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Female representation on Corporate Boards in Nigeria witnesses a 2.5% growth in the last 4 years

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Female Developers

The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria has revealed that female representation on corporate boards in Nigeria experienced a 2.5% growth on average over the past four years.

This statistic was unveiled during the roundtable event held in Lagos, Nigeria, commemorating the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Chioma Mordi, Managing Director of Society, represented by the Head of Business and Strategy, Olumide Olaleye, highlighted the findings of a recent research study conducted by the Society in collaboration with the NGX.

The study indicated on average an approximate 2.5 percentage increase in female representation on the boards of the top 100 companies listed on the NGX from 2020 to 2023. The report also emphasized a higher compliance of diversity within the financial sector.

Themed “Inclusive Leadership: Harnessing Diversity for Innovation, Resilience, and Sustainable Success,” the roundtable convened industry leaders, CEOs, C-suite executives, and corporate governance practitioners. The discussions focused on the imperative of inclusive leadership and the necessity of diverse representation to drive innovative and sustainable business practices.

In her keynote address, Dr. Toyin Sanni, Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Africa Group and Keynote speaker, commended the Society for shedding light on female representation gaps, especially on corporate boards. She emphasized that while progress has been made, challenges persist, urging continued efforts towards achieving true inclusion.

Dr. Sanni attributed some of these challenges to cultural norms, stating, “Cultural norms remain a major barrier for women advancing in their careers…the situation is more dire in cultures that emphasize women’s roles as subservient.”

She also highlighted the lack of social connections and networks for women in power and the unequal distribution of domestic and childcare responsibilities as significant barriers to women’s career advancement. “We must innovate in other to succeed and diversity is at the heart of innovation” she said

The event also featured Mr. Wole Oshin, Group Managing Director of Custodian Investments Company, as the guest speaker, who stated the urgent need to be intentional about leadership giving opportunity to everyone irrespective of their gender. He also noted the twist in the tendency for the boy child to take the back seat. He concluded that everyone must ensure no one is left behind, and that is inclusive leadership. “ …it is our duty to support and empower women at every level of our organization” we must ensure equal opportunity for advancement,  fair compensation and a work environment free from discrimination and harassment “ He said

Following the addresses, the event transitioned to a panel discussion moderated by Mrs. Fatumata Soukouna Coker, Chairperson of CreditRegistry. Mrs. Coker emphasized the importance of measurable KPIs and building inclusive cultures within society and homes. Mr. Niyi Yusuf, Managing Partner of Verrakki Partners, underscored the need for education, accountability, and commitment to drive inclusion and diversity initiatives.

Addressing the preference for familiarity over diversity, Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni, Chairperson of NASCON Allied Industries Limited Plc, highlighted the importance of clear policies and targets in promoting diversity in the private sector.

Another panellist in the person of Mrs. Osepiribo Ben-Willie, an Executive Director at Heritage Bank Plc in her word, said organizations should be intentional about gender inclusion and diversity within the workplace and it should not end at the discussion table on International Women’s Day. She also added that every woman needs to be heard, and every woman needs to be intentional about lending their voice and be value-driven.

Ms. Yewande Senbore, a Partner at Olaniwun Ajayi, opined that inclusive leadership in the workplace must be a culture backed with consistency with a top-to-bottom approach.

In conclusion, speakers emphasized the Society’s role in fostering an inclusive corporate culture and advocated for prioritization, commitment, and structural reforms to drive tangible progress.

Look out for the full report on Female Representation on the Top 100 Companies listed on NGX on all SCGN social media platforms

 

About the Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria:

The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria (SCGN) is a leading organization dedicated to promoting corporate governance excellence in Nigeria. With a focus on transparency, accountability, and ethical business practices, SCGN works collaboratively with industry stakeholders to drive sustainable growth and development in the Nigerian business landscape.

 

 

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