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.


The cost is R20,125.00 (VAT Incl) in total which may be paid upfront, intermittently or monthly.

  • The cost includes any material content provided and approved for distribution by the presenters.
  • The cost excludes attendance at any BoardWalk event and any ad hoc event for which a charge is levied.

Additional information

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