Abena Osei-Poku, Muriel Susan Edusei ,Abena Amoah
Abena Osei-Poku, Muriel Susan Edusei ,Abena Amoah

Ghana's top 100 women board directors announced

Ghana's top 100 women board directors for 2023,  have been named with a call on young women to pursue leadership roles and get involved with decision making at all levels.

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The list was released in Accra yesterday after a research showed that women hold 28 per cent of board positions in Ghana, compared to the global average of 20 per cent as indicated by The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

The research also found that only 10 companies had women serving as their board chairs while 42 per cent of the women on the list held positions on bank boards.

Members

The list put together by a public relations and rating firm, Avance Media, includes Abena Amoah, who is a member the Central Securities Depository; Helen Amarquaye of Old Mutual Ghana; Abena Osei-Poku, who chairs the Ghana Stock Exchange; Esi Tawia Addo-Ashong of Stanbic Bank Ghana; Margaret Boateng Sekyere of Societe Generale Ghana; and Muriel Susan Edusei of Prudential Bank Limited.

Others are Ama Sarpong Bawuah of Access Bank Ghana; Elizabeth Akua Ohene of SSNIT; Elsie Addo Awadzi of Bank of Ghana; Frances Adu-Mante of Absa Bank Ghana; Freda Yahan Duplan of Zenith Bank and Gloria Adjoa Owusu of Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited.

Exceptional contribution

The Founder of Avance Media, Prince Akpah, who described the release of the top 100 women board directors in Ghana as a groundbreaking initiative said it was meant to highlight the exceptional contributions of women who had demonstrated exemplary leadership, innovation, and impact within their respective industries.

On how they were selected, he explained that the selection process was rigorous and took into consideration a comprehensive range of criteria such as experience, education, board tenure, industry expertise, leadership capabilities, notable impact, awards and recognition and public presence.

"The Top 100 Ghana's Women Board Directors list is a testament to the remarkable achievements of women leaders who continue to pave the way for others.

Their dedication, expertise, and impact are instrumental in shaping the future of corporate leadership in Ghana.

We believe that celebrating their accomplishments will inspire more gender-inclusive boardrooms and contribute to a diverse and prosperous business landscape," he said.

Also, he said, it was important to have such a process as it would help foster a more diverted and inclusive business environment.

Additionally, the representation of women on boards ensures broader perspective, experience and expertise at the highest level of decision making for better governance, innovation and business outcomes.

Mentorship

During a panel discussion after the announcement of the top women CEOs in Ghana, the Board Chair of Old Mutual Ghana, Hellen Amarquaye, said regardless of a woman’s background, she could serve on a board or chair a board.

She urged the older generation to mentor young women and inspire them to “know it is possible.”

She said the old mutual company has a deliberate policy that was driving diversity and inclusion to ensure 50 per cent of its board members where women.

“We identify incredible women and train them and prepare them for leadership positions” she said and urged women to make their voices heard.

The President and Council Chair of the Institute of Directors-Ghana, Rev. Angela Carmen Appiah, urged women not to accept board of director positions only to champion their personal interests but to serve.

“Do not sit on boards for fun or to tick the box, but to make significant contribution and shape decisions for a better society,’’ she said.

Rev. Carmen Appiah advised men in leadership positions to encourage women “put them in the right places, create the environment for them and pluck them in.”

Where there is unhealthy competition between, women and men in an organisation, she said policies must be put in place to manage such situations.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Acreaty Ghana, Elsie Appau-Klu, advocated conscious effort to train women to enable them to understand the responsibilities, fiducial duties and the legal implications of serving on boards.

She urged young women to be ready to learn from older women in leadership positions who accepted to mentor them and not burden such mentors with their personal life problems.

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