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NGX Group, female leaders call for investment, deeper inclusion for women

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Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) and its subsidiaries joined the rest of the world on Friday, March 8 to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD) by leveraging its Closing Gong Ceremony to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”. With the theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”, the event focused on individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets that will accelerate progress and impact on the advancement of women across all spheres of life.

The event, organised in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), UN Women, the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria (GCNN), Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), the SterlingOne Foundation and Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) brought together prominent female leaders within the ecosystem.

Read also: NGX Group reports N5.2bn full year 2023 profit, to pay N1.5bn as final dividend

Delivering her opening remarks, Irene Robinson-Ayanwale, Divisional Head, Business Support Services Division, NGX welcomed all to the 10th Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. She said, “When I learnt of this year’s theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”, it resonates deeply with us. It serves as a powerful reminder of the need to establish equal opportunities for everyone while fostering an enabling environment for women across all sectors. This initiative represents a significant step forward in our efforts to promote gender equality and support women’s economic empowerment. Through innovative financial instruments such as gender bonds, we can mobilise capital towards projects that benefit women and advance gender equality across various sectors of the economy”.

Dahlia Khalifa, Regional Director, Central Africa and Anglophone West Africa, IFC, who was represented by Alexandra Celestin, Regional Industry Manager, Financial Institutions Group, Anglophone West Africa and Central Africa, said “This Ring the Bell for Gender Equality event highlights the importance of gender equality for economic development and growth. Economies that reduce barriers to women as leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs promote inclusive societies and pave the way for sustainable development. Collective, coordinated, and bold action by private sector leaders will be instrumental in accelerating progress towards gender parity and igniting greater resilience. IFC continues to collaborate with partners and stock exchanges like the Nigerian Exchange Group to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the private sector.”

On her part, Elizabeth Ebi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Futureview Group said “The implications of a truly equal and balanced world; a world where men and women make equal contributions to the society, enjoy equal opportunities, and even enjoy the same rewards and benefits. Going by the growing body of evidence out there, it is safe to conclude that the multiplier effect on families, businesses, communities, economies and ultimately, nations would be indeed phenomenal.”

The event served to raise awareness about the importance of investing in women, to inspire inclusive leadership and to advocate for gender responsive policies. By championing these principles, stakeholders can create empowering environments where every individual can thrive and contribute to collective success.

Bolanle Austen-Peters, Founder, Terra Academy for the Arts said, “We use art to change the narrative about women. Our story telling in the past has mostly been done by foreigners which heavily skews the image of Nigerians and Nigerian women. Our focus is to tell the stories of female heroes, champions in history like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. These are the kind of women we celebrate today.”

During the Closing Gong Ceremony, Yemisi Ayeni, Chairperson, NASCON Allied Industries called for increased female representation in corporate organisations, equitable inclusion in workplace and more participation in the society, in line with the sustainable development goals.

Read also: NGX Group company secretary resigns

Present at the closing gong included Hafsat Rufair, Director, Securities and Exchange Commission, Fiona Ahimie, Director, NGX RelCo and 2nd Vice President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; Amina Mohammed, Director, NGX RegCo; Onome Komolafe, Divisional Head, Business Services and Client Experience, Central Securities and Clearing System; Peju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation; Tomilayo Aluko, Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, CSCS and Lillian Olubi, Director, NGX.

The event also featured notable personalities like Adejoke Silva a Nigerian actress – philanthropist and a strong supporter of women’s emancipation and empowerment, contributing to their education, training and progress.