NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
THE Institute of Directors (IoD) says there is underrepresentation of women on corporate boards.
Bank of Zambia deputy governor for Administration Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula said according to a survey of its corporate members conducted by IoD, women occupy only 36 percent of boardroom seats.
She said this speaks volumes of how much work needs to be done to not only encourage women to participate on boards but for boards to also adopt gender-diversity programmes.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula said studies have shown that companies perform better when they have gender diverse boards of directors and senior leadership teams.
She also said as highlighted by the International Finance Corporation, companies with a higher ratio of women in top management experience better financial performance.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula said this in Lusaka on Friday at a â€˜Women as Leadersâ€™ Dinner under the theme: â€˜Women on Boards: Building Your Portfolio and Positioning Yourself for Leadershipâ€™.
She said the instruction for women to build their portfolios and position themselves for leadership implies the need to expand their leadership horizons and look further than where they are today to what they can become tomorrow.
â€œTo answer why building our portfolios and positioning ourselves for leadership should matter to us among others is that, Limitation on Board Tenure – as you may be aware, some sectors, and particularly regulated sectors such as the banking sector have a 10-year limit on the term of office of directors. Therefore upon reaching this limit, directors have to pursue new board prospects and it helps to be prepared for such,â€ she said.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula said IoD can create a platform for directors to increase the visibility of women to be appointed to boards.
She said this can be done by creating media platforms to profile the pipeline of prospective women directors as well as share information on board appointments taken up by women.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula also said among others, IoD should encourage women members to nominate other women to sit on boards.
She is confident that IoD will progress the agenda of women on boards among its membership.
Dr Kankasa-Mabula also urged women to continue engaging IoD to get ideas and sound advice on how best they can make a difference.
And President of IoD Sherry Thole said more women should sit on boards to bring visibility to institutions.
She also said women should sit on boards because they make things happen.
Ms Thole urged women to stand up to ensure they are well represented on boards.
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka