The IRON List - October 3, 2017

1. Industry: The F-Suite

“In the private sector, Africa has more women in executive committee, CEO, and board roles in companies than the average worldwide.” This is one of the key findings from a 2016 McKinsey & Company report. That, however, hasn’t meant making gender equality a priority in the boardrooms of African enterprises. According to the same report, “only one in three CEOs” are focused on such initiatives, and 25 percent of companies surveyed by the firm explicitly stated gender issues were “of no importance” to them.

Thankfully this hasn’t stopped many female entrepreneurs from rising above the ranks relegated to them - but what barriers remain and how can Africa (or will Africa) sustain the momentum of breaking ceilings for women?

“It truly took a village to raise me and my mother demonstrated how to use that support responsibly,” Tafadzwa explains. “Remaining anchored in our community, she taught me to boldly pursue independence so that I too would become better positioned to help others.” --Harvard Business School, “Perspectives: Tafadzwa Samushonga.”

“A number of people questioned the statistic. ‘I wonder who’s this feminist who came up with this false info,’ tweeted one person.” --Business Report, “Do South African women earn 27% less than men?”

“A plausible explanation for this is that African women are not very ambitious  — since most run small-scale enterprises. But then, I doubt that this is the case. Why then do we have only few African female-founded global businesses?” --Techpoint, “Why it is difficult for African female entrepreneurs to build global businesses?”

2. Research: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In Nigeria alone, only 40% of Lagos’ 10,000 tonnes of waste per day is collected by the government. The scale of trash collection across the continent is inconsistent, especially in the largest metropolitan areas. IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency) provides a roadmap here for Africa to reach a sustainable reliance on earth-friendly energy sources by 2030.

3. Opportunities: Paid, Volunteer & Competitive

Oprah Winfrey’s African Women’s Public Service Fellowship at New York University

MBA Rotational Leadership Program at Box

Africa-based startup competition with the Startup Europe Comes to Africa Roadshow (SECA)

4. Networking: The African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference

Scheduled for October 5 and 6 in Cape Town, the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference (AWIEF) will host its third conference, with a focus on the theme of “Equity, Impact, Inclusive Growth Towards Agenda 2030 and Sustainable African Future.” Read more about the event here. Guests who are not delegates may register here.