Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of Standard Bank Group, has announced a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to promote gender balance across employment and entrepreneurship in the private sector through the Nigeria2Equal initiative.
The Nigeria2Equal initiative is a two-and-a-half-year programme implemented by the IFC in partnership with the NGX, aiming to reduce gender gaps across the employment and entrepreneurship cadres in the private sector.
Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, reiterated the group’s commitment to ensuring increased representation of women in senior management positions, promoting women’s entrepreneurship, and supporting advocacy programmes to give women the leverage and opportunity to excel in the workplace.
Demola said: “We pride ourselves as an organisation that promotes gender equality. Women are allowed to showcase their capabilities and are rewarded based on merit. Indeed, we are excited about this partnership with the IFC and NGX. It is laudable that this programme is both an advocacy for entrenching gender parity as well as advancing the course of entrepreneurship amongst women in the country.”
He affirmed that Stanbic IBTC’s participation depicts the firm’s support for championing gender equality, stressing that the Nigeria2Equal initiative would further drive improved business growth and performance.
“The Nigeria2Equal programme is segmented into three components that include: research, peer learning platform, and firm-level support to companies. Stanbic IBTC has been invited to participate with a commitment to advancing female representation in the workforce as leaders and employees, in addition to women’s participation as entrepreneurs in corporate value chains,” he added.
Demola pointed out that Stanbic IBTC has a diversity and inclusion policy and other programs and initiatives such as the Blue Women Network, which avails women the opportunity to engage and share knowledge/information that enhances their level of productivity in the workplace. This is coupled with the fact that the organisation maintains a gender-balanced workforce providing quality financial services to its numerous customers.
According to him, Stanbic IBTC’s diversity and inclusion policy align with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). He further emphasised that the organisation is committed to fully implementing such goals while encouraging other companies in the private sector to support women’s economic development.
He said: “The SDG 5 goal includes ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls and helping to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making. The SDG 8.5 goal hopes to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value, by 2030. This is what Stanbic IBTC stands for, and we will not rest on our oars in the pursuit of these ideals.”