Looking Back at 2018
We have almost reached the finish line of 2018, and what a year it has been.
2018 has challenged us in so many ways, and I like to think that the past 12 months have done much to make us stronger.
There have been so many highlights for our team, and I’d like to mention a few that stand out clearly in my mind.
I am pleased to say that the internship programme we launched in 2017 has proved to be a big success. We need to encourage every single company in South Africa to offer some kind of hands-on development and/or mentorship programme – it will make a huge difference in empowering our workforce of the future.
The vision of WDB Investment Holdings is to increase women’s participation in the economy and our Accelerate-Her programme in partnership with Seed Engine gained serious traction in 2018.
The WDB Growth Fund also saw the rise and rise of young entrepreneurs. WDBIH, together with its partners, Grovest and Seed Engine, launched the WDB Growth Fund in early 2017 and we are really starting to see incredible results.
On the 7th of November, the State of Gender report on JSE-Listed Boards was launched at the Inanda Club. WDB Investment Holdings was one of the sponsors of the report, along with Business Engage and Korn Ferry. We challenged our colleagues on various JSE-Listed Boards to evaluate progress since the gender requirement was put in place and commit to the hard work that needs to be done to achieve gender parity. Watch this space!
We are one of the sponsors of the PrimeStars Step-Up-2-A-start-Up Awards aimed at celebrating and supporting youth entrepreneurship and we are absolutely thrilled to see the calibre of our future leaders at this year’s awards. Congratulations to one and all. I was so honoured to receive the Trailblazer of the Year Award at this event, on behalf of former Standard Bank CEO, Jacko Maree.
Our CIO, Nicola Gubb participated in the CEO sleep-out at Lilies Leaf and, thanks to the great support of friends, peers and colleagues, she raised the highest amount for the challenge -R221 000.
It’s also been a massive year for the women’s movement globally. We have seen not only campaigns like #MeToo gain serious ground, but we have also seen real engagement and progress in the appointment of women to positions of power and influence.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, both at WDB Investment Holdings and the WDB Trust. To all our supporters and our partners – we cannot take this journey without you and I close this year with immense gratitude knowing that we are not alone in our cause to uplift women and fight poverty.
I look forward to 2019 with a renewed spirit and a sense of belonging to a community that is committed to making a difference, not just with words, but with actions.
CEO, WDB Investment Holdings.