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NGX Becomes First African Exchange to Galvanize Private Sector Participation in Closing Gender Gaps

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Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has become the first exchange in Africa to galvanize private sector participation in closing gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship with the launch of the Nigeria2Equal Peer-Learning Platform and the first-of-its-kind Gender Gap Assessment Report, themed, Gender Equality in Nigeria’s Private Sector. The virtual launch held in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Friday, 6 August 2021.

The launch of the Peer-Learning Platform and Gender Gap Assessment Report are key milestones of the collaboration between NGX and IFC for the Nigeria2Equal programme which was flagged off via a webinar themed “Gender Implications of COVID-19: Supporting Women as Employees in the New Normal” on Monday, 25 May 2020. The Nigeria2Equal programme is the first multi-stakeholder country project focused on reducing gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector companies. The two and half year programme aims to reduce gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector through research and sharing of best practice case studies as part of a Peer Learning Platform, as well as firm-level advisory support to help companies implement gender action plans.

The Gender Gaps Assessment Report is an independent review of the thirty most capitalized companies listed on NGX’s Premium and Main Boards, using the proprietary Equileap Scorecard™. The report investigates the extent of gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector, establishes best practices, or challenges, for closing gender gaps, and provides a basis for participating companies to identify top priority areas to address through the implementation of the Nigeria2Equal program. It sets the context for the Nigeria2Equal Peer-Learning Platform by providing market-specific data on the evidence for the business case while highlighting priority issues that promote or hinder women’s participation as leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs.

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Speaking during the virtual launch, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group, Oscar N. Onyema, said, “As the first multi-stakeholder country project focused on reducing gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector companies, Nigeria2Equal is unique in its design to ensure a quantitative approach to improving gender equality amongst the participating companies through carefully curated research. In addition, the programme’s approach to celebrating industry best practices and promoting the application of gender-smart solutions at the firm and sector level are best in class and will be celebrated for years to come”.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Temi Popoola, CFA, stated, “NGX has gender equality embedded at the core of its working practices and we are excited to become the first exchange in Africa to galvanize private sector participation in closing gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship. The Nigeria2Equal (“N2E”) program comes as a strategic initiative designed to support the private sector in increasing women’s participation in employment and entrepreneurship through favourable workforce policies and practices and we are resolute in our commitment to participate in the programme going forward.”

“Through the Nigeria2Equal initiative, we are working with CEOs of private sector companies listed on NGX, who are committed to implementing gender-smart solutions to reduce gender gaps 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, helping companies to identify gaps and constraints, and ultimately invest in reducing those gaps” said Kalim M. Shah, IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Nigeria.

The event also served as the formal launch of the Nigeria2Equal Peer-Learning Platform and onboarding of the fifteen participating companies who have made commitments to improve gender equality in the areas of women employment, entrepreneurship and advocacy within their respective companies. Present at the event were the CEOs and C-level representatives of the participating companies which shared their motivation behind their participation in the Nigeria2Equal programme, their personal and corporate contributions to the advancement of gender parity in their respective organizations and their gender priorities going forward: Access Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), AIICO Insurance, Ardova Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Airtel Africa Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, UACN Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Red Star Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.