Taelo Mojapelo, CEO of bp Southern Africa, has made the Africa.com 2023 Definitive List of Women CEOs. This list, the only one of its kind in Africa, is a data-driven list that recognizes the women who lead big business in Africa. Big business, for this purpose, is defined as being listed on one of Africa’s stock exchanges and having revenue of over $100 million, or a market cap of over $150 million.
“I am honoured to have been recognized amongst other phenomenal leaders in Africa. bpSA prides itself in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and this award is testament of the importance of this agenda within our broader business. I work with an incredible team of talented individuals who I am privileged to lead as we take the bpSA journey forward,” says Mojapelo.
Harvard Business Review reports on the startling lack of diversity among CEOs of big business. To be the CEO of a large, listed company in Africa is an extreme rarity for women, which is why recognizing them is so important. Research by Harvard Business School faculty recognizes one important factor that all of the women who reach the CEO spot have in common: resilience.
“In simple terms, the answer to the question of what it takes [for these women] to succeed can be reduced to a single capacity: resilience….women we interviewed seemed to rely more heavily than others on that quality, because of the frequency with which they encountered obstacles and setbacks resulting from the intersecting dynamics of race, gender, and other identities.” Harvard Business Review
Taelo is an experienced business leader with a proven track record of successfully devising and delivering business strategies. She has over 20 years professional experience in Africa and a wealth of commercial and operational experience in Supply Chain, Leadership, Strategy and Operational Excellence.
In her role as CEO of bpSA, she actively supports and sponsors the diversity, equity and inclusion agenda, ensuring teams recognize people’s individuality while promoting a high-performance culture, as demonstrated by the successful implementation of key strategic imperatives.
The Africa.com list was compiled over many months through a deep research effort, starting with data provided by Bloomberg on all of the listed companies in Africa. From there, the research team culled the data to meet the required size requirements, and then further determined which of those companies had women at the head. The list also includes women who lead divisions of listed companies, such that the division would qualify for the list were it a standalone entity, and the women who lead the Africa region for globally listed companies, such that the region would qualify for the list were it a standalone entity.
To mark the evolution of Africa.com’s Definitive List of Women CEOs, now in its third year, Africa.com researched and analyzed 2,020 listed companies on Africa’s 24 stock exchanges. The companies were screened for revenue of $100 million or more, or a market cap of $150 million or more, which yielded a list of 787 companies. The public websites of these 787 companies were examined to determine those women who have a title of chief executive officer or managing director or president AND to confirm that these executives have bottom line, profit and loss responsibility.