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Sharon Taylor

Chief People & Culture Officer, Standard Bank

Sharon is the Chief People & Culture Officer for the Standard Bank Group (SBG) headquartered in South Africa, a position she has held since 2014.

The Group has a proud 160-year heritage and a clear purpose – “Africa is our home, we drive her growth”. SBG is Africa’s largest financial services Group by assets, with on-the-ground presence in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and 6 international markets, serving 18 million clients and employing 53 000 people. As at June 2023, the Group’s assets stood at US $160 bn and its current market capitalisation is US $17 bn. In 2022 the Group delivered profits of nearly $2 bn, the highest in its history. Standard Bank has recently been named Best Bank in Africa by Global Finance, Bank of the Year in South Africa by The Banker and awarded for ‘Outstanding Leadership in ESG-related loans in Africa’ by Global Finance. We were announced as the most valuable banking brand in Africa and South Africa by Brand Finance and the most admired financial services brand in Africa by Brand Africa. Newsweek and Statista have recently ranked SBG amongst the world’s most trustworthy banks.

Sharon’s role is to enable a sustainable competitive advantage for the Group through creating an all-encompassing culture, leadership and people management framework that, in turn, optimizes the contribution of its 53 000 people to the Group’s purpose, strategy and objectives.

Sharon is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate with 34 years of experience in the Human Resources field, 20 of which have been at an executive level. Starting out her career in the passenger transport sector, she joined the Standard Bank Group in 1991 and has found the financial services industry a fascinating and ever-changing landscape that places enormous value on its people. During her 32-year career with the Group, she has worked across both specialist and generalist aspects of HR, in a variety of business lines and at the corporate center. She has served as the Group’s head of Organisation Development and also as the Head of Human Resources for Business and Commercial Banking, for Corporate and Investment Banking in SA, for global Investment Banking and for the Standard Bank of South Africa, where she has been a business partner and trusted advisor to a variety of Chief Executives since 2002.

She serves on the Group Leadership Council, the SBG Board sub-committees for Remuneration and Social & Ethics, and leads the People & Culture Stratco. She also serves as a non-executive director on the Board of Standard Bank Malawi plc.

Sharon is the winner of the Strategy & Leadership Award and the Transformation & Empowerment Award at the 2019 inaugural CHRO South Africa Awards. In 2022 she was named as one of the top 50 HR leaders on the continent in the Africa Human Resources Innovation Awards.

Outside of her Group accountabilities, she serves as a member of Council of the University of Pretoria, one of SA and Africa’s top-rated universities. She is the current Chair of the Human Resources Committee of Council.

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