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Gender Diversity: Clarkhouse Human Capital Diversity Day

By: Deborah Booth, Director at Clarkhouse Human Capital

So if gender diversity is such a hot topic – why has nothing changed in SA? This is a question my business partner and I found ourselves asking last year. After so many years of companies talking about diversity being important and the promotion of women in business being critical why is it that at Executive and Board levels the numbers have hardly increased over the past 20 years?

This is not just a South African phenomena but globally a huge problem. It was there and then that we decided we needed to contribute to showing companies why it makes business sense (and profitability) to have a more gender-balanced executive team and board and find a way to make a difference and help this become a reality in SA.

The first thing we realised is that generally in SA most diversity programmes only focus on government legislation and become a tick box exercise driven by Human Resources. To drive a true gender diversity programme it needs to be driven by the Exco with the realisation that women bring truly unique perspectives to the boardroom and that we are not simply looking to replace men with women who act like men. Women bring empathy and intuition to leadership – they look through a different lens and bring this to the table.

A McKinsey 2015 Report on Diversity has confirmed that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform and that in the UK for every 10% increase in gender diversity on the senior executive team (up to 50%), there was a 3.5% increase in EBIT. A Harvard Kennedy School study on Gender Diversity found that profits increased as the share of women in teams increased up to 50%.

As a member of the 30% Club, which focuses on driving gender diversity with a goal of achieving 30% of women on boards globally, I have the privilege of networking with some amazing men and women driving this change. We are very proud to be hosting the Clarkhouse Human Capital Diversity Day on 5 October 2017 where I will be standing beside 4 other 30% Club, phenomenal business women who will be a part of our speaking panel on the day:

  • Jo-Ann Pohl, an experienced CFO currently consulting to a Listed Property Fund – Jo is our MC for the day
  • Nwabisa Piki, Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs Leader
  • Liesl Bebb-McKay, Head of The Foundery: RMB's disruption & innovation unit
  • Niven Postma, Head: Leadership and Culture at Standard Bank Group

Other remarkable women speakers on the day will be:

  • Joke’ Coker, Nigerian Corporate Icon and award winning lead coach in the USA
  • Njabulo Mashigo, Human Resources Director at Heineken
  • Liesel Scott, Director at Appletree Culture Catalysts and the only accredited Brene Brown “Daring Way” practitioner
  • Lebogang Chaka, Strategic Advisor and Global Speaker, AfroVisionary Legacy
  • Lindiwe Mazibuko, Advisor and renowned public speaker
  • Catherine Marshall, First female wine maker in South Africa

The Clarkhouse Human Capital Diversity Day on the 5th of October at Langham’s Estate in Fourways is aimed at Senior Executives in business and will focus on the many aspects of Diversity and how we can achieve a truly diverse and successful workforce. Come and learn from world class speakers. Should you wish to know more about this day please click here.

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