• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo


Employee Marketplace Initiative seeks a balance for Nigerian women in workplace

Employee Marketplace Initiative seeks a balance for Nigerian women in workplace

The Employee Marketplace Initiative (EMP), an advocacy platform designed to stimulate informed conversations on workplace millennials in the areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has advocated for career resilience among women in the post-pandemic era.

The event was held on Thursday, March 24 at the Bankers House, Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island with the theme “Millennial Women in the Workplace: Building Career Resilience Post-Pandemic is EMP’s fourth of its kind.

Nduneche Ezurike, the convener, and the group head of strategic brand management and communication of Polaris Bank Limited in his opening address said the fundamental issue around employee marketplace is the need to respond to urgent issues around the millennium.

He said there is a need to deal with issues of cross-generational balance, such as the issue of age and gender in the workplace. The future of work he noted is not in how old one is or gender, rather on what one is bringing to the table, which is what is the cause EMP platform is designed to deal with.

“The objective of the study is to determine the extent to which millennial women in the workplace believe their work environment enables gender parity and inclusiveness.

“Identify the pipeline barriers that limit women from climbing the leadership ladder. Highlight key interventions forward-looking employers need to make to improve the inclusion of millennial women in the organisation and post-pandemic,” he explained.

Ezurike disclosed that because every generation comes with its own attitude and expectations or behaviour to the workplace, therefore, the need to understand how the workplace operates or we will find it difficult to get the best of it. The workplace he reiterates is more of a public college.

“Education is a social equaliser, but the impact of education is yet seen in Nigeria’s workplace because women are still been controlled by numerous variables such as parents, culture, etc.

Read also: Women in business: Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde

However, if we must disrupt the marketplace, we must first disrupt the workplace. As an employee, if you’re not innovative, you will not experience much innovation in your workplace,” he noted.

Ezurike explained that EMP research has shown that the barriers women face in their career growth cut across unfair rewards and recompense systems, lack of leadership supports from fellow women in senior leadership positions, among others.

According to the convener, “The survey shows 22percent of the total female respondents indicated unfair rewards and recompense systems as their biggest barriers. The result is also mirrored within the female millennial demographic as 20percent of them indicated this as well. Lack of leadership support from other women in senior leadership positions was also noted as the second most prevalent issue across the board.

“For the men, there is a tie 6percent of them believe that the barriers to success are the lack of proper support from other women in senior leadership roles while another 6percent believe it’s poor organisational culture.”

As touching the generation challenge of women in the workplace, questions were designed to elicit responses from respondents that will unveil the greatest challenge faced by millennial women in the workplace.

EMP’s findings indicated that raising children and side hustles to complement salaries to meet the socio-economic challenges at home are the most challenges Nigerian Millennial Women in the Workplace face.

“From the total population 44percent noted that raising children is the major challenge facing women in the workplace, followed by the need for a side hustle to complement their salary at 40percent

“However, the female millennial demographic responded slightly different, with a majority of them (34percent) noting that the need for a side hustle was more of a major challenge than the responsibility of raising children (40percent),” the report stated in part.

The EMP boss called on organisations to make their workplaces very conducive for women, bearing in mind that women have a lot to offer irrespective of the hurdles before them.

“The place of work policies should change from work-life balance to life-work balance. This includes facilitating policies that give women a voice—improved reward and salaries, leadership training, more supportive childcare policies, and gender-neutral policies. These are more sustainable than attempts to achieve gender inclusion and equity by legislation,” he said.