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WISCAR partners UN women to improve female inclusivity in organisations

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
05 November 2022   |   5:14 am
To ensure that more women take on critical leadership positions and move towards gender equality, the Women In Successful Careers (WISCAR) with support from the UN Women..

To ensure that more women take on critical leadership positions and move towards gender equality, the Women In Successful Careers (WISCAR) with support from the UN Women, have introduced the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) to make organisation gender responsive.

This was the thrust at a WEP private sector recognition, rapid training engagement on gender action planning and gender responsive budgeting held recently at the Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos, which had professional women from diverse sectors in attendance.

In the last one year, WISCAR has worked as the UN private sector Liaison on gender equality where 91 organisations have signed up to be guided by WEP key principles which include establishment of high-level corporate leadership for gender equality; treat women and men fairly at work; ensure safety and well-being of men and women workers; promote education, training and professional development for women.

It also addresses the implementation of enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women; promote equality through community initiative and advocacy, measure and publicly report progress to achieve gender equality.

Speaking at the event, founder, WISCAR, Amina Oyagbola, said the organisation is focused on leadership, mentorship and advocacy for women, which is done by building the capacity of professional women to remain in the workforce, progress in the career ladder, where they can influence policy changes and affect society through the policies that they make.

While Executive Director of the organisation, Fabia Ogunmekan, said women achieve and strive for excellence to get the job done, having a mass of women will ultimately grow organisations for the benefit of everyone.

Ogunmekan said, “We believe that the private sector is critical to letting that happen. The government cannot do it alone; the private sector is known to deliver and execute. So, our work is to show the private sector that we are investing in women to achieve gender equality through the strategic framework of WEP

“These include fair working conditions for women, maternity and paternity leaves benefits, things that empowers employees to put in their best. They are practicable tools that if organisations sign up to, it will help them promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

Also speaking, National Programme Officer, UN Women, Patience Ekeoba, stressed that implementing the WEP is critical for companies to enable them monitor and report their progress.

She said, “The WEPS are a set of seven guiding principles developed by UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact to drive private sector initiatives toward gender equality and the sustainable development goals – recognising the private sector as a catalyst for change in this area.

“Globally, we have seen the undisputable impact of women’s leadership in steering the course of COVID-19 recovery. With credit to the private sector in Nigeria, many women are in positions of senior leadership. We see this as a real opportunity to transform the state of the representation in Nigeria’s leadership to make it more inclusive of women’s perspectives and demonstrated capacities.

“WEPs have engaged the private sector in creating more and better jobs for women, while addressing key issues, such as the gender pay gap, sexual harassment, discrimination, and promoting gender-responsive procurement and work-life balance. The private sector can enact organisational policies that support women’s unique needs and ensure their voices are included in leadership and decision-making at all levels as we rebuild better societies.”

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