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Doubling female boardroom representation in Africa

WOMEN ON A MISSION: TheBoardroom Africa founders, Marcia Ashong, left, and Tamsin Jones, right

THEBOARDROOM AFRICA, a leading network of board-ready women across Africa, has announced that it aims to double current levels of female board representation in the region by 2028.

The company, founded by Marcia Ashong and Tamsi Jones, both passionate advocates of gender equality and business leaders in their own right, recently debuted its flagship board certification programme, Open Doors, in partnership with the internationally recognised Institute of Directors.

Open Doors will create opportunities for women who have senior executive experience but little to no previous board experience by ensuring they are equipped with the resources they need to be successful leaders.

In a statement, TheBoardroom Africa said: “The negative effects of gender inequality across the world are a serious issue that institutions and corporations across Africa can no longer avoid. According to the United Nations, unequal treatment of women costs sub-Saharan Africa approximately $105bn (6% of gross domestic product) each year. Improving the state of women in the workplace, therefore, is essential for Africa’s development.”

The organisation aims to help Africa reap the developmental dividends of women in the workplace by accelerating representation of women in the boardroom and driving gender equality across the continent in order to improve institutional performance.

Through its marketplace platform connecting development finance institutions, private equity funds and corporations with peer-endorsed female candidates, the organisation works to end the narrative that has so often encouraged excuses for not appointing women into the boardroom.

TheBoardroom Africa uses a unique “endorsement model” which allows senior executives to recommend talent to the network. This approach ensures that it connects with the highest calibre talent and enables the organisation to build a robust pipeline of women across all sectors, who might otherwise be overlooked by traditional networks.

Its current clients include the CDC Group, the largest single investor in private equity funds in Africa.

Ashong is a global energy, oil and gas expert with experience spanning four continents and was named amongst Ghana's 20 Under 40 business leaders in 2017. Jones is a social entrepreneur known for the design and development of successful high-impact new initiatives or investments including Cape Town’s acclaimed Workshop17 and CDC Group’s The Africa List. With both of these women at the forefront, TheBoardroom Africa hopes to catapult Africa to become the world’s top region for female leaders in the world.

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