According to data from the South African Statistics Office (Stats SA), the number of skilled professionals leaving South Africa has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2019, a total of 32,400 people with critical skills, including engineers, health professionals, and businesspeople, left South Africa. This was a significant increase from the 21,800 people who left in 2018.
Furthermore, a 2021 survey by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) found that 76% of businesses in South Africa had experienced a loss of critical skills due to emigration. These statistics highlight the severity of the talent exodus problem in South Africa and the need for urgent action to retain and attract skilled professionals.
Dr Shirley Zinn is a best-selling author, renowned coach, mentor, and entrepreneur who has served on the boards of several major companies, trusts, charities, and universities. She was formerly Group Head of Human Resources at Woolworths Holdings Limited, Head of Human Resources of Standard Bank South Africa, and Deputy Global Head of Human Resources for the Standard Bank Group.
Dr Zinn attained her doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and currently serves on the boards of V&A Waterfront, Sanlam, Spar SA, MTN, Spur Corporation, WWF, The Boston Consulting Group, and Nedbank’s Eyethu Community Trust, amongst others. Shirley will share her insights on fostering collaboration amongst business to address the talent exodus our country is facing, and strategies to secure our future talent pipeline.