Board Masterclass Series

Board Masterclass Series (BMS) is a initiative to contribute towards accelerating women participation in South African Boards to reach the 30% aspiration.

Board Masterclass Series

Business Engage has extensive experience in driving the gender mainstreaming agenda and the Board Masterclass Series (BMS) is an initiative to contribute towards accelerating women participation on South African Boards to reach the 30% aspiration, whilst at the same time acknowledging the next generation of male leaders and promoting Corporate Gender Intelligence.

Board Masterclass Series logo


In September 2019 Business Engage published the second STATE OF GENDER ON JSE LISTED BOARDS 2017 – A study of the opportunities for gender balancing the boards of companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The main finding of the research was that there are 135 board opportunities for women on JSE listed boards.

There are many Women on Boards programmes in the marketplace. This is not one of them. Instead this is a practical board series aimed mainly at women although men are invited and encouraged to apply. The Board Masterclass Series integrates the experience and knowledge of 30% Club members and is supplemented by presenters who are experts in their chosen field.


The Board Masterclass Series is a mixture of “technicalities” of being on a board (governance, understanding of roles, knowledge of the companies Act etc.) and the “merits” (functional knowledge and experience, required skill sets, aptitude etc.)

Added to the technicalities and the merits is the networking and business interaction. It is pointless being the best person who has yet to be placed on a board if nobody knows who you are. The Board Masterclass Series fully integrates with the BoardWalk programme. To date eight high profile board and / or trustee appointments have been made through this process with more in the pipeline.


Finally, there is no pass or fail. It is incumbent upon on the cohort to maximise the opportunities presented to them.

Motivation for inclusion

Individuals, or organisations on behalf of individuals, are invited to apply in writing for inclusion in the Board Masterclass Series stating why they believe that they are sufficiently experienced and capacitated to undergo this series and by extension, be suitable for board positions in the foreseeable future.


Important note: It is not business as usual out there today. Individuals should not be put off by the status quo. The board of tomorrow will in all probability be very different to the board of today. The cohorts should be prepared to be a fundamental part of that change.

Motivation criteria

The motivation should be in the form of a precis not exceeding 1,000 words.The precis may include;

  • Current position and experience
  • Any board positions currently obtained.
  • Personal attributes.
  • Any other relevant information.


Whilst there is no set criteria for inclusion onto the BMS, mainly to avoid stereotyping, the applicant is expected to apply their mind to commitment required for both the series and future possible board appointments and self-reflect on their aptness.

The motivation should include a sentence that the applicant understands the extent of the series and commits in good faith, bar reasonable unforeseen circumstances, to complete the series taking into account current and predictable work, family and other obligations.


An adjudication panel of six experienced and well respected individuals will assess the motivations for inclusion into the BMS generally based on the written submission. Follow up telephonic information may also be required.

The panel members are:

Applicants will be notified once the panel has determined the suitability of the applicant for inclusion in the series.

Additional information

Click on the below tabs to view additional information.

The Board Masterclass Series is complementary to the established BoardWalk programme.

Whilst not a requirement, it is strongly advised that Board Masterclass Series cohorts attend the BoardWalk events, space permitting.

Visit the Events page to be updated on where and when these events will be hosted.

The Board Masterclass Series presenters are a combination of 30% Club members and individuals who are experts in their field.


The Masterclass series consists of 30 topics. Cohorts do not have to attend all Masterclasses. 


Business Engage / 30% Club reserves the right to change the topic / presenter / and or the content of the topic as it deems fit to enhance the quality and balance of the overall series.


The Masterclasses are generally hosted by our 30% Club members. Venues will be advised. Currently all Masterclasses are located in Johannesburg.

The Board Masterclass Series commences 1 July 2019, subject to demand, and continues for a period of one year.

Masterclasses are available. Each Masterclass is approximately 4 hours long, generally from 16h00 to 20h00. These are intermittently spaced during the course of the year.


The second cohort will commence 1 October 2019 and a new BMS will commence every 3 months thereafter subject to demand.

There will be no Masterclasses during December or the first half of January.


Provisional Dates 

  • – First cohort of 30 people on Wednesdays
  • – Second cohort will be taken in on Tuesdays, and 
  • – Third cohort on Thursdays.


Full schedule of dates will be sent to approved candidates.

The second cohort commenced in February 2020, the third cohort will commence in May 2020 and a new BMS will commence every 3 months thereafter (subject to demand). There will be no Masterclasses during December or the first half of January.



The cost is R15,750.00 plus V.A.T in total which may be paid upfront, intermittently or monthly.
  • The cost includes any material content provided by the presenters.
  • The cost excludes attendance at any BoardWalk event and any ad hoc event for which a charge is levied.

PDA Assessments

Through a simple, precise and scientifically validated methodology, the PDA (Personal Development Analysis) describes and analyses the behavioural profile of individuals identifying their talents, motivators and strengths that will allow us to identify competency gaps and implement the required development plans for the participants in the Board Masterclass series.

The PDA measures 3 key areas: energy, behaviour and EQ.

The recent World Economic Forum report describes the Top 10 work related skills required for jobs of the future noted below and we have noted these in relation to the PDA competencies:

2020 Skills

  • Complex problem solving skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility

PDA Competencies


  • Problem-Solving and Planning
  • Initiative and Strategic Thinking
  • Innovation
  • People Management and Big picture view of the business
  • Impact & Influence and Leadership
  • Interpersonal sensitivity and Self-control
  • Initiative, Inclination for Quality of Products and
  • Projects and Results orientation
  • Communication and Developing others
  • Business skills
  • Pursuit of information