Development of women must turn from an August flash in the pan to a conveyor belt of new talent
Wednesday, 06 August 2014
IoDSA advocates holistic approach to women’s
Every August, new initiatives
are launched to promote the empowerment and development of women—with many of
them disappearing equally quickly. To be effective, development programmes need
to be viewed holistically according to Angela Oosthuizen, newly appointed CEO
of the Institute of
Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA).
"We would like to encourage both
professional associations and companies to adopt a holistic approach that aims
to elevate women to a new professional level, and so contribute to greater
gender diversity in business, the boardroom and society as a whole,” says Oosthuizen.
"We need to turn the development of women from an August flash in the pan to a
conveyor belt of new talent.”
The IoDSA is working with a
variety of identified stakeholders to help design and deliver a programme that
embodies such a holistic approach. The programme aims to broaden and deepen the
pool of female talent available for non-executive board positions.
"We have seen studies recently
confirming that board diversity dramatically increases the value that boards
contribute to organisational performance,” says Oosthuizen. "However, we can’t
keep tapping into the same set of resources when it comes to finding female
non-executive directors. We have to expand access to existing talent and groom
Oosthuizen emphasises that
potential candidates are readily available, and can often be found via the
professional associations to which they belong. These women would obviously
have qualifications and experience in their current disciplines, such as
engineering, accounting and so on—what’s needed is a way to help them elevate
or evidence their director competencies and, ultimately, obtain the coveted
Chartered Director, or CD (SA), designation.
"To do this in a sustained and
sustainable way, we have created a model one could call the ‘circle of
engagement’,” explains Oosthuizen. "We take a holistic approach that begins by
providing knowledge via training, testing it via assessment and then practising
how to use it via simulation.”
Thereafter, a personal
development plan can be created for each woman and matched to continuous
professional development and ongoing mentoring. To close the circle, it’s
important to map progress towards the stated goals.
candidates can be supported via their membership of the professionals associations
relevant to directorship, such as the IoDSA,” Oosthuizen concludes.