The empowerment of black women reached a new milestone when the financial director of a prestigious advertising agency obtained a 21% stake in the company.
As a result, the agency said that black female ownership at Ebony+Ivory Integrated Advertising Agency now stands at 51%.
Thembi Sizani, who currently serves as the Financial Director at Ebony+Ivory, joined the agency in 2018, and over time, she has become a significant shareholder, owning 21%. A family trust retains the remaining share.
Ebony+Ivory is an independent advertising, design, and media agency with an impressive history of 53 years and has, in recent years, been supporting the upward mobility of black women.
Sizani’s accomplishment is seen as a motivation for other aspiring female movers and shakers in South Africa and highlights the advancements made by black women in the business world.
“Ebony+Ivory has been a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor since 2018, so this deal is a true show of our commitment to transformation and not a requirement to achieve an improved status,” said Sizani.
According to the agency, Sizani brings a wealth of experience. She began her successful career twenty years ago at Johnnic Communications, which has now been rebranded as Arena Holdings.
Sizani has impressive academic achievements as well. She holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree specialising in financial accounting.
The agency acknowledged the new stakeholder for her significant contribution to the management team and subsequent integration into the ownership structure, making her an essential part of the agency.
Sizani’s strides are seen as crucial in transforming South Africa’s advertising industry, which remains white-male-dominated like many other sectors.
The country has battled to eliminate barriers that hinder women from participating in top leadership positions.
Ebony+Ivory has credited its inclusive policies and programs for successfully promoting gender equality and giving women opportunities to succeed in industries where men traditionally hold most of the positions.
According to Nombini Mehlomakulu, the director and owner of Lwazi Media Ventures and the managing director of Ebony+Ivory, their company has consistently thrived and achieved significant progress despite facing challenging circumstances.
She commended the agency for its successful efforts in transforming and diversifying across multiple areas, such as technology, services, and personnel. Consequently, it has gained a significant reputation in the advertising and marketing industry.
“This recent accomplishment is a clear indication of our continuous journey of transformation,” she said.
Paul Middleton, the chairman of Ebony+Ivory, took a moment to reflect on the noteworthy milestone that the agency has achieved.
“This is the culmination of a journey that began 43 years ago when I took the reins of the agency my father had started and changed its name to Ebony+Ivory. It has been my north star to authentically change the strategic direction of the agency and the marketing and communications sector at large by serving and representing the society we live in,” said Middleton.