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Only a minute number of women are chief executives, report finds

Only 3.31percent of chief executives of JSE-listed companies are women in the year to April 2019. Maxim Shemetov Reuters

Only 3.31percent of chief executives of JSE-listed companies are women in the year to April 2019. Maxim Shemetov Reuters

Published Jul 17, 2019


JOHANNESBURG - Only 3.31percent of chief executives of JSE-listed companies are women in the year to April 2019, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has shown.

“If one looks at the composition of the top leadership at JSE-listed companies, the statistics paint a dim picture, the report titled Executive directors: Practices and remuneration released yesterday, said.

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“Following Maria Ramos’s retirement in February 2019, there were no female chief executives in the JSE top 40; however, it is encouraging to see that Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa has recently been appointed as the chief executive of Naspers,” it said.

Ramos stepped down in February as Absa chief executive after being at the helm of the group since 2009. Last week she was appointed as a director of the Public Investment Corporation board, marking her first high-profile appointment since she left the bank.

Mahanyele-Dabengwa was previously the chief executive of Shanduka Group until 2015, when it was sold to the Pembani Group.

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The PwC report said that the pay disparities between men and women chief executives was problematic, citing the largest pay gaps were in the healthcare sector, (28.1percent), followed by consumer discretionary (25.1percent), technology (22.9percent) and financials (21.8percent).

“The overall view of this JSE analysis paints a stark picture of the inequality in representation in companies listed on this stock exchange,” the report said.

In terms of pay packages the median pay for all executive directors including chief executives, chief financial officers and managing directors on JSE-listed companies increased by 4.9percent in 2018, slightly above inflation which stands at 4.6percent.

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Chief financial officers earned an average of R3.8million from R3.6m in 2017. The report said that the average pay of chief executives had increased by 4percent to R5.4m in the year under review from R5.2m in 2017.

Earlier this year, MTN said that it had paid its chief executive Rob Shuter R42.9m in the financial year ended December 31, 2018, up from R40.6m in 2017.

Pick * Pay chief executive Richard Brasher took home a total pay package of R32m for the year to March 2019.

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“Remuneration should also not be so egregious that it erodes stakeholder confidence or threatens the long-term sustainability of the organisation,” the report said.

In terms of racial representation, 10.2percent of all chief executives in companies listed on the JSE are black Africans, 1.7percent of chief executives in listed companies were coloured, 2.2percent were Indian or Asian and 84.9percent were white.

The PwC said that at the end of April, the cut-off date for the survey, there were 1198 executive directors appointed to active JSE listed companies from 1144 in 2018.

There were 335 chief executives from 342 in 2018, 310 chief financial officers from 325 in 2018 and 435 executive directors compared to 477 in 2018.

The study was conducted by analysing the top 40 JSE-listed companies based on the integrated reports available until April 30, 2019.


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