As a committed corporate citizen and one of the largest employers in South Africa, we continue to support and empower the individuals, businesses and communities we serve. We acknowledge that transformation is key to long-term growth and sustainability and while scorecards and good B-BBEE ratings play a vital role in accessing opportunities it remains only a benchmark and measurement for change that happens beyond the tick-box framework.
We are cognisant of the fact that if we are going to achieve transformation in a way that strengthens our businesses rather than burden it with legislation, there has to be a more collaborative and inclusive approach between the private sector and government.
As a leader in business we will continue to be proactive and lead by example. We are clear on the fact that our success in securing business growth and sustainability hinges on our ability to critically assess and overcome the current challenges by identifying different ways of doing business. We view our relationships with customers and suppliers as key and a platform for more strategic solutions and partnerships alike.
In line with the decentralised operating model of the Group, every subsidiary business acquires its own B-BBEE rating that it uses to operate and trade. So, 98% of the individual subsidiary businesses achieved between a Level 1-4 rating; 73% a Level 1-3 rating. A Level 2 Group rating was achieved in October 2022.
Management diversity remains top of mind to encourage inclusivity and different ways of thinking. We know that a diverse leadership team and employee base will foster innovation and stimulate an environment within which everyone can thrive. Various leadership interventions across the Group, for example the Bidvest Academy and Executive Development Programmes, bode well to prepare young, diverse leaders for the future. Currently 75% of our board is female, 83% black whilst 42% of our Exco is female, 50% black.
Transforming our supply chain is crucial, although challenged, by a burdensome legislative environment that impedes the development of SMMEs. During FY2022, we launched the Bidvest Supplier Diversity Programme. We are very pleased to report that this exciting initiative has started and, based on positive feedback from some of the programme participants, we are accelerating the roll-out of all planned initiatives, for each of the 47 participants. All participants have embarked on their development journey and have development plans in place that have been customised to provide the necessary support and development required to help them scale and be ready to access opportunities beyond the businesses that nominated them. Ten participants, based on their size and ability to scale into large businesses, have started their training with Wits Business School, on a customized Entrepreneurial Masterclass Certificate programme, which will continue over the next nine months.