Africa: Gender Responsive Firms to Be Rewarded

Companies and persons in Africa making strides in workplace gender mainstreaming are set for recognition in September this year.

The Gender Mainstreaming Awards (GMAs) ceremony organised by Business Engage and sponsored by ABSA and Barloworld, will honour firms and individuals whose efforts have accelerated attainment of gender diversity in the workplace

Business Engage, is a South Africa based non-profit company currently a custodian of the 30% Club Southern and East Africa. The 30% Club is a global campaign led by chairs and chief executives taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.

The eligible are to place their entries by May 31, to win awards on women on boards, equal representation and participation as well as women empowerment in the workplace.

Other categories include investing in young women award, mainstreaming gender and disability award, inclusive leader award and the positive role model award.

“This year, the GMAs are seeking to celebrate companies in Africa and we have selected some of the most prominent business leaders who are an excellent representation of what the awards stand for, to be judges in the different regions”, said Business Engage, chief executive, Ms Colleen Larsen in an April 19, statement.

Gender Mainstreaming Awards

Accenture, experience architect and women’s forum lead, Ms Ntombi Mhangwani said the awards would further affirm the crucial role of women in creating sustainable economies in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The impact of Covid-19 will continue to allow societies to be less equal, more divided and poorer if they are left unattended. It is, therefore, important to recognise – through initiatives such as Gender Mainstreaming Awards – women as equal partners and key actors in the economy,” she said.

According to Absa Group head of transformation, diversity and inclusion, Ms Busisiwe Sithole, women leadership cannot continue to be a ‘nice-to-have’ for business.

“According to The Africa Report, women drive 70 per cent of consumer spend, and the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could rise by three per cent if the gender disparity gap can be closed,” she said.

She added: “Women are accelerators and companies that continue to exclude women in decision- making processes, will miss out on business opportunities unlocked by gender-balanced teams.”

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