Leading telecoms firm, MTN Nigeria has signed the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles (UN WEPs) as part of its commitment to gender equality in the workplace through the Nigeria2Equal programme spearheaded by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) and International Finance Corporation.
Established in 2010, by the United Nations Global Compact and United Nations Women, the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of principles that guide businesses on advancing gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. WEPs aims to attain the gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
During the signing ceremony held on May 26, Regional Director, United Nations Women, Beatrice Eyong, said “By publicly embracing the WEPs, MTN has taken a significant step towards creating an inclusive, equitable, and supportive workplace for women. This bold action sends a powerful message to other companies and organizations, inspiring them to prioritize gender equality in their operations. By embracing the transformative framework of the WEPs, MTN demonstrates their dedication to fostering an inclusive workplace and seizes the opportunity to drive positive change in the private sector.”
A 2023 Women at Work Deloitte report, shows only 5% of women view their employers as leaders in gender equality. A vast majority of respondents do not believe their employers are taking concrete steps to deliver on their commitments to gender equality.
Speaking on gender equality in the workplace, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said, “I am delighted to speak about MTN Nigeria’s commitment to women’s advocacy because a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce is critical to the success and sustainability of our business. We commit to promoting gender inclusiveness, equality and empowerment, internally as well as across our ecosystem to ensure that interventions are holistic and position women to thrive effortlessly. For us, addressing gender gaps benefits not just MTN, but the larger society as well. We will leverage our partnership with UNWEPs to deepen our efforts towards reducing gender gaps as we continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in this drive.”
“MTN Nigeria recognizes the importance of implementing enterprise development, supply chain, and marketing practices that empower women. The UN Global Compact’s 2022 annual report highlights the remarkable impact of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and its Gender Gap Analysis Tool (GAT). Today, 7990 companies have signed the WEPs worldwide and over 2,500 users completed the Gender Gap Analysis Tool to identify strengths, gaps, and opportunities for improvement. This tool has proven to be a valuable resource for companies worldwide in their journey towards gender equality”, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Naomi Nwokolo said.
Through the Nigeria2Equal programme, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) brings leading companies together to make specific, measurable, and time-bound commitments to increase women’s participation in Nigeria’s private sector as leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs in the corporate value chain. “I would like to register our appreciation for the work the UN does in continuing to bridge this gender gap and ensuring that in markets and countries like ours, the subject of gender equality is not just spoken about but, we actually see positive actions from it,” Temi Popoola, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, said.