TheBoardroom Africa Aims to Double Levels of Female Boardroom Representation across Africa by 2028


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TheBoardroom Africa (TBrA) is the leading network of board-ready women across Africa. Through its marketplace platform connecting development finance institutions, private equity funds and corporations with peer-endorsed female candidates, TBrA is ending the narrative that has so often encouraged excuses for not appointing women into the boardroom. With its ground-breaking methods, TBrA aims to double current levels of female board representation in Africa by 2028.

The negative effects of gender inequality across the world are a serious issue that institutions and corporations across Africa can no longer avoid.  According to the United Nations, unequal treatment of women costs sub-Saharan Africa approximately $105bn (6% of gross domestic product) each year. Improving the state of women in the workplace, therefore, is essential for Africa’s development. TheBoardroom Africa is helping Africa reap the developmental dividends of women in the workplace by accelerating representation of women in the boardroom and driving gender equality across the continent in order to improve institutional performance. Current clients include the CDC Group, the largest single investor in private equity funds in Africa.

Research from McKinsey* shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their industry peers lacking women in the boardroom. In Africa, where women make up only 14 per cent of board directors and 5 per cent of CEOs, the development dividends could be significant. Global leaders are increasingly realizing the impact of inclusive decision-making and the role this plays in improving the economy—especially in fast-growing emerging markets. Through training, pioneering research, and curating a database of senior executive women from over 40 African countries, TheBoardroom Africa is transforming the face of boardrooms across Africa.

Recognising the unique role that men must play in advancing gender equality is also critical, TheBoardroom Afric uses a unique 'endorsement model' which allows senior executives to recommend talent to the network. This approach ensures that TheBoardroom Africa connects with the highest calibre talent and enables the organisation to build a robust pipeline of women across all sectors, who might otherwise be overlooked by traditional networks.  


TheBoardroom Africa also recently debuted its flagship board certification programme, ‘Open Doors’ in partnership with the internationally recognised Institute of Directors. Open Doors will create opportunities for women who have senior executive experience but little to no previous board experience by ensuring they are equipped with the resources they need to be successful leaders.

TheBoardroom Africa was founded by Marcia Ashong and Tamsin Jones, both passionate advocates of gender equality and business leaders in their own right. Marcia is a global energy, oil & gas expert with experience spanning 4 continents and was named amongst Ghana's 20 Under 40 business leaders in 2017. Tamsin is a social entrepreneur known for the design and development of successful high-impact new initiatives or investments including Cape Town’s acclaimed Workshop17 and CDC Group’s The Africa List. With both of these women at the forefront, TheBoardroom Africa will help catapult Africa to become the world’s top region for female leaders in the world.

For interview requests and more information

Ronke Lawal


Notes to Editor

Please note that TheBoardroom Africa is intentionally spelt with no gap between The and Boardroom.

More statistics and briefing pack:


*McKinsey & Co 2015 research


Founders Bios

Marcia Ashong is co-founder and Executive Director of TheBoardroom Africa (TBrA).

Marcia has a varied background in international energy, petroleum law, and extensive work experience in the upstream oil and gas service industry, spanning 4 continents. She was as a member of the implementation team of the World Bank's EI Sourcebook; a project which was initiated as a tool to provide best practice policy frameworks for governments and stakeholders in the extractive industries. Soon after this, she advised on a project which sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the Norwegian Oil for Development Program in Ghana.

In 2010, she founded the Ghana Oil Club (GOC), a professional organization aimed at providing a forum for petroleum and energy professionals, as well as an avenue for active dialogue about Ghana's Petroleum and Energy Sectors. She has since held various positions in multinational oil and gas service companies and has worked in Accra, Lagos, London, Cape Town, Houston, Dubai, and Abidjan. 

She was recently named amongst Ghana's 20 Under 40 business leaders and is published with the Oxford Journal of World Energy Law, where she made contributions on global trends in local content regulations in oil and gas, she was also awarded a research grant in 2014 from the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) on the same topic. She is passionate about the opportunity to impact policy in the natural resource space, and is an avid blogger, and speaker on gender equality and the impact of women in leadership.

She holds a Master of Laws degree in Energy Law & Policy, from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee; a law degree from the University of Exeter, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Minnesota, United States. 


Tamsin Jones

Tamsin Jones is co-founder and Executive Director of TheBoardroom Africa (TBrA).

Tamsin a social entrepreneur known for the design and expansion of a string of successful high social impact initiatives or investments in Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. She is also a speaker and advisor on social innovation and entrepreneurship and gender diversity. 

She is regularly consulted by corporate leaders, investors and policy makers with a focus on turning transformative ideas into a reality. She has been a senior advisor to the leading innovator in last mile cellular and internet connectivity and the UK Government development finance institution, CDC Group, where contributed to the launch and expansion of The Africa List. Tamsin also partnered with the V&A Waterfront during a long term collaborative process where she led the design of South Africa’s premier innovation and entrepreneurship hub, Workshop17, which is a hive of ideas and home to 250 entrepreneurs and a coding academy. 

Tamsin started her career as a political and policy advisor to the Premier of South Australia. Her pathway hence has been driven by a personal commitment to make a difference which led her to head the jobs and business legacy initiatives in support of the London 2012 Olympic Games and subsequently the expansion team for mothers2mothers Africa which is a leading non-governmental organisation that helps women living with HIV to reduce transmission to their babies. Subsequent to her MBA, Tamsin joined the inaugural team that launched The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town. 

Tamsin holds an MBA from the University of Oxford with a merit scholarship awarded by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.