On the margins of the Ring the bell event at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Global Compact Network Nigeria (GCNN) in partnership with the XAcademy of the Nigerian Stock Exchange held a training workshop to educate companies on the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPS) and The Gender Gap Analysis Tool.
Introducing the WEPs to participants, Executive Director of the Global Network Nigeria Ms. Naomi Nwokolo stated that empowering women across all sectors of the economy is crucial to building a strong and just economy, that is why the WEPS -a joint initiative of the United Nations Global Compact and UNWomen was established to empower Women in the Workplace, the Market place and the Community.
Ms Nwokolo added that while women’s rights are embedded in the human rights and labor principles of the UN Global Compact, the WEPs help to unpack how business can ensure respect for women’s rights and support for women and girls. She added that the WEPS provides a holistic approach for businesses to see the impact of gender equality in their business. She revealed that although Africa is doing well in women representation in corporate boards, Nigerian men still earn $308 above women.
She further stated that the only way companies can track their gender equality progress is by taking the WEPS Gender Gap Analysis Tool. A tool which provides a “gender-lens for International best practices on gender equality. Ms. Nwokolo ran the participants through the tool and encouraged participants to take the tool and advance their gender equality journey.
Participants present included Lafarge Africa, represented by Ms Titi Oguntuga, Oando Plc represented by Busayo Agusto Access Bank, represented by Mofifoluwa Olawunmi, Cummins West Africa represented by Cheta Onwubuike, Unilever Nigeria represented by Maureen Ayodeji-Akinpelu , Ugochi Obi representing the Nigerian Stock Exchange , Dr Nech Nzeko from the Institute of Directors and a host of other companies.
One of the participants at the workshop Ms. Mofifoluwa Olawunmi stated that Access Bank has embedded gender friendly policies into their business operations by creating a crèche within the office environment for nursing mothers, they have also introduced the 6 months maternity leave and offer mentorship programs for women anchored by the Access Bank Women Network.
Ms Oguntuga of Lafarge stated that Lafarge pays for crèche services for women and at larfarge a husband and wife can be employees.
At the conclusion of the training, The Global Compact Network Nigeria announced the launch of a new project – The West African Gender Equality Initiative. A programme that will help offer training for companies to set meaningful targets that will help women meaningful and active participation in the workplace.