Reducing Gender Gaps Across Employment and Entrepreneurship

Nigeria2Equal is an IFC-led, multi-stakeholder program in partnership with the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) (formerly The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)). The program aims to reduce gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria’s private sector.

Nigeria2Equal 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 as entrepreneurs in the corporate value chain.

Nigeria’s Potential

One of Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria has a population of 206 million (2020) and a GDP of $448 billion (2019). The country is projected to have the world’s fifth largest population by 2026. If Nigeria reduced gender inequality in its labor market, in economic participation, and in political representation, the economy could grow on average by up to 1.25 percent and GDP could grow by $229 billion by 2025.

These growth estimates present a strong business case for reducing gender gaps in Nigeria and building a stronger inclusive economy; however, the gaps are persistent at the corporate leadership level, in the workforce, and in corporate supply chains. Addressing gender gaps in Nigeria’s private sector, which impact women’s ability to participate equally as men, takes on added urgency when considering the country’s rapid population growth — and that inaction will only exacerbate poverty.

Equal opportunities

IFC is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for both men and women in the private sector by addressing persistent gender gaps that hold women back. The Nigeria2Equal program will support companies to implement:

  1. Actions that enable women to participate equally as employees and entrepreneurs.
  2. Gender-smart business strategies that address barriers women face, promote gender equality, and help improve business performance.

Specific interventions might include: increased female representation in corporate leadership positions; equal pay for equal work; family leave and flexible work policies; support for women-owned small businesses and supply chain diversity; and ending sexual harassment in the world of work to mitigate economic losses.

Nigeria2Equal is built around three components: research & data; a peer-learning platform; and firm-level advisory support to companies.

Participating Companies

The companies participating in Nigeria2Equal represent diverse business sectors such as banking and finance, construction, FMCG, food manufacturing, insurance, logistics, oil & gas, ride hailing, and telecommunications. They include Access Bank Plc., AIICO Insurance Plc.Airtel Networks Ltd.Ardova Plc.Bolt NGCadbury Nigeria Plc.Dangote GroupEcoBank NGFlour Mills of NigeriaLafarge Africa Plc.Moove AfricaMTN NigeriaRed Star Express Plc.Stanbic IBTC BankSterling Bank Plc.UAC of Nigeria Plc., and Union Bank of Nigeria.

Program Launch:

Reducing Gender Gaps in Nigeria’s Private Sector

The CEOs of the Nigeria2Equal partner companies joined the leadership of IFC and Nigerian Exchange (NGX) to launch the Peer Learning Platform and the first-of-its-kind Gender Gap Assessment Report, 'Gender Equality in Nigeria’s Private Sector' in pursuit of a more inclusive private sector.

Nigeria’s Private Sector CEOs Join Forces to Close Gender Gaps

The private sector has an important role to advance gender equality. Nigeria’s private sector CEOs and business leaders, through the IFC-led Nigeria2Equal program in partnership with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), reiterate their commitment to reduce gender gaps and #breakthebias across leadership, employment, and entrepreneurship – as individuals and as corporates.

Leadership Conversations: Emerging Boardroom Trends

In this virtual roundtable with corporate board chairs and executives, the conversations focus on how boards, especially in emerging markets are engaging with pressing trends and top-of-mind issues related to: Diversity, Cybersecurity Risk, Climate & sustainability, Disruptive technology & AI, Future of work and supply chains. Ana Pessoa, Chinyere Almona, Ebru Koksal, Foluso Phillips, Ibukun Awosika, Kalim Shah, and Soula Proxenos share from their rich and extensive board experience.

Contacts Us

Anne N Kabugi
Regional Gender Lead, Africa