Business & Economy

Thursday, 12 March 2020 13:13

Top Empowerment Summit and Awards

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Top Empowerment Summit and Awards

Johannesburg, South Africa - In South Africa, if not globally, gender inequality in corporate and in the business world is still an unresolved issue. According to the World Economic Forum, Only 6 countries give women equal legal work rights as men. The World Bank’s recent Women, Business and the Law report measured gender discrimination in 187 countries. It found that only Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden scored full marks on eight indicators - from receiving a pension to freedom of movement - influencing economic decisions women make during their careers.

Transformation in South Africa has been given attention in the past few years, but little implementation has been done to ensure that the workplace is inclusive and diverse. Jack Hammer, an independent executive search firm, showed a 36% increase in the number of women appointed to leadership roles compared to 2017, with a total of 52% of roles being filled by women in 2018. Advaita Naidoo, COO at Jack Hammer, says it is significant to see such a massive jump in a single year. However, the data shows that 2018 was not an outlier, given that appointments of women consistently rose year-on-year: from 26% in 2015 to 32% (2016), 38% (2017) and, ultimately, 52% in 2018.

Companies are clear that they desire racial transformation, yet few have been successful in making a meaningful shift. In fact, compared to 2012, black CEO representation has remained stagnant. In 2012, 15% of the CEO in the top 40 companies were black, in 2015 the statistics dropped to 9.8% and in 2018 went up to 15% according to Jack Hammer. Jack Hammer also made an interesting discovery between the relationship of board members and CEO’s. “It would appear that the thin edge of the transformation wedge is the extent to which board transformation is happening, given that there is a clear correlation between the transformation of boards and the likelihood of a black CEO. The numbers show that when you have 50% black non-executive directors you up the odds by 31% of having a black CEO. Therefore, by starting at board level and ensuring continued transformation, there is an increased likelihood of transformation of the top job. While board transformation is NOT a guarantee of executive transformation (60% of transformed boards still have a white CEO), it is a move in the right direction.” – Jack Hammer analyst.        

 Topco Media & Communications now in its 26th year hosts the Top empowerment awards and summits which gathers senior decision-makers and aims to tackles issues around transformation. CEO, Ralf Fletcher says their mission is to promote and award companies making strides in solving these issues but, in doing so, further seeking to grow an informal network in which the country’s thought-leaders would talk, exchange ideas and form meaningful partnerships to tackle economic challenges and grow South Africa’s prospects as a global competitor, for the good of all her people.

 “To gather leading executives in this way to really share knowledge and look at what further steps might be taken to enhance progress and transformation is a very critical activity and Top Empowerment must be congratulated for ensuring this happens on a regular basis.” -Minister Naledi Pandor (Department of higher education and Training) was directly quoted after attending one of the many Top empowerment gatherings.

The next Top Empowerment Summit and Awards will be held in Johannesburg from the 15 – 16th of April 2020. Some of the expected speakers over the 2 days are ;

  • Maurice Radebe, Executive Vice President: Energy Business at Sasol
  • Stephen Van Coller, Group CEO at EOH Holdings
  • Thamo Mzobe, CEO at National Development Agency
  • Shirley Machaba, CEO at PwC
  • Kganki Matabane, CEO at Black Business Council
  • Waseem Carrim, CEO at National Youth Development Agency
  • Kate Moodley, Franchise Director at Discovery

For more information visit the website  

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