Lightening usually strikes once at one spot, and that is enough to get everybody’s attention. But for Marcia Ashong the global recognition spotlight has been thrown on her, not once, not twice but three times in a matter of days, and that got our attention at Techgh24.
The first one was her recognition as one of the UN’s Most Influential People of Africa Descent. She was on the list of 100 young and influential leaders under the age of 40. That would be followed by a spot on another list of 100 young African leaders – The Choiseul 100 Africa Laureate List. As if that was not enough, Marcia is currently in the United States of America among 23 hand-picked young global leaders to participate in the six-week long Eisenhower Fellowship.
Marcia Ashong is the Founder and CEO of TheBoardroom Africa (TBR Africa). TBR Africa is the largest regional network of board-ready female executives that champions women in leadership across Africa by working with partners such as development finance institutions, private equity and venture capital investors and organisations across the continent to improve female representation in boardrooms and investment committees.
Today, TBR Africa is enhancing and amplifying the potential of Africa’s exceptional female leaders. They support companies hoping to unlock the power of diversity and improve business performance, by connecting them with exceptional female leaders. TBR Africa also works with women to equip them with the resources they need as they navigate their journey’s in and outside the boardroom.
The membership of TBR Africa has grown to more than 2,500 women leaders coming from 2,067 organisations across the continent. Over the past 4 years alone, that company has placed over 70 women on boards and investment committees, 23 of these were from 2021 alone, and they are on track to place another 25 women this year.
Some of the executives in the TBR Africa network come from companies including Actis, General Electric, African Finance Corporation, Google, GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered, Uber and other top global multinationals.
Here are some of the top-level organizations that TBR Africa provide female board members for.
A lawyer by training. She attended University of Minnesota where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science; she then moved on to University of Exeter where she attained an LLB Hons. (Law) at and University of Dundee where she attained Master of Laws (LLM) in Energy Law and Policy
As a fromer energy sector executive, Marcia worked across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She has previously consulted on a World Bank-led project and the Norwegian Oil for Development Program on developments in the extractive industry.
In 2010, she founded the Ghana Oil Club (GOC), the leading professional organisation for Ghana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector. Prior to that, Marcia was one time the youngest-ever African Country Manager for a major multinational oil and gas company. She has over a decade of experience in legal, consulting, governance and business growth strategies.
Marcia is an Eisenhower Global Fellow, an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, and in 2019 she was named among the 100 Most Influential Africans for developing the strongest network of women leaders in Africa and, among others working with corporates in and out of Africa to diversify their boardrooms.
Marcial sits on the Ghana Advisory Committee of Mastercard Foundation, and in 2017 she
was named amongst Ghana’s 20 Under 40 business leaders. Her desire to champion women in the workplace is rooted in her experience as a rising star in the energy sector.
Marcia is published in 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 part of the HATCH Global Network (which seeks to bring together change-leaders from across the globe by connecting people to resources to aid in accelerating ideas to action) and was invited as part of this
network to host and speak at VivaTech, the world’s second-largest technology conference, in 2018.
She has been featured in publications including African Business Magazine, CNBC Africa, BBC Africa, Devex, World Economic Forum’s Agenda, and Stylist UK, among others.
Under her leadership at TBR Africa, the company has created the largest network of board-ready women in Africa and placed many women on Boards. The company’s unique positioning in the market has led it to securing close to $4m dollars in funding from donors like CDC Group (the UK’s Development Finance Corporation and largest Private Equity investor in Africa), and Blue Haven Initiative (an innovative family office dedicated to impact investing across the globe).
Marica is passionate about diversity as a catalyst for good governance and championing effective boards. She is an avid blogger, and speaker on the energy sector, ESG, governance, gender equality and the impact of women in leadership.