IFC partnership with TheBoardroom Africa Signals Growing Investor Attention to Boardroom Diversity

The evidence is clear – diverse leadership offers distinct advantages for businesses. Research shows that companies with more diverse boards of directors are more adept at managing risk and possess an increased capacity for innovation, providing a distinct competitive advantage. That’s why efforts to advance diversity in the workplace have drawn a growing amount of attention in recent years from regulators, shareholders, employees, the media as well as the general public. 

As Africa’s private sector continues to grow, the region can emerge as a leader on gender diversity—an area where many other regions fall short. According to a global study published by Deloitte in 2019,  in the United States, only 17.6% of board seats were held by women in private company boardrooms. Meanwhile, in Africa, women held 24.3% of board directorships. While the continent is ahead of most of Europe and North America, progress must still be made. Here, investors can help lead the charge. 

IFC has long been one of the leading investors in Africa’s private sector. For nearly six decades, IFC has invested more than $25 billion in African businesses and financial institutions, and its current portfolio exceeds $5 billion. Now, the corporation is emerging as one of its leading champions of gender diversity as it aims to reach gender parity amongst nominee directors by 2030. Since launching its target in 2019, IFC has already shattered its goal. As of June 2021, 54% of IFC-nominated directors were women. In Africa, the percentage of women nominated directors has reached 60%.  By nominating seasoned female directors and enhancing the diversity of its investee companies, IFC serves as a role model for investors and the private sector.

TheBoardroom Africa (TBR Africa) is delighted to be a strategic partner to the IFC in realizing its ambition by helping the organisation advance its gender diversity goals in Africa. TBR Africa, whose mission is to accelerate female board leadership,  boasts the region’s largest network of board-ready female executives. In support of the IFC’s goal of increasing board diversity, TBR Africa is providing bespoke sourcing services to help the organisation connect with diverse, qualified female candidates. IFC and TBR Africa will continue to partner to build a strong cohort of prospective female directors  – and provide best-in-class training and development support to ensure they succeed in the boardroom. 

Through partnerships with investors like the IFC and CDC Group, TheBoardroom Africa is enhancing and amplifying the potential of female executives working on or in the African business community. By connecting investors, companies and organizations of all sizes with talented candidates, TBR Africa aims to accelerate the conversation around gender diversity in the boardroom as a critical component of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards.

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