The 30% Club Southern Africa, of which Monica Singer is a founding partner, was formally launched on 11 September 2014. It is aimed at assisting organisations in recognising the business case for bringing more women onto South African boards. The idea for the 30% Club came about in May 2010 and was quickly supported by two Chairmen – Sir Roger Carr of Centrica and Sir Win Bischoff of Lloyds Banking Group – who had declared their commitment within hours of the idea being floated. The 30% Club was formally launched in the UK in November 2010.
In 2011 Lord Davies came out with his report “Women On Boards”, which highlighted the slow rate of progress with regards to gender diversity on the boards of listed companies on the FTSE. Women made up just 10.5% of FTSE 100 board members and 6.7% of those in the FTSE 250 during 2010. The formation of the Club in the UK underpinned the change required at board level; The Women on Boards 2013 report revealed that women secured 34% of all FTSE 100, and 36% of FTSE 250 board appointments since 1 March 2012.
Following a successful launch in the United Kingdom in 2010, the initiative is broadening its reach and encouraging companies globally – from the US to Hong Kong – to achieve a minimum of 25% female representation on their boards by 2015. While the report “Women on Boards” called for a 25% representation of women on boards in the FTSE 100 companies by 2015, a growing number of chairman, senior executives and senior partners have committed to a voluntary figure of 30%.
In South Africa, efforts are underway to achieve similar results. Not only has the country now got its own 30% Club, but there is also a draft Women Empowerment & Gender Equality Bill that calls for 50% gender representation (in its current format) on all decision-making structures.
The aim of the 30% Club Southern Africa is to allow organisations to publically commit to achieving 30% gender diversity within a specific time frame and assist organisations to comply with the legislation in an effective business manner. It intends to engage in dialogue with corporates, local ans international organisations, investors, executive search companies and academia to chart the correct course for southern Africa taking into account international best practices. To read more about the club, visit: https://www.30percentclub.org.za/