International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) have scored Nigerian companies better than global average in some aspects of women’s participation in the work place.
A new report under the Nigeria2Equal initiative, by the IFC and NGX said ‘Gender Equality in Nigeria’s Private Sector,’ assessed gender gaps in 30 listed companies on NGX.
The study, which used the Equileap Scorecard, explained that there was more to be done to further bridge the gaps that remained between women and men in the private sector.
Equileap Scorecard is a methodology that evaluates gaps across four key categories: corporate leadership, compensation and flexible work, corporate policies to promote gender equality, and efforts on commitment, transparency, and accountability in closing gender gaps.
Mr Temi Popoola, Chief Executive Officer, NGX said the Nigeria2Equal programme was an initiative to support an increased participation of women in the private sector.
“NGX has gender equality embedded at the core of its working practices and has made giant strides in galvanising capital market stakeholders to institutionalise gender equality within their operations.
“The Nigeria2Equal programme comes as a strategic initiative designed to support the private sector in increasing women’s participation in employment and entrepreneurship.
“Through favorable workforce policies and practices and we are resolute in our commitment to participate in the programme going forward,” he said.
Mr Kalim Shah, IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Nigeria said the initiative was to work with chief executives in the private sector committed to gender-smart solutions.
“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.
“Also, helping companies to identify gaps and constraints, and ultimately invest in reducing those gaps,” he added.
The study said overall, Nigerian companies scored an average of 32 per cent across 19 gender equality metrics for the four categories and 2 percentage points behind the global average in Equileap’s dataset reported in 2020.
It also stated that companies assessed scored better than the global average on women’s participation as leaders on boards and compared favorably with global averages on women in senior management.
However, it said work needed to be done to achieve gender balance of between 40 and 60 per cent of each gender, across the four categories.
To help improve gender balance in the private sector, the report recommended improved gender equality in formal employment, access to finance for women who want to start a business, and access to markets through supply chains and procurement opportunities.
The report is part of the Nigeria2Equal initiative launched in 2020 by IFC in partnership with NGX.
The programme, which runs until 2023, aims to reduce gender gaps in the private sector through research and case studies, a 15-company peer learning platform, and provide firm-level advisory support to companies to implement gender action plans.
The programme will support the private sector in Nigeria to increase women’s participation as leaders, employees, customers and entrepreneurs.
It aims to do these by promoting favorable workforce policies and practices, development of products and services that target the women’s market segment, and deliberate measures that empower women’s participation in corporate procurement.
IFC also unveiled a peer learning platform to accelerate efforts to bridge the gaps between women and men.
Participating companies, represent diverse business sectors such as banking and finance, construction, FMCG, food manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, logistics, oil & gas, ride hailing and telecommunications.
They include; MTN Nigeria, Access Bank, Sterling Bank, EcoBank, AIICO Insurance, Ardova Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria and Lafarge Africa.
Others are: Moove Africa, StanbicIBTC Bank, Airtel Nigeria, UAC of Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, Red Star Express, Transcorp Hotels, and Union Bank.
The 15 Nigerian companies will make at least three commitments to reducing gender gaps in their operations.
For example, they may commit to boosting the number of women in leadership or implementing strategies that bring more women into corporate supply chains.