2019 IWD: Echoes of balance resonate at different workplaces
As part of this year’s celebration of the International Women’s Day, some multinational organisations, corporate entities, professional bodies/associations and government establishments put together activities to mark the occasion across the federation.
While some organised outreach programmes and events in partnership with other public-spirited organisations and associations, others had in-house activities to lend their voices to the occasion. These included Nestle Nigeria, PZ Cussons, Stanbic IBTC, Wapic Insurance, British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), among others.
The commemoration was also used to introduce enviable workplace initiatives by some of these organisations. Nestle, as part of its activities to celebrate the 2019 IWD launched an ambitious programme named “Gender Balance Acceleration Plan from Aspiration to Action.”
The objective of the initiative according the food and beverage giant, is to, among other things, prioritise gender balance in its Central and West Africa market region and increase the number of women in senior executive positions globally by 2022.
Mark Schneider, the global CEO of the company, observed, “Nestle has embedded gender balance in all its Human Resources practices,” adding that the “company was recently included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, GEI.”
Stanbic IBTC Bank made a bold statement on the commemoration by changing the colour of its logos, which are predominantly blue, to magenta on the vast majority of its digital platforms.
The Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr. Yinka Sanni, noted that Magenta, which is the colour of the UN Women HeForShe brand, is a reconfirmation of the “the organization’s commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Women HeForShe initiative which encourages equality in the way and manner people are treated and the opportunities with which they are availed, regardless of gender or race.”
Also, the Group Chief Executive of Standard Bank, the parent bank, Sim Tshabalala, said, “achieving gender equity is not only a fundamental human right but a business imperative.”
The Coordinator of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Motunrayo Alaka, in a statement noted that the call for gender parity across board is an ultimate call for a better world.
Similarly, at its West Africa corporate head office in Ikoyi, British American Tobacco (BAT) organised a programme for its female staff across the regional market. It centered on how to forge a more gender-balanced workplace for women, empower them and innovate for change.
In an opening address, the Director, Human Resources, BAT West Africa, Temitope Akinsanya, expressed satisfaction in the increase in the number of women in the company’s senior executive team. She noted that it had been an interesting year for the female staff and the company as a whole.
Akinsanya emphasised the commitment of the company to achieving the women agenda, urging her female colleagues to continue to strive to reach milestones in their careers.
The Head of Finance, Yetunde Ibe, in her remark, listed some of the recent initiatives introduced by the company to incentivize female staff, enhance their potential, and strengthen the bond among them, including a special maternity package for first-time nursing mothers known as Parents@BAT.
United in their opinions that there is need for balance between delivery on the job and expectations from their families, some of the female employees present at the event spoke on their understanding of the #BalanceforBetter theme. They urged women to not be discouraged but remain focused, purposeful and stop at nothing in fulfilling their dreams.