Too few black and women Directors – BUSA

Blacks and women continue to be grossly under-represented in all directorships and top executive leadership positions in companies listed on the JSE. 

This is according to a survey by Business Unity SA (Busa) conducted on the demographic and age profile of the top management echelons of all 295 listed companies, which was conducted between April and July last year. 

Some of the study’s major findings show that of the 269 chief executive positions, Africans occupied 4 percent, coloureds 3 percent, Indians 2 percent and whites 91 percent.

Women accounted for 3 percent and men 97 percent.  Of the 219 chief financial officer positions, Africans occupied 2 percent, coloureds 1 percent, Indians 5 percent and whites 92 percent. Women accounted for 7 percent and men for 93 percent. 

Of 245 non-executive chairperson positions, Africans accounted for 24 percent, coloureds 1 percent, Indians 5 percent and whites 64 percent. Women made up 6 percent and men 94 percent.  Of the 1 664 non-executive director positions, Africans occupied 29 percent, coloureds 3 percent, Indians 2 percent and whites 64 percent.

Women accounted for 18 percent and men 82 percent.  Of 339 top executive leadership positions, Africans held 15 percent, coloureds 1 percent, Indians 2 percent and whites 82 percent. Women occupied 9 percent and men 91 percent. 

The survey says 533 executive and non-executive directors are expected to retire from JSE-listed companies in the next five years.

Busa said this presented an ideal opportunity to groom new black and female managers.  Busa added: “While blacks constitute 87 percent of the economically active population, their representation is clearly nowhere near this percentage in both executive and non-executive directorship positions.

These findings have confirmed the negative picture that has been painted year on year by the Commission for Employment Equity.”  The results of the study tie in with recent observations of Jimmy Manyi, the president of the Black Management Forum and director-general of the Labour Department, who last month urged JSE-listed companies to do more to comply with management personnel quotas. 

He said his department would monitor the companies and would take action if it were deemed that the companies were not doing enough to promote more marginalised groups to executive positions. 

The country’s largest executive research firm, Mindcor SA, says there had been more than 100 percent growth in assignments received from corporate clients from a year ago. 

Neil Madsen, the managing director of Mindcor SA, said: “There is an especially strong demand for executives with entrepreneurial skills who can help grow companies. Demand is strong, placing strain on available supply.”

Source:, 20100303

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