Friday, January 03,
2020 / 9:23 AM / Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit:
Closing the gender gap will lead to an additional 1.25% growth in Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while equally improving national productivity.
The President of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, stated this as a moderator at one of the key panel sessions at the 2019 Women In Management Business and Public service, WIMBIZ conference in Lagos recently.
Citing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, Ogunbanjo said reducing gender inequality, was critical to growing the Nigerian economy.
He noted that the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) gender gap report showed Nigeria was ranked 133 out of 149 countries.
Speaking further, he said even in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria ranked 29 out of 33 countries, which was a sign that it needs to address this issue.
The NSE President said: "If we joined the committee of nations in the attainment of sustainable development goals, closing gender gaps would be vital to creating equitable and fair access to economic resources."
"Solving the challenge of gender equality in Nigeria requires a multi-dimensional approach which includes education and awareness, national policies on gender issues, setting specific diversity goals for businesses, mentorships and access to networks," he noted.
Speaking further, he cited a 2013 Harvard Business Review publication which highlighted the lack of access to informal networks, especially those networks that can provide important information as one of the primary barriers to the advancement of women.
Ogunbanjo believed that giving women access to practices and businesses they can learn from allows them to step out of their comfort zone, increasing the likelihood of them taking risks and expanding their engagements in various businesses.
The NSE President tasked women in Nigeria to leverage Old School Girls Associations, Professional Groups, Cooperative Societies and Advocacy Groups to address the gender gap issue in the country.