Majority CEOs, CFOs are white males: survey

By admin
15 October 2014

A new survey shows that 75 per cent of directorships in South Africa are held by whites, and 87 per cent by males.

Most company directors, chief executives, and chief financial officers in Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies are white males, according to a SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) survey released on Wednesday.

"Seventy-five percent of directorships are still held by whites at present, and 87 percent by males -- so obviously a lot of work still has to be done on transformation," SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe said.

However, there were hopeful signs of transformation within the younger generation.

This was a result of young black chartered accountants (SA) below the age of 40 being appointed as directors.

"Through the TBF [Thuthuka Bursary Fund], we now have hundreds of potential black CAs (SA) in the educational pipeline," Nombembe said.

The TBF is a fund made available by SAICA for aspiring chartered accountants.

"If we analyse the racial split of directorships by age, we see that for directors under 40, white and black are almost at parity; whites predominate by barely a tenth of a percent.

"For ages 41-50, whites outnumber blacks by a factor of two-and-a-half. But over the age of 51, there are five times as many white directors as black ones, and ten times as many in the over-61 age group," he said.

Women -- and black women in particular -- filled a higher percentage of directorships in the under-50 age group, than they did among the over-50s.

"This is understandable. Twenty years ago, there were very few black and/or female CAs (SA), so if we are rectifying that, we would expect it to start the improvement in the measures in the younger groups first," Nombembe said.

SAICA surveyed 475 JSE-listed companies.

Nombembe said there were a total of 4035 directorships, of which 1025 were CAs (SA).

CAs (SA) made up 74.3 percent of CFOs or financial directors and 21 percent of CEOs or managing directors.

"Almost two-thirds of the companies run by CAs (SA) are in fact in the top 200, which to me implies that CAs (SA) are better than average at running companies," he said.

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