Background

The Vision of the Black Management Forum (BMF) is to be the foremost organization in the development of managerial leadership and advancing the socio-economic transformation of organizations in Southern Africa and beyond.

In particular, the BMF promotes black managerial leadership with a focus on creating more equity in managerial structures and processes “which reflect the demographics and values of the wider society” (BMF Mission). As such, it is in the interest of the BMF to promote black women managers in its own ranks and leadership.

The reality, concerning equity data in South Africa still looks quite bleak. Data from the 2011 Grant Thornton report suggests that South African women currently hold 27% of senior management positions whilst the global average is at 20%. This very positive result is attributed mainly to the emphasis placed by the government on gender equality. However, this comparative advantage is not mirrored in South African’s business community. Only 3% of South African companies that were surveyed have a female CEO in comparison to a global average of 8%. Digging deeper into the issue one would have to ask: how many of this 3 % are black female CEOs?

However, this comparative advantage is not mirrored in South African’s business community. Only 3% of South African companies that were surveyed have a female CEO in comparison to a global average of 8%.

Digging deeper into the issue one would have to ask: how many of this 3 % are black female CEOs?

The BMF acknowledged these challenges and would like to address them thus the creation of the Gender Desk. Given its experience of dealing with structural inequalities on the basis of race, the BMF is in a good position to address the inter-linkages of race and gender and to tackle this issue in a positive and innovative way.

The BMF has identified the following challenges to gender parity and empowerment within the organization:

  • Lack of women participation in leadership structures
  • The general absence of structured mentorship, particularly for women within the organization
  • BMF events and programs not consciously directed to addressing women’s issues.


Objectives
 

The establishment of the Gender Desk is the identified action to respond to these challenges faced by women in the BMF.

It is our intention that all structures within the BMF shall work together to incorporate the Gender Desk into the operations of the organization in order to make the BMF more gender sensitive and conducive of participation and growth for women.

The task of the BMF Gender Desk is to ensure that mentorship and coaching are structured accordingly for all women in the organization. We understand that responsibilities of the gender desk though empowering women are also the responsibility of the males within the organization as members and/or leaders.


The main goals of the Gender Desk are: 

  • To institutionalize the gender focus within the BMF by creating a gender sensitive culture within which both male and female members find an equally conducive environment for their leadership development and networking. 
  • To support women BMF members in particular in their own leadership development in terms of concrete leadership training, mentoring and support. 
  • Provide a dedicated support structure for women leaders at the governance level within the BMF structures to ensure they conduct their duties in an effective manner. 
  • The celebration of women’s achievements within the corporate and leadership environment with added support for BMF women members in leadership and executive positions within and outside the BMF. 
  • Knowledge sharing through regular communication (news, statistics, information, articles, etc.) in internal newsletters and in the African Leader magazine and interaction through special women’s forums where BMF women can share best practice. 



Current programs of the Gender Desk
 

Planning Beyond our Lifetime

Planning Beyond our Lifetime is a series of financial wellness seminars around the country fully sponsored by Sanlam in monetary and knowledge terms. It is a financial literacy workshop that will look at different ways of better equipping you with financial knowledge.  The focus on these seminars is to equip society on how to better plan their lives while still alive and the legacy that they will leave for their families. The seminars focus on we Estate planning, Wills, Investing, Tax implications, Civil and customary law. 


Gender Desk Quarterly Debate


The Gender Desk debates happen on a quarterly basis and are fully sponsored by Deloitte. The debates are meant to ignite frank discussions on issues that are pertinent to creating a critical mass of women in senior leadership and to ensuring that women become a driving force in the country's and Africa’s economic development.

July

20 Conversations with CEOs
26 Executive Breakfast
31 Don Mkhwanazi Memorial Lecture

August 



3-6 
Student Chapter Summit
23 MDL Memorial Golf Day & Dinner
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24 Lot Ndlovu Annual Lecture

September
05
Maduke Lot Ndlovu Legacy Dinner
15 Executive Breakfast

October
12-13 Annual Conference/Awards/AGM
26 Conversations with CEOs

November
24 Executive Breakfast

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