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NGX and IFC applaud Lafarge Africa for promoting gender equality

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has applauded Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading solutions provider in the construction industry, for emerging as one of the five top-performing companies blurring the gap in gender roles and encouraging equality and diversity within its ranks. The recognition of Lafarge Africa follows the recent IFC Gender Equality study, conducted in partnership with Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to assess gender gaps at 30 leading companies listed on NGX.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the Nigeria2Equal (N2E) Peer Learning Platform and Gender Gap Assessment Report on Friday 06 August 2021, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON said, “As the first multi-stakeholder country project focused on reducing gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector companies, Nigeria2Equal is unique in its design to ensure a quantitative approach to improving gender equality amongst the participating companies through careful research. In addition, the programme’s approach to celebrating industry best practices and promoting the application of gender-smart solutions at the firm and sector level is best in class and will be celebrated for years to come.”

Lafarge Africa’s Country Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, represented by Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development Director, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, spoke on the Business Case for Achieving Gender Parity in Nigeria. He said, “We are extremely delighted for this recognition. At Lafarge, we are further driven by narrowing the gap which is a particular nuance in the manufacturing sector. To underscore this, we have set ambitious diversity and inclusion targets.”

He continued, “We have also put frameworks in place for the achievement of these targets such as female to male employment ratio, especially in core production and operations. We have also adopted a bottom-up approach to further bridge this gap through some of our social impact programmes like the Technical Skills Development Programme and the female truck drivers’ programme of the Lafarge Driving Institute. Of course, being a signatory to the Nigeria2Equal Programme affords us greater opportunities to achieve set targets.”

The Organisation and Human Resources Director of Lafarge Africa Plc, Gbemiga Owolabi said, “At Lafarge Africa, we believe that our success is directly linked to how diverse and inclusive we are. We continue to improve on our various employee initiatives towards ensuring that every employee has the same opportunity, irrespective of gender, to excel.”

The Gender Gaps Assessment Report is an independent review of the 30 most capitalised companies listed on NGX’s Premium and Main Boards, using the proprietary Equileap Scorecard™. The report investigates the extent of gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector, establishes best practices, or challenges, for closing gender gaps, and provides a basis for participating companies to identify top priority areas to address through the implementation of the Nigeria2Equal programme. It sets the context for the Nigeria2Equal Peer-Learning Platform by providing market-specific data on the evidence for the business case while highlighting priority issues that promote or hinder women’s participation as leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs.

The launch of the Peer-Learning Platform and Gender Gap Assessment Report are key milestones of the collaboration between NGX and IFC for the Nigeria2Equal programme. The event also served as a platform to onboard Lafarge Africa Plc and the other participating companies that have made a commitment to improving gender equality in the areas of women's employment, entrepreneurship, and advocacy within their respective companies.

36% of board seats at Lafarge Africa Plc are occupied by women and the organisation has an unending drive to attain the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it anchors its sustainability pillars on climate and energy, circular economy, environment, and community to drive innovation while also focusing on the social pillars of education, empowerment, health and safety and shelter/infrastructure.

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