PBusinesses have been urged to pay attention to improving gender balance at top management in order to expand.
The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who gave the advice said, “Research shows that companies with women leadership do better, therefore gender balance cannot be purely a diversity issue but an economic issue and addressing it, could benefit businesses, economic performance and eventually impact on citizens,” she stated.
Speaking at the launch of the publication, ‘Trailblasers-Portraits of Female Business Leadership in Emerging and Frontier Markets’ by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, she said having women in business and entrepreneurship was good for the country’s development.
“We are a country full of promise but to meet that promise, we need to tap into all of our economic potentials, including the involvement of women in leadership,” she stressed.
Companies with women leadership, she said, were more focused with regards to environmental stewardship, social responsibility and stronger governance which ultimately help to bring investments into private sector.
“There is the need for a call to action for all to wake up and push for more, while urging men to believe that women have valuable contributions to make in their communities, businesses and to build a better country,” the First Lady added.
She said the inspirational stories of amazing women profiled in the publication have set the example for more women to be involved in our business setting.
The publication highlights the personal and professional journeys of female business leaders from emerging frontier markets including Nora Bannerman from Ghana, Kenya’s Wambui Mbesa, Anne Kabagambe from Uganda and South Africa’s Soula Proxenos.
“These women are relatable role models who, by their example, would motivate other professional women to push for more and encourage male colleagues to champion greater diversity,” she stated.
IFC Country Manager, Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulino added that, by their examples, the trailblasers have shown that investing in business leadership for women was good business.
“It also means that gender diversity at the top yields dividends for companies, communities and economies. That is why, IFC works to narrow gender gaps in business leadership-part of our strategy for inclusive and sustainable private sector growth,” she explained.
One of the trailblasers, Nora Bannerman, has called for legislation for companies to allow a certain percentage of women at top management.
“We need to change the status quo where there would be some form of measurable policy which has equity with regard to salary and be declared publicly for women to take up top positions,” she stressed.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE