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Global Board Ready Women Initiative

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Business Engage is pleased to announce that we have been appointed as a Partner to a new initiative – Global Board Ready Women - this is an international list of women who are qualified to sit on a board. This list has been compiled by the European Business Schools/Women on Boards Task Force in association with The Forte Foundation and the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club.


This is a closed group and Business Engage is mandated to recommend participation of suitable women from South Africa.
This group will provide a forum for all women aspiring to be on, or who are already on, a board to enable them to discuss boardroom issues and share thoughts, ideas and experiences, and to support each other throughout their careers.
Quantitative criteria

All women on the list should have at least five years’ experience in one or a combination of the following roles:

  • Chair and/or non-executive director of  listed or private corporations
  • Chief Executive Officer, COO, CFO and other C-suite executive or director level appointments in  listed or private corporations
  • Family member and controlling shareholder of boards of large family companies
  • Director of government agencies
  • Director of non-profit organisations 
  • Institutional investment community senior professional
  • Professional firms senior partner serving boards and their committees as clients
  • Growth-Oriented Entrepreneur
  • Leading Academics with suitable relevant experience

The women on the list should be able to demonstrate that they are financially literate. Profit & Loss experience is advantageous, given that some large companies have this as a pre-requisite for board roles.
Qualitative Criteria
In addition, the Task Force believes that candidates on the list should be practitioners of excellence in corporate governance. This suggests the following qualities:

  • Articulate communicator and good listener
  • High level of emotional Intelligence – ability to understand the dynamics of the boardroom, how to deal with conflict when it arises
  • Ability to self-assess
  • Can enhance contribution through feedback
  • Can lead when appropriate, but aware of collective responsibility and engagement
  • Can challenge constructively and be supportive when necessary
  • Sharp mind and good judgement
  • Self-confident without being dogmatic
  • Understand the importance of independence
  • Courage to stand up for that which is in the best interests of the company
  • Understand how to add value to a board
  • Team player

Women on the list will also be expected to have made a conscious commitment to assume the role and responsibility of corporate governance in a publicly quoted company.

Should you be interested in joining this group and have the relevant provable experience in this regard, e-mail Colleen Larsen on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to request participation.

Contact Details

Business Engage
Colleen Larsen
Cell: +27 84 353 9865

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Business Engage is an exciting and inventive South African based organisation at the forefront of strategic thinking on gender mainstreaming in the private sector. The aim of Business Engage is to enable individuals (both men and women) and companies to maximise their growth and profits through its diverse offerings that include networking, mentorship, training, collaboration, entrepreneurship development and support.