IoDSA & IWFSA announce partnership to develop next generation of ethical & effective women leaders

The Institute of Directors in South Africa (IoDSA) and the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) have announced a long-term partnership aimed at developing the next generation of ethical and effective women leadership. The new partnership’s first project is a custom programme for IWFSA’s Young Leaders Connect initiative, the IDEAL Board Leadership Programme. The Young Leaders Connect is an initiative by IWFSA in pursuing its strategic priority of leadership development. The IoDSA designed the IDEAL Board Leadership Programme to help potential and new board members, and those wishing to make themselves available for board positions, acquire the necessary foundational skills.

IDEAL stands for Identify, Develop, Empower, Accelerate and Leadership, encapsulating the aims of the Young Leaders Connect initiative.

“The IoDSA has been a strong advocate for greater gender diversity on boards for many years, not least because genuinely diverse organisations perform better and are more profitable. However, sitting on a board in today’s complex socio-economic environment is challenging and directors must have the right skills, hence our drive to professionalise directorship,” says Parmi Natesan, CEO, IoDSA.

“The IDEAL Board Leadership Programme will equip tomorrow’s female leaders to take advantage of the real opportunities out thereby being able to demonstrate they have the skills boards are looking for.”

The IDEAL Board Leadership Programme will consist of three modules that will count towards the IoDSA’s Certified Director (SA) designation. The IoDSA also offers a Chartered Director (SA) designation. Both offer ways for directors to acquire and demonstrate skills falling within the IoDSA’s Director Competency Framework and thus provide a way to demonstrate holders have the right skills.

“We are very excited to have entered into this partnership with the IoDSA, which is aimed at the long-term development of a new generation of ethical women leaders,” says President of IWFSA, Irene Charnley. “As convenor of the King Committee and custodian of the King Reports on corporate governance, the IoDSA is highly regarded both in South Africa and globally. Its championship of a wider pool of properly qualified, professional directors, in particular, makes it an excellent partner in providing a training platform for the Young Leaders Connect programme.”

Futhi Mtoba, the Chairperson of IWFSA leadership committee directing the Young Leaders Connect says that the IDEAL Board Leadership Programme is an exciting development. “We see this programme as a great opportunity for our young women to begin acquiring the hard skills they need to make a real contribution to boards in both the public and private sectors. Young women have so much to offer, and a programme like this will empower them to take their rightful place, literally giving them a seat at the table.”

Notes for editors

Young Leaders Connect (YLC) focuses on identifying and developing aspiring young women leaders into ethical leaders. The YLC Lead Programme has four components:

  • Mentorship and coaching programme
  • Entrepreneurship programme
  • Board leadership programme
  • Digital conversation series

This article first appeared on – Monday, 12 October 2020