World leaders have identified the greater participation of women in corporate leadership positions as key to unlocking the Nigeria’s economic future.
This was a call made by Christine Lagarde, president of the International Monetary Fund, who was on a visit to Nigeria recently when she said, “Empowering women is not just about fairness—it also has macroeconomic benefits. For example, eliminating employment gender gaps could boost GDP by 5 percent.”
While Nigeria struggles to overcome its economic issues, stakeholders are of the opinion that inadequate adoption of equal gender opportunities may be a factor hindering higher revenue growth and holistic operational processes in the nation’s corporate sector.
According to a report released by the African Development Bank (AfDB), a third of African companies in its study have boards without a single woman on them.
As experts around the world seek government interventions in making the business environment more female-inclusive, pundits state that the enactment of policies which ensure 20-40% participation of women at the executive levels of organizations holds the key to profitability.
Speaking on the need for a shift in corporate cultures, Hilda Ato, head of human resources at Jovago.com said, “I think women in the global market at large need to be given the opportunity to become bigger decision makers. At Jovago, we have come to find that once we focus on productivity, things like gender become insignificant and efficiency increases. If you look around we have more women than men working with us.”
A recent study by the University of Leeds revealed that higher stock market activities were recorded where there were larger proportions of women on senior management teams.
Another study found that businesses with a greater proportion of women on their boards outperformed rivals in terms of returns on invested capital (66% higher), returns on equity (53% higher) and sales (42% higher).