Ghana has produced some of Africa’s most admired women. From Akua Kuenyehia, a former Vice President of the International Criminal Court, to Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John, Ghanaian women have a significant presence on the global stage.
Yet for all the shining stars and international accolades, the Ghanaian public and private sectors have largely fallen short when it comes to championing women in leadership at home.
The glass ceiling remains stubbornly in place for female leaders. The participation of women in key leadership roles is critical for Ghana to unlock its full social and economic potential.
In government, Ghanaian women are extremely under-represented in all branches. Women make up a paltry 14% of parliamentarians and only a quarter of ministers.
Among mayors, the situation is no different: only 14% are women, and the numbers of women on the Council of State and governing boards of public corporations are few and far between.
If you look to the private sector, the situation is no different. A new report released by TheBoardroom Africa in partnership with the Ghana Stock Exchange shows that amongst 37 listed companies in Ghana, women are rarely included in the actual governing of some of Ghana’s most notable companies.
According to the 2020 Board Diversity Index, women hold only 23% of board seats and 24% of non-executive director seats. Although this figure represents a 3% increase in women’s board seats and a 4% increase in non-executive director seats held by women from 2019, the Board Diversity Index shows that women are still significantly under-represented in the leadership and management of major corporations in Ghana.
Companies that rank poorly in terms of gender equality often claim that there are very few qualified women available for board leadership or management roles. But this claim is hardly true.
There are qualified women everywhere, and, thanks to rising female participation in higher education, their numbers are growing although many disappear from the ranks as they climb the career ladder.
It is time for Ghanaian companies to adopt strategies to improve women’s presence on boards because a growing body of research shows significant benefits associated with gender diversity on boards and in senior leadership.
Gender-diverse boards positively impact governance, and the presence of women on boards reduces the risk of fraud and corruption, and increases customer and employee satisfaction.
Moreover, studies also point to the positive influence of gender-diverse management and boards on a company’s sustainability profile.
To leverage the diversity dividend, companies can adopt a number of proven strategies to improve women’s representation at the highest leadership levels.
First, they can address the pipeline problem by investing in early- and mid-stage professionals and providing support for high-achieving female professionals.
Second, they can establish family-friendly workplace policies from childcare and parental leave to improve retention.
Finally, they can engage and educate male business leaders on how diversity improves business performance and encourage them to step up and step into the role of mentors and sponsors.
Adopting these forward-looking approaches would ensure greater involvement of women in shaping corporate strategy.
If Ghana hopes to realise its ambitions as a beacon for the business community, she must adopt forward-looking strategies to develop female leaders and involve more women in the governing process across the board.
Marcia Ashong is Founder and CEO of TheBoardroom Africa, the region’s largest network for female board executives.
- #FixTheCountry protestors counter injunction with #NameAndShame campaign on social media
- I had sex with a goat, masturbated 6 times a day – Male victim of sexual abuse recounts
- Mahama Ayariga acquitted, Opuni ordered to open his defence
- Methodist Church stands by its objection to GES directive to let Muslim students fast – Bishop of Northern Accra Diocese
- Chief allegedly orders for school to be demolished for his palace at Adumasa
- Ghana takes delivery of 350,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine
- Government declares Thursday, May 13, as public holiday to mark Eid-ul-Fitr
- Prince Philip’s cause of death has been confirmed
- EC must review processes leading to 2020 election results collation – Akoto Ampaw
- Demolish structures along ‘Right Of Way’ for railway projects – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
Young African entrepreneurs to maximize benefits from AfCFTA
Ghana loses $200m to untapped online forex trading market
Health Directorate initiate moves to improve health care delivery at Ada West
National best maize farmer calls on government to develop agricultural policies
We must reassess the composition of NDPC – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
#FixTheCountry: Convenors of protest disappointed in Supreme Court over hearing scheduled for June
Akufo-Addo has the power to allow #FixTheCountry protest – Martin Kpebu
Koforidua GPRTU urges drivers to remain calm over fuel adjustment
Orthopedic Association of Ghana wants immediate action on road accidents in Ghana
2021 VGMA: I want Diana Hamilton to win Artiste of the Year – Eno Barony
Korle-Bu doctor poisons colleague’s water with HIV blood
Tanzanian city ‘running low on condoms’
It will be hypocritical for Akufo-Addo to prosecute leaders of Christ Embassy’s ‘Pneumatica Night’ – Sammy Gyamfi
Galamsey has not stopped, it’s destroying us; Akufo-Addo must do better – Nhyiaeso MP
Champions League final: Fans should not travel to Turkey, says UK government