We have a lot of women who
up leadership positions. We have too few are the family breadwinners and in senior
women in top positions who can inspire others positions in this company. They are given the


By 2020, Vawda says, two-thirds of the world’s wealth will be owned by millennials and women. The industry will have to radically change its gender makeup if it wants to keep up with
prevailing trends of wealth ownership, and for firms to avoid “becoming the Kodak of the industry”. “A lot of companies in SA don’t recognise that [millennials] think differently and will
soon make up the largest contributing group towards capital, in terms of savings and investments. That is a big risk to companies that aren’t aware of the likes of this group who are driving
ethics-based investment, saying they don’t want to invest with companies who [act in conflict with their ethics]. We’ve been trying for years to promote socially responsible investing and now
millennials are leading this.” These demographics, she says, “will redefine the world of work”.

16 F M W O M E N



ensures diverse thinking

Diversification and transformation within organisations entails Yvonne
more than race and gender. It talks to diversity of thinking and Perumal
has become a critical element to ensure a company thrives. The
Liberty Group is leading the way with the organisation’s diverse YVONNE PERUMAL,
teams who hold different world views.
divisional executive:
PUMEZA diversity brings and Legal, Liberty Group
how much we can learn “ ere is strength in diversity. With collective
executive: Human wisdom, one can truly achieve greatness.” With more
from others. It is truly than 15 years of experience in the nancial services
Capital, Liberty Industry, Yvonne Perumal believes that stepping out
enriching,” of your comfort zone and pushing your limits,
Group is the secret to success.
she says.
e Liberty boardroom is “Many times throughout my career, I was either
not limited to the board Pumeza Equally, Liberty’s the youngest person or the only female in the room,
or members of exco; it is Bam boardrooms are but it did not deter me from reaching my goals.
available to every level
from business managers, accessible to all levels of is is largely due to hard work and the incredible
actuaries, nancial mentorship that I received from both individuals and
advisers, underwriters and other specialists in its sta to have business leaders within the Liberty Group,” Perumal says.
various buildings across the continent.
engagements. “We are She says she and her team work tirelessly to
Bam has done extensive research on the impact provide robust and innovative legal solutions to the
of a diverse/transformed leadership and believes continuosly working insurance, pension fund, investment, assessment
that role players at every level should management, property and healthcare businesses
be empowered. on growing our teams to ensure a diverse team within the Liberty Group. Liberty fosters an inclusive
environment, which allows people to engage,
“A diverse leadership means inclusion for all in in terms of age, gender and sexual orientation. participate and contribute in the development and
an environment that has to represent the broader execution of its goals at various levels.
society that we live and operate in. It is not helpful Such diversity works in the organisations’ favour
to just have men or women in the boardroom, “At Liberty, we don’t box people. Instead, we have
exclusively,” says Bam. — we get a di erent perspective on life and adopted the mentality of fostering and mentoring
young teams to grow within the organisation and
For example, the Liberty o ce is structured in business issues, and this ensures that we don’t shape them as leaders.” says Perumal.
an open-plan-style that allows for easy interaction
for all layers of people who work there. It is an get stuck in a repetitive way of thinking and Being part of a diverse team is only the beginning.
environment that is encouraging for employees How does one stand out and truly make a di erence?
to be free and con dent about who they are in conducting business. Diverse workplaces are
the organisation; this can have a positive impact “To stand out, one should be resilient, con dent
in the broader society. “Everybody has their certainly better,” says Bam. and truly authentic. is is how one can embrace
part to play. We all need to see the value that con ict, take on challenges and develop consensus
Lastly, Bam, raised in an environment that between people,” she says.

encouraged her to love and interact with people Perumal encourages women, in particular, to be
unapologetically themselves whether at home or in
that didn’t necessarily look like her, adds that the boardroom.

this fuelled her love for global travel. It has also

helped her understand and appreciate how to

navigate some tough situations with people

that have challenged her core beliefs in her

career trajectory.

“Diversity, from your upbringing and in the

workplace, o ers a learning experience

a er all.” ■

For more information

17 F M W O M E N


Comair’s Wrenelle Stander
European airline industry. This led to a student
talks to Kim Maxwell about
internship at British Airways in the United
leadership, integrity
Kingdom. Subsequently, she has held various
I and humility
n October 2018, Wrenelle Stander executive leadership positions within the civil
joined Comair Limited as executive
director of the airline division, aviation industry in South Africa, including as Wrenelle
where she oversees British Airways Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Stander
and low-cost airline
Thanks to its JSE-listing, Stander’s actions are MD and Aviation and Maritime Regulation
answerable to both the Comair board and a
broader range of investors. chief director.

The issue she is working hardest to change Stander’s 25-year career has zigzagged “My leadership style is
is ensuring that people get to their destinations across other industries too. By her own
on time, more often. It is why Stander visits
Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport on Fridays admission, it has provided “amazing fair and consistent. Above
to participate in weekly on-time performance opportunities to run enterprises, manage big all, I lead with integrity
meetings that assess past and future challenges capital projects, work in an organisation with and strive to maintain
for staff. “Getting out into the operations a complex global matrix, and work on
allows me to experience first-hand what both
our customers and employees experience on a numerous boards”. humility.” — Wrenelle Stander
regular basis,” says Stander. “Friday is a really She says these roles have always required
busy operational day and we have been battling
poor on-time performance.” leveraging cross-functional thinking between

On the ground, this involves observing government policy, intersecting
customers experiencing delays and chatting
to a range of employees from ramp controllers with NGOs, business
to crew. She interacts and observes staff
competencies to develop an understanding of and/or customers and FAST FACTS spheres.” Her decisions are
where internal efficiencies can be improved. then “negotiating the guided by a strong sense
sweet spot”. 44 000 — approximate number of duty of care.
“Context matters — you can’t only look Comair has been
inward. You need to constantly monitor Integrity first of Comair customers travelling recognised as a top
the external environment,” says Stander.
Something is working — between December “My leadership style across South Africa daily. employer, focusing
and April, the airlines experienced significant
on-time improvements. Stander’s goals include 2 000+ — number of people
improving airline performance through cost
reductions, elevating customer experiences, employed by Comair Limited.
accelerating transformation into a digitally-
enabled airline, and driving high performance is fair and consistent. 12 — domestic and regional on addressing
through employee engagement. “Relationships Above all, I lead with gender imbalances
are critical in the airline business,” she adds. integrity and strive destinations serviced by and transformation.
to maintain humility,” “The airline executive
Why aviation? and British Airways.

Stander’s interest in aviation started in 1990, 130 — flights operated daily
with her MBA thesis on the deregulation of the
by these two airlines.

she says. She does this by management team currently

shaping a culture, ensuring comprises five people, of which

simplicity and alignment, while two are women,” says Stander. She is

motivating, resourcing and enabling high- proud that her workplace demonstrates that

quality work. “I hold people accountable and a “diversity of people from different social

I am comfortable to make people changes backgrounds and genders working together in

when required.” mutual respect and harmony” is possible.

What soft skills does she bring? “For most This executive director of two airlines is

of my career I’ve worked in male-dominated frequently challenged, but is still “having IMAGES: SUPPLIED

industries,” says Stander. “I value collaboration tremendous fun”. Says Stander: “I’m loving the

and look for data-driven solutions. But I have interface with customers and employees, and

a high tolerance for ambiguity, and an ability very importantly, I’m really enjoying fixing

to move between strategic and operational what needs to be fixed.” ■

18 F M W O M E N


IMAGES: SUPPLIED BREAKING Investment opportunities
AND BUILDING “We are currently reviewing a number of investment opportunities
within the TMT sector and in the manufacturing value chain, including
from the ground up a technology company in the business of providing fast, affordable and
accessible data in under-serviced areas of SA,” says Neo Maruatona
In pursuit of its investment opportunities, Ratau, executive director at Mamor Investments. Mamor prefers to
invest in companies with an established track record of trading and
Mamor Capital believes embracing the journey profitability. If the investment team comes across a potential acquisition
that ticks all the boxes in terms of fundamental business principles
Pis as important as the destination itself of strong organic growth prospects, durable competitive advantage,
ermanent capital, a narrow sector focus coupled with healthy profit margins and the right management team, it will consider
an active operator model, as an investment approach investing. “We are very nimble and entrepreneurial in our approach
requires discipline in the principal investment world. It and will exert ourselves in reviewing a transaction if all the quality
is easy to get lured by super returns experienced within attributes and fundamentals are there,” says Ratau.
other sectors outside of your focus area and investment
criteria. For Mamor Capital, the choice to be a long-term investor with Strong team
a narrow sector focus is rooted in the management’s conviction that
carving out a niche will breed mastery and ultimately superior value- All of this would not be possible without the help of a dedicated team
add to its portfolio companies. The choice to adopt the operator model that has bought into the long-term vision and strategy of being very
in select cases of acquisitions is inspired by Mamor’s desire to help drive patient with the company’s investments. “We have teams spanning all
sustainable and transformational growth in SA and the region. our themes of choice, an investment committee and a board of directors
to assist in upholding all critical governance principles,” says Ramathe.
Mamor’s focus is on the telecommunications, media and technology
as well as the industrial sectors. Mamor Capital started on the Partnerships in SA and beyond
journey of actively driving the operator model and partnering
with strong management in 2017 through the acquisition of two Mamor Capital has bold ambitions of becoming
telecommunications infrastructure build companies that focus on an investment partner of choice in SA and the
providing full turnkey solutions for build and maintenance of the continent, working closely with the management
telecoms network infrastructure. of investee companies to drive growth strategies by
building from the ground up. Company owners or
“The underlying theme we look for in all prospective investments management teams in need of long-term partners
is digital infrastructure leadership and transformation. We seek to and investors who are forward-looking, experienced
drive investment activities that shape the future of production systems business partners in pursuit of the next level of
and processes, unlock sustainable value through leveraging the power growth can approach Mamor Capital for a capital
of digital technologies and grow sustainable industrialisation and conversation and a potentially long-term
innovation,” says Mamokete Ramathe, the founder and CEO. value-adding partnership. ■

Mamor is in the market for and actively looking to invest in business Mamokete
models that leverage the use of technology and are complementary Ramathe
and synergistic to the telecom infrastructure play. These might
comprise manufactured products or components used in the roll out
of technology infrastructure, or companies that provide services to
be layered on telecom infrastructure, as well as technology services
companies that help enable digital adoption.

Contact Details
+27 010 005 5926
[email protected]

19 F M W O M E N


at the top Three women at the height
of their careers chat to
Thando Pato about the
challenges and successes
they faced on their way to

the boardroom

Yolanda Ability is not meaningful inclusivity. Some of the key
Miya gender-dependent
challenges still facing women are “inadequate
Sponsorship in the Thabile Fuhrmann, chairperson at Cliffe Dekker
organisation is vital Hofmeyr, is passionate about transformation and support structures as they progress along the
the advancement of women and black professionals.
“I wouldn’t say I was groomed specifically for As a black female in the law profession, she says she corporate ladder”.
this position, but I was definitely groomed for faced many challenges, but the one that
leadership,” says Yolanda Miya, MD of Financing stood out was “convincing potential To get ahead, she advises, women need to be
Solutions at Deutsche Bank. At the time of her clients that my gender and race had
appointment in 2017, Miya became the first very little to do with my ability visible and get involved in activities or committees
female MD in the South African arm of the and capacity to sit around the
multinational and the only woman to hold a seat table with my in their organisations where their voices will
on the local executive committee. male colleagues.”
be heard and their presence felt.
While acknowledgements such as “first She says that while some
woman” or “only woman”, may seem like strides have been made in the legal “History has taught us that waiting
an achievement, Miya sees it more as a profession around gender representation,
responsibility. “We need to start believing that there’s still much work to be done to ensure in the periphery for a formal
it is our duty as women to unapologetically
uplift other women around us if we want to see invitation will not yield the results
impactful change in the industry.”
we seek,” Fuhrmann says.
Sponsorship is the key to doing so, she says.
“Senior sponsorship within the organisation is FTuhhabrmileann She adds that mentorship can IMAGES: SUPPLIED
absolutely critical for progress to senior roles.” help shape a successful career,
In her experience, it allows an individual access
to senior executives and to state how they would though she finds it works better on
like their career to progress.
an informal basis than a formal
Throughout her career, Miya says that she
has dealt with different forms of discrimination. structured programme.
The one she is passionate about tackling is equal
pay. “The financial services industry has a mixed Balancing family and career is always a challenge IMAGES: XXXXXXX
record when it comes to equal pay for men and
women, and I’ve felt strongly about rectifying “When I first joined the management board, I found myself a bit intimidated. It took a while to find my feet
this throughout my career.” and establish my authentic voice,” says Tammy Beira, talent partner at African law firm Bowmans.
She says that having other women represented on the board made it easier for her to make
the transition.

While there is an inaccurate perception that women do not support one another, this
has not been her experience. “I have found the support and encouragement from other
senior women at Bowmans to be particularly helpful.”

Beira says it is encouraging to work for a firm committed to diversity and the
development and promotion of women. Bowmans currently has a 50/50 gender
split on its management board. However, says Beira, the practice of law is demanding
and challenging, especially for working mothers who, she believes, should share their
experiences amongst themselves. “Balancing family and a career is a continuous challenge
and one many of us still struggle with. It can be very daunting and lonely at times, particularly
if you feel like you are the only one finding the balancing act difficult.”

Beira believes that mentorship can help shape a career. “Having a mentor is not
the single answer to advancement, but it definitely provides an avenue to gain
perspective, learn more about yourself and better navigate the environment you
operate in.” ■


20 F M W O M E N


W ith their focus on SO MUCH MORE
practical skills and
leadership, business than business
schools have largely
(and intentionally) Changing how we think about business schools is part of a
positioned themselves apart from traditional bigger shift in the positioning of these institutions and the
academia. But in an increasingly digital leaders they produce, writes Kate Ferreira
world, they also face disruption. How are
they staying relevant and preparing the next This is why Kosheek Sewchurran, acting the functional management and the leadership
generation of leaders? skills needed to navigate business needs”.
director of the University of Cape Town’s
Contextual and grounded Driven by diversity
Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB),
University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Leaders will be expected to encourage
Business Science (GIBS) dean Nicola Kleyn believes that they are “educating for the diversity, not only in demographics such as
believes that the notion that business and race and gender, but also in factors such as
business schools serve only “a select club of practice of management and leadership, rather diversity of approach and inclusive thinking.
people who exist solely to make a profit for
shareholders” is woefully outdated. than training people in the functions Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS Global)
recently released executive Masters in Business
“I would hate the market to of business”. Administration (MBA) rankings feature two
think that we don’t see business South African business schools in the top 50
as important,” she says. He says: “Practically, we do for the first time —UCT GSB at position 46
Management and leadership and GIBS at 48.
development courses are this through a focus on systems
still the bread and butter Ten per cent of an institution’s score
of the sector, but Kleyn thinking, design thinking, in this index comes from the “diversity”
believes that business schools category, where both South African schools
and educators play a key role integrative thinking, and outperformed their peers. Kleyn says that
in shaping society’s leaders and in South African business schools lead the way in
“co-developing socioeconomic pathways Nicola complexity.” this metric.
that foster more than the business sector”. Kleyn Sharmla Chetty, president
There is a growing global awareness that
She says: “Business schools don’t operate of Duke Corporate Education diversity is an end in itself, but particularly
in a vacuum. They must be attuned to the so in educational spaces that prioritise
expectations and needs of all stakeholders.” in Africa, says leaders need to be experiential learning, class discussion,
and group work — as corporate education
Future-proof prepared for a future driven by artificial programmes typically do. ■

Business schools now have to prepare graduates intelligence. People won’t be replaced in the Sharmla
for the unknown, for managing teams and Chetty
jobs that may not yet exist, and for guiding the workplace, but their role and tasks will change
workforce through a period of profound and
rapid change. massively as they work alongside technology,

Kosheek leading to more emphasis on relationship
management and emotional intelligence. “Our

future is going to be defined by human-centred

leadership, as well as by trust, ethics, humanity,

IMAGES: SUPPLIED and empathy,” she says.

Helena van Zyl, director of the University

of the Free State (UFS) Business School, says

this is why business schools have leadership

modules. “We have tried many models over

the years and found that the most important is

that students must understand themselves first.

Through this, students learn how to work in

groups, how to recognise abilities and manage

conflicts and differences. Many students come

back and tell us that this is where they first

learnt what leadership means,” she says.

Leaders also need to embrace lifelong

learning. Kumeshnee West, executive

education director for UCT GSB, says this

is essential in an ever-changing business

environment. “The focus of her division is to

ensure that leaders are well-rounded with both

25 F M W O M E N


GENDER GAP STILL Women are innovators
and leaders
Veronica Motloutsi’s experience in IT
Adam Oxford speaks to two IT leaders to has included stints as an executive head
at Vodacom, a senior IT manager at Sun
gain an understanding of the importance International, a lecturer and a programmer
at Nersa. Today she is CE at Smart Digital
wideof diversity in the 4IR Solutions, but says the gender gap at senior
levels in the sector remains stubbornly wide.
T echnology touches on every She points out that the 30-member Presidential
sector in the economy and Commission on the Fourth Industrial
will continue to do so over Revolution includes just nine women. It’s a
the next few years as big typical example of the state of things, she says.
data, AI and the internet of
things (IoT) mature. There’s a nationwide “In business, it is a numbers game,” Motloutsi
drive to harness the power of this “fourth says. “If few women are represented, the interest
industrial revolution” (4IR), so how do our of other women will not be considered. We
current female tech leaders think we can do know that women are great innovators and
so in a way that doesn’t perpetuate the gender leaders and that those skills are needed in the
disparities of the past? tech industry. There is a need for systematic and
sustained efforts from schools to universities
Female viewpoint adds Faith and the workplace to encourage women into IMAGES: SUPPLIED
extra dimension Burn leadership roles.”

South Africans are, says Faith Burn, the only woman in the room, and women Mentorship and executive sponsorship is
group CIO at Tshebe Solutions, innovative often struggle to be heard in the decision- needed to transform the industry, Motloutsi
thinkers and hard workers, and well making process. “We fight and work that says. But the current state of affairs shouldn’t
placed to reap the economic advantages of much harder to achieve what our male put off young women: “Young women should be
emerging technologies. But to really deliver counterparts do, but when we do it, we do it intentional and courageous.
on the promise, tech industry leaders with excellence,” she says.
“will need to see through the eyes of the “They must own the space, have the
customer and develop an ability to connect To get the industry to where it needs knowledge and be willing to innovate solutions
the dots that are not obviously connected”. to be, leaders need to be authentic and that will differentiate them from the pack. They
understand the importance of the whole must be solution-bringers and rise above any
That means placing greater emphasis on team. Learning to be a great leader, and negative voices.” ■
diversity, which, in turn, means growing the to make it to the top as a woman, requires
number of women in leadership positions patience. “Don’t rush the process,” she “There is a VMeortolnouictasi
in the industry. “Of course I am biased,” says, “it will take sacrifice, hard work need for
Burn says, “but I believe that women can and tenacity. Keep pushing even when it systematic
contribute significantly because they view feels like you are not being seen or heard, and
the world differently to men, and there is find different ways of voicing your input, sustained
always strength in diversity. even if it means doing voice training. Get efforts from
a couple of mentors, and make sure that schools to
“Females’ ability to bring people one of your mentors is male (believe me universities and
together, to listen, to empathise and to it helps). Know that it will be hard, but it the workplace, to
really see people is what will be needed will be worth it. encourage women into
as we move into an era where people leadership roles.”
want their needs serviced quicker, faster “And when you get to the top, look back,
and more personalised. Their ability to hold out your hand and lift someone else up.” — Veronica Motloutsi
be creative also contributes to finding
innovative ways of solving problems for
the customer.”

Things are changing, she says, but even
today there are many times that she remains

26 F M W O M E N


Culture of equality is a powerful


New Accenture research shows that empowering employees to innovate could raise the global GDP

W orkplace culture of equality is a powerful women for a balanced workforce makes sense,” says Ntombi Mhangwani,
multiplier of innovation and growth, head of Women's Forum and director for Integrated Marketing and
according to new research from Accenture. Communications at Accenture in Africa.
Published in the company’s Getting to Equal
2019 report, the research found that in South “The survey’s findings have particular relevance in our country
where the debate about the role of women, their place in business,

Africa, employees’ innovation mindset — their willingness and politics and other spheres is ongoing,” she says.

ability to innovate — is nearly six times higher in companies with a According to the research, the vast majority of executives agree that

robust culture of equality, where everyone can advance and thrive, continuous innovation is essential: 95 per cent see innovation as vital to

than in least-equal companies. Moreover, that mindset increases nearly competitiveness and business viability.

elevenfold when diversity is combined with a culture of equality, compared  Accenture’s new research is based on a survey of more than 18 000

to companies where these are least common. professionals in 27 countries, including 700 professionals in South Africa,

“In South Africa, we have a competitive environment. The corporate a survey of more than 150 C-suite executives in eight countries and a

race is on to innovate and find skilled specialist workers. Recruiting more model that combines employee survey results with published labour

force data.

 According to the research, South African employees in robust cultures

of equality are five times more likely to say that nothing holds them back

from innovating (50 per cent in most equal cultures versus 10 per cent in

“Recruiting more least-equal cultures).
women for a  However, organisations must close the important gap between C-suite

executives and employees to realise the benefits. While 76 per cent of

balanced workforce executives globally said they empower employees to innovate, only 44 per
makes sense.” cent of employees agree.

— Ntombi Mhangweni For example, executives appear to overestimate financial rewards, and
underestimate purpose, as motivations for employees to innovate. In a

more equal culture, the strongest factors underpinning an innovation

mindset include providing relevant skills training, flexible working

arrangements and respect for work/life balance.

While diversity factors alone (for example, a diverse leadership team

and a gender-balanced workforce) significantly impact innovation

mindset, a culture of equality is the essential multiplier to help companies

maximise innovation.

The new research found that an innovation mindset is stronger in fast-

growing economies and in countries with high labour-productivity growth.

The opportunity is enormous: Accenture calculates that global gross

domestic product would increase by up to US$8-trillion over 10 years
if the innovation mindset in all countries was raised by 10 percent. ■ 

27 F M W O M E N


Women can influence


The race to save the planet is on, yet experts say a lack of women in energy is holding back the sector in
terms of mitigating climate change. Puseletso Mompei talks to women making waves in this industry

A ccording to Ernst & Young’s Grimbeek has worked in the renewable energy
Women in Power and Utilities
Index, only five per cent of industry since 2010 and has also consulted to various
board executives and 16 per cent
of board members of the top IPPs on socioeconomic and economic development
200 utilities globally are women. Meanwhile, the
Climate Investment Fund says projects have a bigger projects. She says that women’s strength is their
chance at success if women are involved
in decision-making. holistic view and their emotional intelligence,

Thandi Hillie, chief executive officer of Sbhekuza Women Thandi which support financial decisions — balancing both
Investments and independent non-executive director for Egoli Gas, Hillie the bottom line and the impact on communities.
Reatile Gaz, and a non-executive director of Capability Enablers and Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CSIR research group leader:
Gestalt Fund Managers, agrees. Hillie says that by virtue of being in
the majority, women more easily identify with society’s needs and are Energy Industry, says that once at the table, navigating the
able to direct companies appropriately in terms of how they position
themselves and remain relevant. “Therefore, it’s women who are boardroom requires the technical grasp of the terrain, which has to
best placed to ensure that companies get maximum value from
women employees in a manner that leaves women feeling valuable be complemented with preparedness and diligence. She says that “you
and equal to men,” she explains.
have to be prepared to make unpopular decisions, or interrogate
“We need to support and mentor
ideas to make a valuable contribution, which takes bravery”.
aspiring young women, so that we can
Looking ahead, the prospects for women entering the energy space
tap into this promising generation of
look encouraging. Grimbeek points to the bursary allocation to women

as well as opportunities to engage with international organisations,

highlighting the Global Wind Energy Council’s Global Leadership

programme, which she is enrolled in, with its access to networks, global

developments in the industry and the opportunity to contribute on a

global level.

“We need to support and mentor aspiring young women, so that we

can tap into this promising generation of talented minds in the energy

sector,” Grimbeek says. ■

talented minds in the energy sector.”

— Mercia Grimbeek GLOBAL OUTLOOK

According to statistics released by global research company Catalyst, there are

She also points out the obvious fact that because fewer women in oil and gas than almost any other major industry.Women

the majority of the population is female, it is fair Ntombifuthi account for less than a quarter (22 per cent) of employees in the oil and gas
that women are fairly represented at board level. Ntuli industry. Gender diversity decreases with seniority. Across the world,
women account for:
Mercia Grimbeek, the compliance • 27% of entry-level positions (requiring college degrees);
manager at Mainstream Asset Management • 25% of mid-career roles;
South Africa and the current South African • 17% of senior/executive-level roles; and
Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) board • 1% of CEOs.
chair, chair of the MAMSA Social and Ethics The global power and utilities industry has increased the representation
Committee and a member of the Mainstream
of women on boards over the past five years — from two per cent in 2014 to
Global Ethics and Compliance Committee, says
17 per cent in 2019. Women also make up nearly a third (32 per cent) of the IMAGES: SUPPLIED

the benefits of having women in the boardroom include global renewable energy workforce. In 2018, only 19 women (10 per cent) were

gaining a different perspective and innovative thinking. “It allows executives in the top 20 energy companies in the Fortune Global 500. This is a small

us to ask multi-pronged, challenging questions, which lead to more increase from eight per cent in 2014.

optimal solutions,” she says.

28 F M W O M E N



drive success

There is a paucity of women in boardrooms in the pharmaceutical industry.
Puseletso Mompei talks to two female leaders about the importance of gender equality

and diversity in their organisations

agility. I have had to learn that failure is not a bad thing; often

A holistic approach to decision-making it’s the best way to learn and to challenge approaches. What is

Sharon Te Roller, managing director of Mundi Pharma since 2017, important is how fast you respond and implement
echoes the importance of gender representation at board level. She
says: “It’s critical to have both genders represented at board level as this your learning,” she explains.
brings various approaches and viewpoints to the table so that one is
able to take a more holistic approach to decision-making.” Her position at the helm of the

Te Roller has moved from town planning to pharmaceuticals and the organisation has allowed her the
boardroom, and says: “advancing quickly through various managerial
roles has required me to be tenacious, adaptable and push my learning opportunity to help members of

“If one has a singular view, this her team to reach their potential
will mitigate the potential for an
organisation to really understand and and push their perceived
play successfully across a broader
base.” — Sharon Te Roller limitations. She emphasises that

the people employed in a company

are diverse as is the market in

which an organisation plays.

“If one has a singular view, this

will mitigate the potential for an

organisation to really understand

and play successfully across a Sharon
broader base.” Te Roller

also be coupled with a high level of integrity and a genuine willingness

Embracing diversity to work transversally. Being empathetic and having a great sense of

A qualified attorney, Head of Legal at Sanofi since her appointment humour also goes a long way,” adds Ankiah.
in 2018, Gobisha Ankiah appreciates the challenging legal framework
of the pharmaceutical industry. Her role, she explains, allows her to Regarding the importance of operating in a progressive company,
provide real value to the business and form a vital part of the core team.
Ankiah says: “Gender balance and diversity are key to any organisation
Ankiah additionally sits on the South African Sanofi Gender
Balance Council — the local committee of the Global Sanofi Gender that wants to remain viable and sustainable in the long-term. There
Balance Committee. She also drives BEE transformation
in Sanofi as part of a transversal task team, which is is innumerable value to be derived from the sharing and embracing
committed to the promotion of employment equity as
one of its pillars. of different world views and experiences, both from a gender and

“The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that to diversity perspective.” She adds that women, people of colour, people
be a successful and influential in-house counsel,
you need far more than a keen legal mind. It is not of all sexual orientations, religious beliefs, disabilities, and
only interpretation and analysis of the law, but more
importantly, application of the law to the business.” age groups all bring a set of values and insights that are
Open-mindedness, flexibility, and operational
knowledge are key. “I have found that legal excellence must vital to shape and drive the future sustainability of

an organisation.

“Having all of these groups represented at board

and exco level is essential, as it is the company’s

leadership that sets the tone and values for the rest IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Gobisha of the employees. And it is the employees who build
Ankiah and drive the brand and reputation of the organisation

in the market. Intolerance and discrimination have no

place in business anymore.” ■

30 F M W O M E N


Women lead


Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, established 15 years

ago, has been headed up by women CEOs since

its inception and has several women employed at

Cexecutive level, writes Mmabatho Maboya,CEO High representation of women
yril Ramaphosa Foundation formally marks its
15th anniversary this year. It was established as Women CEOs have led the foundation since its inception
the Shanduka Foundation in 2004, the corporate and of its 11-person executive, seven are women.
social investment arm of the Shanduka Group. The
foundation changed its name in 2015 following Cyril The employee profile of the foundation and its partner
Ramaphosa’s divestment from the Shanduka Group. entities is also highly representative of women. Of a staff
cohort of 133, 77 per cent are women. This is not the
The foundation implements programmes to improve education and result of deliberate affirmative policy, but of merit selection
that speaks to the talents, skills and qualifications of
grow small and medium black enterprises for an inclusive and empowered women despite the social and structural barriers that
they experience.
society. It does so through its partner entities Adopt-a-School, KST, Cyril
Among the efficacies of a predominantly women-staffed and
Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) and Black Umbrellas. led organisation has been its gender sensitivity and integration
of women’s needs in its programmes. The foundation’s Thari
When it was established in 2004, the foundation committed to programme, for example, addresses women and child
abuse as a factor in educational performance. Under pilot
spending R100-million on social investment programmes over 10 years. at schools in Botshabelo in the Free State and Diepsloot in
Gauteng, the programme provides psycho-social support
By March 2019, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation had contributed over services for women and children, empowers them against
abuse and exploitation, and facilitates dialogues with men
R359-million and leveraged an additional R1.043-million through its and boys to address issues of masculinity, violence and
gender sensitivity, among other things. Thari is a Tswana
partner entities for programmes to develop education, youth, small and term for the blanket used to cover and carry a child, and
also refers to the lining that protects a baby while it is in its
medium enterprises, and vulnerable children and women. As at March mother’s womb.

2019, Adopt-a-School and KST together work in over 450 schools and Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation’s gender profile makes for a
developmental, equitable and supportive work environment,
have benefitted almost a million learners. CRET has supported more and an integrated and cohesive organisation richly in touch with
its employees, the sectors in which it works, and society. ■
than 200 students to access tertiary study, and Black Umbrellas has

incubated over 1 300 small businesses, which

have created close to 12 000 jobs and

turned over more than R1.12-billion.

Beyond the statistics, are the moving

and inspiring stories of individual

lives that have been touched and

transformed. Women have been

central to the role and impact of

Mmabatho the foundation.

Contact Details
[email protected]
+27 11 592 6560

31 F M W O M E N


D ata released by Statistics STILL FIGHTING
SA’s for 2018 shares that
one in every 22 working to be heard
South Africans are
employed in the tourism Tiisetso Tlelima speaks to three women about their experience
sector, but only 4 in every 10 employees of working in the tourism industry
working in the sector are female.
shortage of women representation in leadership “I had to work extremely
This under-representation of women led
to the Department of Tourism launching a positions as stumbling blocks in the industry. hard to have a voice,
campaign in 2018 called “WiT 30in5”, which Over the past seven years, Ungersbock and it seems that I have
is tasked with increasing the proportion of only properly been heard
women in tourism management to 30 per cent has travelled to more than 120 towns across
representation in executive management and the country to assist tourism businesses
board directorship positions by
2022, in line with the goals set out in the and municipalities with sustainable in the last five years.
Tourism B-bBEE scorecard. tourism awareness, development of You have to consistently
travel plans, responsible tourism
Lee Zama, the first woman to be implementation and community be visible and display
appointed CEO at the Federated
Hospitality Association tourism development. Her a great amount of
of Southern Africa determination.”
(FEDHASA), says that ZLaemea passion lies in local economic
while women are under- development, particularly — Suzanne Bayly-Coupe
represented in leadership
roles, “we have carried in rural areas and using tourism
the industry on various
platforms and our leadership as a vehicle for development.
is gradually being recognised.
She believes that the only
“My appointment at FEDHASA is one
of the clear indications that the sector is way things will change is if but we all just seem to ‘get
ready and willing to open up to women in
leadership,” says Zama. women speak out. “I overcame it’ because women often

One of the challenges faced, she adds, the challenges in the industry by take a different, humble
is the negative connotation attached to
anything women say; their statements are not persevering against all odds,” approach and offer
understood as factual. “Often, a male peer
will make the same statement and it is seen as explains Ungersbock. collaborative efforts that
a business decision,” she says. Zama advises
women to be cognisant of this and to ensure “I learnt over the years to have men might not,” says
they have a voice.
patience, to continue to advocate Bayly-Coupe.
This sentiment is echoed by Caroline
Ungersbock, the chair and co-founder about sustainable tourism and SuzaCnonuepBeayly- According to her, tourism
of the Sustainable Tourism Partnership never give up,” she says. is not a big moneymaking
Programme (STPP), which aims to make the
tourism industry more sustainable. “Women Suzanne Bayly-Coupe, the owner of profession and women tend to be paid
aren’t taken as seriously as they should be. The
Department of Tourism has a female deputy Classic Portfolio, a collection of owner- less than their male counterparts and often
minister, but it is the women on the ground who
do all the work and they aren’t taken seriously,” operated camps and lodges across Africa have to work harder to prove themselves. Few
says Ungersbock.
and the Indian Ocean, employs 24 people women are lodge or hotel owners, they don’t
Another challenge for women in the
industry is “the lack of funding”. She cites lack across four continents, 23 of whom are own bed stock, or manage conservation —
of political will in developing tourism and a
women. “I never set out to employ women, this is where the credibility lies within the


“I had to work extremely hard to have

a voice, and it seems that I have only

properly been heard in the last five years.

You have to consistently be visible and

display a great amount of determination,”

says Bayly-Coupe. IMAGES: SUPPLIED

She advises women to step out of their

comfort zones, challenge the status quo

UCngaerroslbinoeck and lead the way in bringing more diversity
to the industry. ■

32 F M W O M E N


How can men champion


Women work hard challenging sexism and abuse every day — whether it’s in the home,
public or workplace. But how can men fight gender inequality?
Tiisetso Tlelima investigates

T he burden of responsibility How can men show solidarity?
to fight patriarchy cannot
be laid on the shoulders Botha explains that men can show their solidarity with
of the oppressed, says women by speaking out when they see that women are
commissioner of the not represented at boardroom level in their companies.
Commission of Gender Equality, Dr Nthabiseng He advises men to actively work to get rid of the “old boys
Nthabiseng Moleko: “Women should Moleko club” mentality in the workplace. “This means we have
to relinquish power and decline positions so that we can
not single-handedly fight issues such as create an environment conducive to putting women in
powerful positions,” he says.
the gender wage pay, sexual harassment,
Moleko says that diversity must be institutionalised
representation of women in leadership through policies, and companies need to make concerted
efforts in changing the representation patterns. “There
positions, and general conditions that are not needs to be deliberate interventions that include, but go beyond,
diversity workshops, training of management, board equipping, and
favourable to women in the workplace.” She training workshops,” she says.
According to Moleko, South Africa ranks 19 out of 149 countries on
thinks that men in positions of power and authority need to eradicate the WEF’s Global Gender Report on gender equality. The difference in
the pay gap between men and women is estimated to be between 23–27
the patriarchal norms that keep women in oppressed conditions. per cent in South Africa, putting it at number 117 on wage equality. The
2017 Business Women SA (BWASA) census report states that the share
Patriarchy equals oppression of women CEOs in JSE-listed firms is a meagre 4.7 per cent, executive
managers make up 29 per cent and directors 20 per cent in the private
Gender activist and Sonke Gender Justice’s Mbuyiselo Botha says that sector. “Men need to encourage transparency around organisational
systems of remuneration and demonstrate leadership when biases
men have to fight gender inequality because they benefit exist in institutions by corresponding with equitable remuneration,
exposing such and not overlooking barriers that exist,” says Moleko.
from unearned privileges afforded to them by Zondo thinks that men have to be involved in dialogues and various
engagements where they explore gender implications in their personal
patriarchy. “Patriarchy creates an unexplained, lives and in social, economic, political and environmental dynamics.
This way, they will start to view the world differently and begin to see
unscientific hierarchy that men rule over the benefits of using their capacities to change patriarchal cultures
wherever they are. ■
women. It’s a system that oppresses both men
and women and undermines humanity,”
Research shows that companies that embrace diversity improve their Return on
says Botha.
Equity (ROE) and have lower earnings risk. According to BWASA’s 2017 census
Advocate Louisa Zondo, chair of Oxfam
report, diversity can increase a company’s ROE by as much as 36 per cent and
Mbuyiselo South Africa’s funding committee and a
Botha profitability by 15 per cent.
proponent of women’s rights, believes that
everyone, including men, needs to understand IMAGES: SUPPLIED

how they are socialised into patriarchy and other

systems of power in order to fight back. “We have to keep learning

and observing how we [behave] in every facet of our lives, so that we

can learn to apply ways of being

which bring about greater and

all-inclusive justice.” She believes

that when everyone unites in the

fight against injustices linked to

patriarchy they will soon realise

that the fight is an intersectional

one and this will compel them Louisa
to eradicate all forms of injustice Zondo

and systems of oppression.

34 F M WO M E N



improve company performance over time?

Bravura’s head of Corporate Finance, Soria Hay, discusses the benefits of including more women

Ionto company boards and the slow pace of transformation in South African organisations
n a ten-year study of US Fortune 500 Last year, research into 267 JSE-listed to them by management. However, what if
companies published in 2017, it was companies (there are 400 in total) found that management were to manipulate numbers or
found that firms with female CEOs or only 10 per cent of those sampled had achieved information for their own agenda? This kind
gender-diverse boards are associated gender parity on their boards. The gender of manipulation is referred to as earnings

with a range of stronger business and policies outlined in 105 integrated reports management and can lead to biased information

equity practices, including diversity, corporate provided no opportunities for women to be that could result in poor decisions with serious

governance, product strengths and community appointed as directors, and 50 companies consequences for shareholders and company

engagement. Is this incidental, or is it an omitted gender policies from their integrated alike. Good governance ensures the alignment

indication that having a diverse board indeed reports altogether. of shareholders and manager interests and thus

strengthens the performance of companies A United Kingdom study on the social, reduces earnings manipulation.”

over time? environmental, corporate governance Is there a correlation
and financial responsibilities of FTSE 100

companies reported significant positive between boards with
relationships between board gender diversity, appropriate gender
overall corporate responsibility and individual representation and good
elements of social and financial responsibility.

In Australia, research covering 151 listed corporate governance?
companies found that women directors had

a positive impact on the environmental and She says these findings provide valuable

social responsiveness of their companies, information when considering the benefits of

partly due to the fact that they were skilled introducing women onto boards. “Homogenous

in problem-solving and dealing with boards may operate less effectively than they

Soria complexity, which positively contributed to the might think. For instance, what researchers
Hay establishment and management of complex term ‘group-think’ can limit the board’s

stakeholder relationships. ability to adequately reflect or consider diverse

Soria Hay, head of Corporate Finance Research from Norway, the first country viewpoints and differing shareholder needs.

at Bravura, an investment banking firm in the world to adopt gender quotas in 2006, There may be a reduction of independent and

specialising in corporate finance and points to a direct relationship between gender critical thought. By contrast, articulating varied

structured solutions services, comments that diversity on boards and earnings manipulation. perspectives can decrease the pack mentality,

in South Africa it may be a while before The research, conducted among Oslo’s listed facilitate creative approaches to resolving

women are broadly able to make their presence companies in 2016, found that as female complex matters and encourage critique around

felt at board level. “Although there have been representation on boards increased, the issue of convenient decisions.” ■

amendments to the JSE listing requirements earnings management decreased. Contact Details
to include the promotion of gender diversity, Hay explains the detrimental effect of +27 11 459 5000
women remain under-represented at executive [email protected]
earnings manipulation: “Stakeholders make

and board level in nearly all of our major decisions based on the information provided

companies,” says Hay. “Women make up just

one-fifth of the directors who serve on the

boards of JSE-listed companies. And the top Bravura Holdings Limited is an investment banking firm specialising in corporate finance and structured solutions services.
40 JSE-listed companies do not have a single Hay founded Bravura 20 years ago at the age of 29. Bravura Holdings has a primary listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius
female CEO, which is ironic given that the JSE’s and a secondary listing on the NSX. It has offices in Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia and Australia. 
CEO is a woman (Nicky Newton-King).”

35 F M W O M E N

The Good,
the Bad and

the woeful

Government has a very clear gender policy, but how do

SOEs fare in the gender arena? Ryland Fisher finds out

Siza S iza Mzimela laughs when she says There has been progress over the years, but
Mzimela that, despite being the former CEO this has been limited to certain areas. In most
of South African Airways (SAA) airlines, there are higher levels of female
and the current interim CEO at representation in lower level positions, such
SA Express, she has never had as general employees and junior management
a desire to learn to fly. “I’ve never wanted to be positions. But there is still an issue when you go
a pilot, but I have always wanted to manage the into the more senior positions.”
pilots,” she says.
Mzimela says that one of SA Express’ key
Mzimela cut her teeth in the aviation objectives was to contribute to transformation
industry over 23 years ago, starting as through the training of cadets. “We did this
a route analyst in 1996 and working her way quite successfully, but at some point, they moved
up the ranks. She has played a key role in the across to other airlines. Most of the female cadets
transformation of not only SA Express as a trained at SA Express are now flying for SAA.
state-owned entity (SOE), but also SAA where
she was the first black woman CEO. “While we might have made progress at
SA Express, we still have not reached 50 per
She left SAA in 2003 to become the CEO at cent. Women are well represented at senior
SA Express the first time around. She returned management and at board level. Our board
seven years later to become SAA’s CEO from chairperson is a woman. The area of flight
April 2010 to October 2012.
operations remains problematic as does the
Mzimela was appointed after technical side of the business.”
the Civil Aviation Authority
grounded SA Express last year. Actively driving
The board asked her to stay on as
interim CEO until they appoint a gender equality
permanent CEO.
Deidre Davids has progressed
“Aviation is a male-
dominated industry. through the ranks of ACSA to

become a member of Cape Town

International Airport’s senior

management team as head

ACSA is actively employing a gender equity of corporate affairs.
agenda, with more than 44 per cent
female employees. We have a variety “When I started out, I
of programmes in place, and key
positions within the company are filled was told that aviation gets
by women, so I think the business is
showing clear action.” — Deidre Davids into your blood; once you

are hooked, you never look

back. I have found this to be

Deidre true. Airports are a dynamic
Davids environment, a constant

learning ground,” says Davids,

36 F M W O M E N


a qualified communications practitioner, CHANGE DEMANDS CHANGE
currently concluding her master’s degree in
corporate communication. She says her story Changing a male-dominated SOE could mean changing the working environment, as Eskom found out. In 2013, it started the
exemplifies the story of women in ACSA. Eskom Women Advancement Programme, which focused on creating a conducive working environment for women.

“The company has invested in me through “We identified the technical roles, nuclear and leadership, and we started working on the environment. We interrogated
various training programmes, exposure to our procedures to check whether they were gender-friendly,” says Elsie Pule, head of human resources.
executive programmes, and in seeing my
value and placing its trust in me. Some of “We worked on small things, like protective clothing, determining whether they were suited for women and worked with
my highlights include being elected as part suppliers to make sure that whatever they designed for women was relevant.
of the core team to start up the Operational
Transition Plan when the company won the “We looked at ablution facilities, particularly at the power stations and for women who work in the field, for instance on
bid to do work at Guarulhos Airport in Brazil. transmission lines. We wanted to make sure that women could last in the organisation once they are recruited.”
In 2017, I was selected to join the then CEO,
Bongani Maseko, on an exploratory visit to the past five years, it has spent Good intentions,
Munich, Germany, to learn from their 20-year R169-million on training 1 585
celebration as an airport.” women employees. “Seventy financial woes
percent of our women
Three of the seven senior managers at employees have been trained Eskom, which made a
Cape Town International Airport are women. annually during this time,”
says Sithole. public commitment in
“Aviation is still a male-dominated industry
and, within this context, I would say we are “To build a diverse 2016 to have a 50/50 split
faring extremely well,” says Davids. succession pipeline of women
leaders, TPT has structured in their staff between men
Nationally, Davids says, ACSA is “actively leadership programmes for its
driving a gender equity agenda, with more than various management levels, with more Elsie and women by 2020, has
44 per cent female employees. We have a variety than 60 per cent women enrolled, while Pule seen its transformation
of programmes in place, and key positions 63 per cent are enrolled on the Transnet Talent
within the company are filled by women, so Nurturing Programme. More than 190 women plans affected by financial
I think the business is showing clear action. across the country are engaged in various
For instance, our acting CEO (also the head of management development programmes troubles. At the time, only
governance), COO and the head of corporate through partnerships with leading academic
affairs are female. institutions of higher learning.” 33 per cent of Eskom’s staff was

“The company’s flagship airport OR Tambo Nozipho female. Three years later, it’s a mere
International — the biggest airport in Africa — Sithole
is run by a woman. This position is critical to 35 per cent.
the business and very influential.” “TPT spends more than
50 per cent of its training Elsie Pule, Eskom’s group executive for
Building a succession pipeline budget on women employees.
Over the past five years, human resources, says 50 per cent was an
There is strong female leadership representation it has spent R169-million
at Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), a male- on training 1 585 women audacious goal, but they wanted to “dream big”.
dominated SOE. Here, women make up only employees.” — Nozipho Sithole
28 per cent of the employee population, but their However, their plans had been hampered by
representation in executive roles has increased
from 45 per cent to 75 per cent over the past four other factors, such as a loss of income.
years. The company wants to increase women
employment to 35 per cent in the next five years. “We started getting poorer and that meant

Nozipho Sithole became TPT’s first woman recruitment could not happen. In 2017, senior
CEO in July 2017. She started as a port manager
in 2000. Sithole holds BCom, LLB Law and management, the level just below exco, was
MBA degrees and has held varying executive
positions at Transnet after practising as an 29 per cent female and we committed to
attorney specialising in labour law, litigation
and conveyancing. increase it to 37 per cent. In January 2017, we

TPT spends more than 50 per cent of its promoted about 40 women.”
training budget on women employees. Over
Pule says that, over the years, Eskom has

invested in training women in technical skills.

“In 2000 and 2004, we recruited 90 women with

maths and science qualifications and put them

through a master’s programme with Warwick

University. The modules focused on power

generation, transmission and distribution, and

business. Many of those women started feeding

into the succession pipeline. One of them,

Thozama Gangi, is now the managing director

of Eskom Uganda.”

Eskom employs 48 000 people. At one

IMAGES: SUPLLIED point, it had 66 000 employees, this then

dropped to 35 000. “When Eskom aspired

to build megaplants, it started growing and

that is why we are sitting at close to 50 000

employees now,” says Pule. ■

37 F M W O M E N


YOUR CAREER Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor asks
top businesswomen and a business
coach for tips on how to accelerate
career growth

“T hereareafew keeping a clear vision, remaining curious, and
unspoken rules to learning to control my emotions.”
giving your career a
mammoth boost,” Linda Makalima, an independent non-executive
says Mosidi Seretlo, a director at Nedbank and formerly director and head
of Investment Banking Coverage (SA) at Standard

former employee in the corporate world, and now Bank, says: “Harness your ambition. You can use that

an executive business coach. “But, for many years as a springboard to help you notice opportunities.”

I had no idea what these were! But, she also believes a sponsor is a strategic necessity.

“I believed that if I worked hard, everything Mosidi “Without a sponsor speaking on your behalf, you will
would fall into place. But that’s not taking into Seretlo find the road ahead very difficult. I had one who used

account the old boys’ club, the inner workings of to say ‘I recommended you for that

a company, or even your own limiting beliefs, which hold you back,” promotion. Now don’t mess it up!’ I never did.”

she says. Makalima says besides a sponsor to advocate

Seretlo adds that a sponsor is the first thing a woman needs to accelerate for you and a mentor to guide you through

her growth: “Call them a career guardian angel, but this is someone who organisational issues, a business coach will

will speak on your behalf in meetings when the conversation turns to complete the “systems” you need around you.

who to promote. Your sponsor will show you the ropes and help you learn “A coach will help you think about limitations

about the intangibles.” you may place on yourself and help you draw on Linda
the power within.” Makalima

“You need to get to the heart of the Modipa, Seretlo and Makalima all agree that

business. If you want to be CEO, you must personal ethics is paramount. “Ethics is the currency
move around, go overseas, and learn the of your professional worth,” says Makalima. “It allows you
to trade at a premium. Be impeccable in word and deed, never turn a blind
business inside out.” — Mosidi Seretlo
eye to corruption. The company may survive but you won’t.”

Seretlo says there must be an authentic fit for a career path to work. “At

A career path, she says, is not made by merely working hard, but also by one company with a large male culture, I was told ‘don’t wear pink frilly

forming relationships to help you navigate the political world. “You need stuff’. I wore power suits — not me at all. I should have embraced who I IMAGES: SUPPLIED

to get to the heart of the business. If you want to be CEO, you must move am; I regret playing a part.”

around, go overseas, and learn the business inside out.” Makalima says let stress bring out your best. “Look at pressure as your

“Set a goal,” says Faith Modipa, director at Elegant Fuel. “And tailwind. Be excited about it. When adrenaline is coursing through your

choose a mentor to teach you about day-to-day operations. veins, it’s time to tell the universe to ‘bring it on’.” ■

Being hardworking is non-negotiable, but being

principled and being patient — there are no short cuts

to success — help. SUPERCHARGING
“Focus on healthy competition within and
outside your organisation. The petrochemical 1. Take risks. Get out of your comfort zone.
industry is dominated by men and some
male directors have tried to make it clear 2. Find a sponsor, a mentor and a business coach.

3. Harness your ambition. It will help you notice opportunities.

4. Embrace pressure. Let it bring out your best.

that ‘this is a man’s job’, but I never 5. Maintain your ethics. It’s the currency of your professional worth.

allowed myself to feel intimidated. I 6. Find an authentic fit. If you’re trying too hard to fit in, you may be in the

proved them wrong through sheer wrong company.

performance. I also invested in 7. Learn the business inside out.
constantly upgrading my skills,

38 F M W O M E N


The slow pace of


In South Africa, about 19 per cent of JSE-listed companies have women directors with just
6.9 per cent being board chairpersons. Ryland Fisher looks at some of the dynamics
behind these numbers

F atima Daniels considers herself Fatima Newton-King) and the chairman (Nonkululeko
lucky. She was one of the people Daniels Nyembezi-Heita) are strong women and this has
South Africa’s first post-democracy probably contributed to the success of attracting
minister of communications Pallo women to the JSE board. The CEO is very
Jordan approached to serve on clear that the JSE must not just speak; it must
the board of Telkom in 1994. It was a monopoly implement what it preaches. The JSE cannot
and 100 per cent white and male, and she quickly just put out a gender policy and expect everyone
realised that you need more than luck to be a who is listed to follow it, if we don’t.”
successful independent non-executive director.
Daniels believes that, while it is important
Daniels has served on a number of boards in the to focus on non-executive directors, the real
past. “It helps that I am a chartered accountant and focus should be on executive directors. “Boards
have worked in commerce and industry, but if you have oversight, but it is governance and not
work hard, you will get noticed and asked to serve execution. We are not getting enough black
on more boards,” says Daniels. women coming through as executive directors.
It is probably worse at that level than at the
She has seen many changes on boards since non-executive level.”
she started out. “The current situation for women
in non-executive positions is that there are more opportunities than “You can never be a good non-executive
resources. There are not enough women with the skills and experience to unless you have been an executive. You
be good non-executive directors. need at least 10 years of work experience.
You just don’t understand enough of
“You can never be a good non-executive unless you have been an how the cogs fit together and how your
executive. You need at least 10 years of work experience. You just don’t decisions are far-reaching.” — Fatima Daniels
understand enough of how the cogs fit together and how your decisions
are far-reaching.”

Daniels serves on the board of JSE Limited, which has more
women than most companies on the bourse. “Both the CEO (Nicky

Value of women gradually being recognised do not have even one woman on their board is problematic because
transformation and cultural change will only happen when we have
Nolitha Fakude also focuses on non-executive positions after years a diverse group of people sitting around the table to deal with the
of serving in executive capacities at major corporates. “I stepped challenges that companies are facing.”
down as executive director at Sasol in 2016 and have been focusing on
non-executive board positions since then. Like Daniels, Fakude believes there are not enough women to fill
“I serve on three JSE-listed companies: Anglo-American, JSE Limited all the available board posts, but she believes that, with proper
and Afrox,” she says. application, the situation could be rectified within two to
three years.
Since her first board involvement 17 years ago, she has seen a
change in the acceptance of women on boards. “More people now “If every top 100 company had to have the minimum
see the value of having women on boards. When you join a board, 30 per cent, we could meet those targets within two years
people want to know that you have had a track record as an executive. because the number of talented women experienced
But I have also noticed that people are keen to hear a different voice in management and leadership positions has
and a different perspective. The fact that some JSE-listed companies greatly improved in the last 10 years.” ›

41 F M W O M E N Nolitha


Set targets and hold women, as well as black men and members of
companies accountable the LGBTQI community.”

Judi Nwokedi serves as the general secretary of Nwokedi believes one of the reasons
the Black Business Council as well as on several transformation, especially with regards to
boards in a personal capacity. One of these gender representation, is so slow is because,
is the JSE-listed Consolidated Infrastructure while the JSE has set targets, they do not appear
Group. She believes that there is huge room to be measured and there appears to be no
for improvement on the boards of JSE-listed consequences for transgressors. “You need to
companies. “Diversity and inclusion have been set targets and hold leaders accountable for
proven to be a business imperative. All the results. It requires closing gender gaps in hiring
numbers show that diverse boards yield better and promotions. It means taking bolder steps
returns for shareholders. Business needs to be to create a respectful and inclusive culture so
representative of the demographics of society that women — and all employees —feel safe
and should include women, especially black and supported at work.”

Diversity and inclusion have been proven to be a Judi
business imperative. All the numbers show that Nwokedi
diverse boards yield better returns for shareholders.”

— Judi Nwokedi

Empowering, of women in senior leadership positions, break the cycle of under-
representation and accelerate gender equity by building a sustainable
educating and pipeline of female managers.”

inspiring women Government remains concerned about the slow pace of transformation,
especially with regards to the inclusion of women in decision-making
Zanele Morrison, positions. Zodwa Ntuli, commissioner of the Broad-based Black Economic
Empowerment Commission, which monitors transformation at JSE-listed
director of marketing companies, says: “After 25 years of democracy, we are still at a level where
the majority of the population is not represented proportionally in the
and corporate affairs at decision-making structures of companies.” ■

bedrock of the financial
JSE Limited, the company that owns the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, is doing
markets, our focus is on much better with regards to gender representation compared to companies listed on
the bourse. As at March 2019, the JSE has:
transformation in how • 229 women out of 421 employees; about 54%
• 5 out of 9 women are executives; about 55%
we run our own business, • 8 out of 12 board members are women (66%), and the chairman, CEO and CFO are
all women
as well as influencing Most JSE-listed companies are still struggling to achieve the 30 per cent women
board member target set by the JSE. Only 19 per cent have women directors with
Zanele our broader ecosystem. only 6.9 per cent being board chairpersons. State-owned entities don’t appear to be
Morrison In 2016, we introduced doing much better with regards to gender representation. In 2017, the statistics for
JSE-listed firms, as opposed to SOEs, were as below.
listing requirements • Female chairpersons: JSE firms 6.9%, SOEs 10%
• Female directors: JSE firms 19.1%, SOEs 41.2%
where companies must have a policy for the promotion of gender • Female executive managers: JSE firms 29.5%, SOEs 28.5%

diversity at board level, and to disclose their performance against it.

“Looking at the JSE, we are a transformed company and have started

initiatives that contribute to pushing the gender equality agenda.

Last year, we launched the She Invests initiative, a first-of-its-kind

investment and empowerment event for women.

“Our aim is to empower, educate and inspire women and support

them on their journey to self-investment and financial freedom. Last

year, we also started the Lean In initiative, which is all about

supporting females in our organisation through peer-to-peer meetings

and coaching. We also look at supporting them with life challenges and IMAGES: SUPPLIED

personal growth development.

“The JSE is also partnered with Brand Fusion to bring the W-Suite,

a platform for advocacy and action towards bringing more women in

key leadership and operational roles. We want to increase the number

42 F M W O M E N


“O urpeopleare communities within the workplace, united
encouraged through a shared demographic. Examples
to find what include our LGBTQ+, women and allies and
they are black engagement communities”.
passionate about
at work, to bring their ‘best selves’ to work and Amelia Well offices
to be part of finding the solutions.” That’s the Beattie
view of Amelia Beattie, CEO of Liberty Two The 2U Cape Town workplace includes a
free onsite gym with trainers and classes,

Degrees (L2D), who believes that fostering work- It’s a viewpoint fast gaining traction as subsidised meals, showers and bicycle racks,

life balance stimulates efficiency. many more people battle with burnout, and as well as a meditation and prayer room

“In addition to annual leave and maternity companies face the cost of “presenteeism” — and informal social clubs. “Our flexible

leave benefits, we urge employees to disconnect when people show up for work in body only, but workspace allows for time out from a desk

and take a proper break to think and reflect. aren’t really engaged with their jobs. and includes a games area with table tennis,

‘Hack Fridays’, as we term it, take place once a Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, COO of City foosball and a pool table where employees

month and apply across all employee levels. We Lodge Hotel Group, says this is an important can socialise and unwind during the day,”

encourage employees to take this Friday time off.” consideration for hotels. “Hospitality is a tough says Janse van Rensburg.

Why wellness at “Corporate employee wellness

programmes should help employees
understand that it is not an ‘either/or’; it is an
‘and’. You can be at work and attend a Pilates

WORK MATTERS class; eat healthy, subsidised meals without
having to leave the office; and enjoy benefits
that take care of your loved ones. You can

be an ambitious, career-focused woman and

Companies are investing industry with long hours and shift work,” she build your family.”
more in employee wellness says. Apart from employee wellness days that
programmes to address work- feature medical checks and aerobic workouts, Leadership lessons
there are also wellness incentives, such as the
life imbalance. Kim Maxwell Sangweni-Siddo says City Lodge’s WOW

share scheme, which annually awards staff service excellence initiative, which calls

spoke to three women about employed for one year or longer with a portion for and recognises innovation and ideas,

how it affects leadership and of share redistribution and/or a dividend payout, has resulted in growth in morale and

delivers positive results dependent on group performance. Employees, positive attitudes evolving into enthusiastic
therefore, benefit from the success of the group teamwork and healthy work relationships.

as a result of their hard work and commitment. L2D’s office initiatives range

“We have partnered with companies to from providing healthy breakfast options

provide an employee assistance programme and Tuesday Pilates in the office to wellness

where staff receive free trauma counselling, and days. They are part of a bigger L2D wellness

financial or debt counselling,” she says. mindset reflected in Beattie’s leadership

The bottom line is that workplaces have to style. Take this practical boardroom

be more than just places where people go to do policy: L2D teams are encouraged to set up

their jobs — employees may be just one of many internal and external meetings after 9am

resources used to power businesses forward, or before 4pm to enable family or personal

but they are very much human resources, and commitments outside those times. 

need to be treated as such. And that means Janse van Rensburg says that the

making workplaces inclusive, with focus on wellness has impacted

every employee feeling that they the company’s leadership

have a place and a voice. style. “Our leaders take part

Thelmé Janse van Rensburg, in wellness initiatives —

senior vice president of People gym classes and remote IMAGES: SUPPLIED

at 2U, Inc. Cape Town, says working — to demonstrate

Lindiwe one of the ways they’ve done Thelmé Janse leadership support. And I have
Sangweni- this is to launch networks van Rensburg experienced a shift in the way we
Siddo that “support and encourage engage with employees.” ■

44 F M WOM E N

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