Partnership formed to develop next generation of ethical, effective women leaders

12th October 2020 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

The Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA) and the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) have formed a long-term partnership aimed at developing the next generation of ethical and effective women leadership.

The partnership’s first project is a custom programme for the IWFSA’s Young Leaders Connect initiative – the Identify, Develop, Empower, Accelerate and Leadership (Ideal) Board Leadership Programme.

The Young Leaders Connect is an initiative by the IWFSA in pursuit of its strategic priority of leadership development.

The IoDSA designed the Ideal Board Leadership Programme to help potential and new board members, and those wishing to make themselves available for board positions, acquire the necessary foundational skills.

IoDSA CEO Parmi Natesan says the IoDSA has been a strong advocate for greater gender diversity on boards for many years, not least because genuinely diverse organisations perform better and are more profitable.

“However, sitting on a board in today’s complex socioeconomic environment is challenging and directors must have the right skills, hence our drive to professionalise directorship.”

She adds that the Ideal Board Leadership Programme will equip tomorrow’s female leaders to take advantage of the real opportunities, thereby putting them in a position to demonstrate they have the skills boards are looking for.

The Ideal Board Leadership Programme will comprise three modules that will count towards the IoDSA’s Certified Director (South African) designation.

The IoDSA also offers a Chartered Director (South African) designation.

Both offer ways for directors to acquire and demonstrate skills falling within the IoDSA’s Director Competency Framework and thus provide a way to demonstrate holders have the right skills.

IWFSA president Irene Charnley says that, as convenor of the King Committee and custodian of the King Reports on corporate governance, the IoDSA is highly regarded both in South Africa and globally.

“Its championship of a wider pool of properly qualified, professional directors, in particular, makes it an excellent partner in providing a training platform for the Young Leaders Connect programme.”

IWFSA leadership committee chairperson Futhi Mtoba says the Ideal Board Leadership Programme is a great opportunity for young women to begin acquiring the hard skills they need to make a real contribution to boards in both the public and private sectors. “Young women have so much to offer and a programme like this will empower them to take their rightful place, literally giving them a seat at the table.”