FCB Spearheads Young Women Empowerment Program in South Africa

FCB Worldwide, working with the Maharishi Institute, has completed a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) deal that brings FCB Africa’s black ownership to over 51% and lifts black female ownership at FCB Africa to over 30%. The agreement, which was closed in late 2015, created a special independent trust that has acquired 15% of FCB Africa’s shareholding.

These shares will be held in a broad-based black economic empowerment trust, and 100% of all profits made in respect of these shares, once they are paid off, will be used to empower unemployed young women who will own an equity stake in the company. These comprehensive career packages will facilitate true lifelong empowerment, including access to university-level business degrees with a specialization in advertising and digital marketing, industry-recognized vocational skills qualifications, full-time employment, personal development, soft skills training and ongoing hands-on coaching and mentorship.

“FCB Africa has been searching for a BBBEE initiative that truly aligns with the group’s moral compass and, in the vision and daily work of the Maharishi Institute, they have found it,” commented Carter Murray, Worldwide CEO of FCB.

FCB Africa CEO Brett Morris commented, “As a company that has always been at the forefront of transformation in the advertising sector, this is an incredibly exciting step for us, and one that rounds off a very inclusive and broad-based approach to our economic empowerment initiatives. In addition to prominent business people and the staff ownership, we are proud to now include a broad-based scheme that will impact hundreds of young women over time.”

This BBBEE and its holistic approach, with a range of support measures over a number of years, will assist the women involved in becoming measurably successful in South Africa’s economy. The move is targeted toward strengthening the long-term pipeline of new industry professionals.

FCB has also committed to an additional financial investment to develop a cutting-edge, industry-related curriculum in 2016, followed by a pilot program in 2017 and 2018, which will be part of the industry preparation component. FCB is also inviting other agencies and industry colleagues to join it in developing this pipeline for the industry.

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