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Coalition of Nigerian firms move to close gender gaps

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Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX)

Cadbury Nigeria Plc (a part of Mondelēz International), has joined a coalition of 15 Nigerian companies that cut across manufacturing, banking and finance, construction, hospitality, logistics, and telecommunications, to promote gender equality in the workplace, under the Nigeria2Equal programme.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) are championing the Nigeria2Equal initiative designed to increase women’s participation in leadership, employment and entrepreneurship in the private sector, through favourable staff policies and practices, over a two-and-half year period.

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At the virtual public launch of the programme over the weekend, stakeholders stressed the importance of empowering women particularly in listed companies, noting that this would boost investor confidence, increase productivity, and enhance business performance.

Speaking on this development, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, said: “Gender equality is embedded in our corporate DNA. We are one of the few listed companies in Nigeria that has equal gender representation on our Board of Directors. We are committed to creating a workplace where women can thrive.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, Kalim Shah, IFC’s Senior Country Manager, 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.”

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Mr. Temi Popoola, CEO of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), noted: “Nigeria2Equal is the first multi-stakeholder country project focused on reducing gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector companies. NGX has become the first exchange in Africa to galvanise private sector participation in closing gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship.”

Representatives of 14 other partnering companies also pledged their commitment to ensuring the empowerment of women in their respective organisations.

An IFC study conducted in partnership with NGX, had revealed that although Nigerian companies scored better than global averages for some aspects of women’s participation in the workforce, they still need to do more to bridge the gaps that remain between women and men in the private sector.

According to a statement, which was issued by the Corporate Communications and Government Affairs Manager for Cadbury Nigeria, Dr. Frederick Mordi, the Company was recently recognised as a Top Employer in Nigeria by the Amsterdam-based Top Employers Institute, which certifies organisations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey.

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