Key Findings

Women Board Directors of South Africa's Top
Publicly-Listed and Government-Owned Companies


Order Report

  • Few women directors hold seats in the board rooms of South Africa's largest companies. Only 5.8% (179) of 3,087 board directorships in the Top 300 companies are held by women.

  • Among the Top 300 companies, those owned by the government have greater representation of women on theirs boards (20%) than the publicly-listed companies (4.3%). They also average more board seats held by women (4 per board) than publicly-held companies (1-2 per board).

  • A little over a third (37.7%) of South Africa's 300 largest companies have female directors. The majority (62.3%) of these companies do not have women holding corporate board seats.

  • South African Broadcasting Corporation ranks first among the Top 300 companies in the number of women on its board – 5 out of 12 (41.7%)

  • Among publicly-listed companies, Rentsure Holdings Ltd. has the highest percentage of women board directors – 33.3% (2 out of 6 board seats)

  • Among the companies that do have women on their boards, the majority (63.7%) only have single seats for women. Overall, most South African companies are not yet ready to have more than one woman on their board.

  • The 179 women-held corporate board directorships in the Top 300 companies are actually claimed by only 140 individuals, since 25% hold multiple directorships. Five women hold four or more board seats: Dr. Danisa Baloyi, Elizabeth le R. Bradley, Irene Charnley, Hixonia Nyasulu, and Prof. Louise Tager.

  • A comparison with other countries that have data on women's representation on the boards of each country's major corporations shows the United States at 11.1%; Australia at 10.7%; followed by Canada at 9.1%; then South Africa at 5.8%; the United Kingdom at approximately 5% and Japan at 0.2%.

  • 80% of the 500 largest companies in the United States now have at least one woman corporate director, compared to only 37.7% of South Africa's Top 300 publicly-listed and government-owned companies having female board directors.

  • To order a copy of the report, which includes a company listing of women board directors and tables with data indicating the business areas and industries with the largest representation of women directors, see order form.


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