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Top black and female execs – Demand high, appointments slow January 2012

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Executive-level race and gender equity continued to lag in appointments
made in 2011, but not because of a lack of will to redress imbalances, a
leading executive head hunter says.

Based on a review of executive-level briefs and appointments made last
year, Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters found that despite the
imperative to increase female representation in South Africa's top jobs,
the number of women in executive positions has changed little over the
last 4 years. 

And while there remained an ongoing demand for increased EE/ Black
executive appointments, the percentage of black appointments has
remained relatively steady since 2009 with a slight tapering off last
year after a high in 2010.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, Managing Director of Jack Hammer, says 40% of
appointments made in 2009 were EE appointments, with the numbers growing
significantly to 48% in 2010. Last year, the number of EE appointments
was slightly lower at 45%.  

"What is interesting to note here is that in spite of almost every
mandate having preference for an EE appointment, and hence every
shortlist comprising top black candidates, companies are still not
making high-level appointments of black professionals as consistently as
we would like," says Goodman-Bhyat.

"And the flipside of this is that after so many years of pushing
transformation, when it comes to high-level appointments of senior
managers and executives, white candidates are still being appointed over
50% of the time," says Goodman-Bhyat. 

Similarly, the low level of female appointments is not because of a lack
of demand from the corporate sector, which more and more frequently
place female executives on top of their 'wish list' 

 "In spite of this, there remains some hesitancy around female
appointments due to their generally broader family commitments," says
Goodman-Bhyat. "This, despite the consistent rise of highly successful,
capable and driven career women locally and internationally. Perceptions
still need to change," she says.

Jack Hammer has been measuring female executive appointments since 2008.
While the number of senior female appointments hovered around 30% of
total executive appointments then, they have now actually fallen below
30% as measured at the end of 2011. 

"There was a small uptick in the figures in 2010, when female executive
placements jumped up by a few percentage points, and we started to get
hopeful that this would mean a continuing trajectory upward for 2011,
but that did not materialise. 

"However, this is not too surprising, as most industry average ratios
indicate a male to female segmentation of 70% vs 30%. In some industry
sectors this is even more heavily swayed to male dominance. But on
average, across a very diverse range of sectors including financial
services, energy, retail, FMCG, professional services, agriculture, and
industrial services, the ratio of 70 to 30 is unfortunately not


ISSUED BY:                          Lange 360


For more information contact:

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat at Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters on 021 425
6677 ( <> )

Mervyn Dziva at Lange 360 on 021 448 7407 

About Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters

Jack Hammer provides a fresh approach to executive headhunting by
cutting through the ordinary. They have achieved this over the last
decade by using strategic research to drill down and expand their market
intelligence beyond the obvious and source the real gems of talent. The
knowledge gained in the process enables them to give clients a
competitive edge by ensuring they find the right executive talent - in a
manner that is both responsible and ethical. 

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD, Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters
Debbie entered the field of recruitment in 1998 with a financial
services headhunting firm, and within one year she was one of the top
billers in executive search in SA. In 2000 she established her own
executive search firm, diversified the industry focus, and then
partnered with Fusion Consulting in 2001. As the founder and Managing
Director of JACK HAMMER, she is an industry-leading headhunter, placing
top executives in SA's leading corporates for more than 12 years. Her
unique style and vision may come from her somewhat unconventional
background as an award-winning contemporary dance choreographer,
director and dancer! Now, as an entrepreneur in the business world, she
maintains her passion for work and relentless drive to get it right.

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