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Report: Nigerian companies have improved gender equality — but more must be done

Report: Nigerian companies have improved gender equality — but more must be done
August 15
13:41 2021

Nigerian companies scored better than the global average in the participation of women in the workforce.

A recent study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in partnership with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), revealed that the private sector is closing the gap in gender equality.

Last month, TheCable profiled remarkable women who climbed the career ladder to get to the top in Nigeria’s banking industry.

The study, ‘Gender Equality in Nigeria’s Private Sector,’ added that companies need to further step up efforts to bridge the gaps between women and men in the private sector.

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The IFC study employed the Equileap Scorecard, a methodology that evaluates gaps across four categories – corporate leadership, compensation and flexible work, corporate policies to promote gender equality, and efforts on commitment, transparency, and accountability in closing gender gaps, for the assessment of gender gaps at 30 leading companies listed on NGX.

The study said Nigerian companies scored an average of 32 percent across 19 gender equality metrics for the four categories, two percentage points behind the global average in Equileap’s dataset reported in 2020.

“While companies assessed scored better than the global average on women’s participation as leaders on boards and compared favourably with global averages on women in senior management, work needs to be done to achieve gender balance — between 40 and 60 percent of each gender — across the four categories,” the report reads.

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The study looked at diverse business sectors such as banking and finance, construction, FMCG, food manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, logistics, oil & gas, ride-hailing and telecommunications, including MTN Nigeria, Access Bank, Sterling Bank, EcoBank, AIICO Insurance, Ardova Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Lafarge Africa, Moove Africa, StanbicIBTC Bank, Airtel Nigeria, UAC of Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, Red Star Express, and Union Bank.

To promote gender balance, the report recommended improving gender equality in formal employment, capital for women and access to markets through supply chains and procurement opportunities.

Temi Popoola, chief executive officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), said: “NGX has gender equality embedded at the core of its working practices and has made giant strides in galvanizing capital market stakeholders to institutionalize gender equality within their operations.”

“The Nigeria2Equal program comes as a strategic initiative designed to support the private sector in increasing women’s participation in employment and entrepreneurship through favourable workforce policies and practices, and we are resolute in our commitment to participate in the program going forward.”

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Kalim M. Shah, IFC’s senior country manager for Nigeria, said: “Through the Nigeria2Equal initiative, we are working with CEOs of private sector companies listed on the Exchange who are committed to implementing gender-smart solutions to improve their performance in gender across leadership, employment and entrepreneurship.

“By conducting market research and publishing studies, such as this report, we are providing strong evidence on the important role women play in the country’s private sector, helping companies to identify gaps and constraints, and ultimately invest in reducing those gaps,” said

TheCable understands that the report is part of the Nigeria2Equal initiative launched in 2020 by IFC in partnership with NGX.

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