By Fiona Wakelin
“The single biggest challenge businesses face today is meeting the needs of an interconnected and layered world. No business can hope to succeed without having a workforce as varied as the world in which it operates. Any company that doesn’t take inclusion and diversity seriously is at risk of simply not understanding how to service its markets.” – Helena Conradie, CEO of Satrix,
For the first time investors can invest in the most inclusive and diverse companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) through a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) from Satrix.
The initial public offering (IPO) of the Satrix Inclusion and Diversity ETF opened on 20 July 2021.
The Satrix Inclusion and Diversity ETF is a South African first. It tracks a unique Diversity and Inclusion index, developed with Refinitiv, the world’s largest provider of financial markets data and infrastructure. The index ranks JSE-listed companies according to key metrics, along with specific transformation metrics unique to South Africa, to create a one-of-a-kind ETF of South Africa’s most inclusive and diverse organisations.
Metrics include gender diversity of the workforce and diversity at board level and specifically focuses on inclusion by looking at the percentage of employees with disabilities, companies’ BEE scorecards, and policies on, for instance, HIV/AIDS day-care, flexible working hours and more.
The index uses as its starting point all the listed companies on the JSE that meet Refinitiv’s economic, social and governance (ESG) criteria. Then, 25 measures are applied that fit into one of four Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) pillars, namely:
- People development
- News & controversies.
Each company is assigned a score for each of the four pillars. Companies with a non-zero score on each of the four pillars are assigned an overall score, which is simply the average of the pillar scores. They are then ranked based on their overall score in descending order, and the top 30 are included in the index.” – SATRIX Investments
The Top 10
“An inclusive and diverse workplace is one of the Group’s main priorities. As a Group, we are committed to non-discrimination, non-sexism, and non-racism across all our policies, practices, and daily operations. We value diversity and inclusion as key components of our Employee Value Proposition, and believe that a strong, diverse, and inclusive strategy that is unique to each of the regions in which we operate should be a key part of our employee attraction and retention framework. As a Group, we also continue to ensure that gender parity remains a focus.
“Woolworths South Africa has adopted the nationally legislated Employment Equity (EE) prescripts and, as part of this, integrates greater participation of historically disadvantaged groups across all spheres and levels of the organisation. Every three years, we draft an EE plan for the Department of Employment and Labour, and we are assessed against this. All of our leadership have specific performance goals in relation to this plan, which they are measured against internally. To ensure that it remains a focus, we have various management and staff diversity committees, which meet regularly to discuss the implementation and execution of this plan.
“While the plan is focused on an organisational level, we have various anti-discrimination policies aimed at creating a culture in which all our employees feel welcome, where they believe and know they are treated fairly, and where they are not discriminated against.
“Compliance with Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) legislation ensures that Woolworths continues to contribute meaningfully towards national priorities to transform the industries in which we operate and make the economy more inclusive.
“In light of the rise in gender-based violence in the country, we have partnered with a gender-based violence interest group to review our sexual harassment policy, and to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Apart from this, we have also engaged with the South African Commission for Gender Equality on certain aspects of our operational policies, to
ensure that they are gender-neutral and non-discriminative.” – Woolworths Holdings Limited: 2021 Good Business Journey Report
In 2009 Nedbank achieved level 2 BEE status, which it retained for 10 consecutive years. And then in the last three years has achieved, and retained level 1.
“Nedbank’s transformation approach supports both national and business priorities and our strategic intent is linked to our purpose statement to use our financial expertise to do good. We are further guided by some key principles and a robust governance structure to ensure execution in line with our agenda to lead transformation. Key principles include transformation transcending compliance beyond the codes, contributing to a sustainable future for all, and adopting an integrated and not a transactional approach to transformation. Transformation itself is embedded in our business practices and we know that we need to transform in order to remain relevant in the societies in which we operate; as we understand that we’re a microcosm of the broader society. We seek to build human capital, financial capital, leadership capital and socio-economic capital, whilst also ensuring that we respond to the legislation in a sustainable manner.“ – Kershini Govender, Executive Head of Transformation and Strategy at Nedbank Group Limited.
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO
British American Tobacco South Africa is committed to the socio-economic transformation of South Africa.
“At BAT, our own commitment to change is the seed of our transformation success. For us, BEE is more than just compliance. It is about harnessing the diversity of our people to grow and strengthen our business. Doing the right thing, exercising our responsibility to society, and unleashing the talents of our people is integral to our business strategy. The scorecard is an objective measure of our progress and a public demonstration of our commitment to transformation.” – Johnny Moloto, GM, BAT South Africa
“Our company transformation is underpinned by the standards, values and principles contained in our Standards of Business Conduct, Business Principles, and BAT Ethos.
“We believe that South Africa can achieve an adaptable, sustainable and growing economy if it harnesses the strengths of all its people and communities and uses diversity as a catalyst to solve social challenges and enhance economic performance.” – BAT SA
ADCOCK INGRAM HOLDINGS
‘We endeavour to be the change we want to see in this country. This is not a competition. This is the future prosperity of our beloved country and all who call it home. Transformation is not only a business strategy, it is a country strategy and we are all essential to its success.’ – Basadi Letsoalo, Executive Director: Human Capital and Transformation
“At Adcock Ingram we strive to add value to life. This includes the lives of our employees, our customers, the communities in which we operate and our shareholders.
“As a Level three B-BBEE contributor and a leader in the healthcare sector, we are committed to the development of this nation and its free society. From the factory floor to the boardroom, the vision is the same.” Adcock Ingram SA
THE FOSCHINI GROUP
“At TFG The Supervisory Board recognises the critical role it has to play in the transformation process in South Africa. The Supervisory Board’s Social and Ethics Committee, through its governance and oversight role, ensures that an appropriate transformation strategy exists that is aligned with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B-BBEE) and the associated codes of good practice.
“The role of the committee is to achieve sustainable empowerment and it has an ongoing responsibility to govern and oversee all aspects of the Group’s B-BBEE strategy and implementation. At its meetings during the 2021 financial year, the committee received feedback detailing matters relevant to each of the functional areas within its transformation mandate.
“Each year the transformation strategy is reviewed and clear guidelines are defined for each of the five pillars of the B-BBEE scorecard. By delivering shared value through our empowerment initiatives, we are making a meaningful contribution to many of our stakeholders, while ensuring the long term stability and profitability of our business.” – TFG
“Key consideration is given to working collaboratively so that we can build strong relationships and partnerships so that we can achieve our high level objectives of:
- Make a meaningful contribution within our communities we serve with the intention of have the broadest impact possible with each initiative we undertake.
- Contribute to Mediclinic’s transformation agenda and social development in South Africa.
- To leverage our CSI initiatives to assist in strengthening key relationships within the provinces we operate.
- To enhance our organisational reputation and be recognised as a socially responsible corporate citizen.
- Provide that platform for our employees to become more involved in the communities they come from and live in.” – MEDICLINIC
Being a force for social good
“Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This guides everything we do, including our relationship with society and the systems that make life possible.
“Hiring, retaining and promoting black and particularly African citizens is a priority to ensure that our employee profile better reflects South Africa’s full talent context. Globally, we recognise the urgency in achieving a more accurate gender balance in the workplace, particularly in senior leadership positions.
“We strive to lead transformation efforts in the financial sector and encourage frank and robust discussions about the opportunities and challenges in transformation.” – Discovery
“We believe strongly that business strategy cannot be executed or even conceived of separately from an understanding of its social impact.” – Adrian Gore, Discovery Group Chief Executive
“Liberty’s commitment to and involvement in transformation has never been a peripheral activity, but has long been an integral part of our business strategy. An affirmative procurement policy has, for example, been in place since 1999. In the same year an employment equity forum was also established.
“Liberty sees BEE as a business fundamental based on the following:
A growth imperative – the low employment rate in South Africa can only be dealt with in a high-growth environment;
A social imperative – wealth needs to be distributed more evenly in order to create an equable society; and
A moral imperative – the legacy of the past wherein the majority of the country’s citizens were excluded from the economy on the basis of race must be addressed.” – Liberty Holdings
“We believe that the opportunities and promise of a better digital future should be accessible to all, and we are committed to ensuring that the more vulnerable are not left behind on the journey to that future.
“Through our technology, we will help bridge the divides that exist in our societies, not widen them. We are committed to ensure that the more vulnerable are not left behind on the journey toward a digital future particularly for women and young people.
“Access to mobile technology provide transformative benefits for people in vulnerable communities, particularly for women and the youth.
“Our goal is to democratise digitisation, ensuring that everyone can benefit from technology and is part of the digital society. We believe that owning a mobile phone can enhance an individual’s physical and economic security, provide access to education, skills and employment opportunities, and support good health and wellbeing.” – Vodacom
“We aim to operate as a responsible business, applying responsible governance at all our operations and relying on clear frameworks to communicate, measure, improve and deliver against our ambitious sustainability commitments.
“Mondi Action Plan 2030 (MAP2030) sets out the actions we need to take over the next decade to meet our ambitious 2030 sustainability commitments.
“The Mondi Way shows how our shared sense of purpose is intrinsically connected to our strategy and culture, enabling us to create best-in-class products for our customers and shared value for our stakeholders. Our four strategic value drivers set a clear roadmap for the future and, together with our resilient business model and manufacturing excellence, give us distinct competitive advantages. Our culture is centred around empowering people to be passionate and entrepreneurial in a respectful and inclusive way, underpinned by our values of Performance, Care, and Integrity.” – MONDI