Women on Boards in Uganda

Feb 6, 2018 | Articles, Featured

3 is the magic number… but it’s only the beginning of innovation and talent in Uganda.

What if I were to tell you in 2015 there were 3 companies on the Ugandan stock market that stood a stronger chance of improved financial success versus their competitors?


Because only three companies – Centum, Umeme and the Development Finance Company of Uganda had a diverse executive leadership team.

Diverse teams underpin financial success – they bring new skills and expertise to decision-making, challenge group think and find solutions that are forward-thinking and commercially viable.

Three of the fifteen listed stock companies have women holding executive (C-suite role). Three years on as we updated the data on women in leadership roles for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April 2018 we are looking for major movement. Getting more women into C-suite roles requires companies to have a stronger pipeline and working hard to retain and promote talented women. Centum, listed in both Uganda and Kenya, has a great track record with 50% of executive roles held by women. Ugandan company, Umeme, follows closely 40% of executive leadership roles held by women. These companies are leading the way on gender diversity across Uganda and we are keen to see not only their progress but how their good practice has impacted other listed companies on the Ugandan stock market.

When it comes to women on boards despite having a small selection of listed companies, with similar trends faced in countries with a larger private sector, a significant disconnect. Our benchmarking report for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2015 identified on average 15% of all board positions are held by women, spread across 10 of the 15 companies. Whilst two companies had reached the minimum threshold of 30% women holding board roles there is potential for an increased number of women holding board roles.

A smaller stock market should provide more opportunities to attract fantastic talent, but companies need to demonstrate they are great places where talented individuals can develop fulfilling and productive careers. For more information on the benchmarking report and to share updated on good practice contact us at Boardwalk Leadership.