Red Star Express, one of Nigerian’s top logistics companies, is committed to women’s growth into higher positions within the organization. This was reiterated upon by the Head, Corporate Resources/Company Secretary, Mrs Frances Akpomuka, during the company’s partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on ‘The Nigeria2Equal gender program’ targeted at reducing gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian private sector.
“As a company, we understand the benefits of diversity not only at board level but throughout the company. We are committed to ensuring that we actualise the growth potentials of women into managerial positions and maximise their contributions to the company’s ecosystem. Gender equality is not a partisan issue; it is not even just a woman’s issue, neither is it just a man’s issue. It is a societal issue. We are in this together,” she emphasised. The program is the first multi-stakeholder country project focused on ensuring equality within Nigerian companies. It is organised into three components, i.e. research, peer learning platform and firm-level support to companies.
At the virtual public launch, most of the stakeholders from listed companies talked about the importance of empowering women, while reiterating that this would boost investors’ confidence, increase productivity, and enhance business performance. In her welcome speech, the Regional Gender Lead Africa (IFC) Anne Njambi Kabugi stated that the ‘Nigeria2Equal Gender Program’ objective is to work with the private sector to reduce gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship. The approach combines in-depth client work with peer learning to share best practices and create market learning. She disclosed that the program that will last for about two and half years would investigate gender balance in leadership. In the workplace—equal compensation and work-life balance. It will also look at policies promoting gender equality related to commitment, transparency, and accountability.
“Participating companies are expected to make two specific, measurable and time-bound commitments to reduce gender gaps across leadership, employment, and entrepreneurship in the corporate value chain”, she added. The 15 companies that participated in the programme cut across manufacturing, banking and finance, construction, hospitality, logistics, and telecommunications.