In the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), Nestlé aims to bring the Gender Balance Acceleration Plan to life through its multi-pronged initiatives
ACCRA, Ghana, March 8, 2019 — Nestlé has launched an ambitious Gender Balance Acceleration Plan ‘From Aspiration to Action’ https://bit.ly/2UmlZ57 as part of its activities to highlight International Women’s Day 2019.
The world’s largest food and beverage company believes that a gender balanced workforce makes business sense as it helps to boost innovation and performance, which as a result, better serves the needs of its consumers.
Nestlé’s Global CEO Mark Schneider announced the company’s acceleration plan to make gender balance a priority, based on three pillars: bold leadership, an empowering culture and a set of enabling practices.
In the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), Nestlé aims to bring the Gender Balance Acceleration Plan to life through its multi-pronged initiatives, such as trainings to raise awareness on gender biases, career development and mentoring programmes for women, gender-sensitive succession planning, offering breastfeeding rooms and nurseries at work, as well as the implementation of its Maternity Protection Policy. https://bit.ly/2Hlsq4O
At Nestlé CWAR, increasing the number of women in the workforce and boosting gender balance is helping to drive innovation.
Bunmi Etty-Mfon, Total Performance Management Manager for Technical at Nestlé CWAR, who has led factory efficiency for over eight years to deliver safe, quality products in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, has encouraged and experienced this herself.
“When there’s a good mixture of men and women, team-building activities tend to be more balanced, helping to develop greater empathy among individuals and teams. Diversity stimulates greater effort from everyone, leading to improved decision-making.
“Also, as the majority of consumers in our region are women, it gives us great perspective to lead in innovation,” she said.
Rahamatou Palm, Category Manager for our Nescafé business in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo and Benin – and a member of the Cluster Management Committee of which half are women – agrees that diversity is key for the company’s growth.
“Gender balance is important to complement the thinking between men and women, leading to more productive debates and innovative decisions. It also fights against discrimination to ensure a better, and more dynamic workplace,” she emphasised.
Improving the company’s performance
Nestlé CWAR is also actively enhancing the company’s performance by increasing the number of women in departments that traditionally hire men.
To close the current gender gap, the Technical and Supply Chain Management departments are looking to recruit a majority of women as graduate trainees, and include at least one female candidate in the final interview stage. Efforts are also being made to increase the number of women working in factories across the region.
Ibukun Ipinmoye, Factory Manager of the Flowergate Factory, which includes the first 100% female production line in Nestlé Nigeria, has noted an increase in productivity.
“We soon realised that the female production lines are very productive thanks to their highly committed and collaborative spirit and their careful handling of the equipment. Gender diversity has helped to boost productivity,” he said.
“As a result, we plan to introduce female operators to more complex lines to utilise their multitasking skills, and aim to hire female management trainees to 80%.”
Gbenga Oladunjoye, Factory Manager for Nestlé Ghana, has also seen improved performance in his team.
“My team is more productive, with readily available good talent and a wide diversity of ideas. Women have helped to ignite creativity, offered various perspectives and improved our business,” he said.
Gbenga, who oversees the Tema facility and is part of the Country Management team, added: “They mostly make the decisions to buy products for their families so having women at Nestlé makes business sense.”
However, creating gender balance on the factory floors or in offices does not come without some obstacles. Pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, resistance from men, adapting work patterns to family life and maternity commitments, and the shortage of females in certain fields like engineering, are just some of the gender balance challenges that working women face.
Julia Atta, Production Manager for Milks in Nestlé Ghana, was appointed as the first female production manager for Nestlé CWAR last year – marking a milestone for the company in the region.
She explained that she went into this ‘non-traditional’ line of work for women to change mind-sets and make an impact. But this came with its challenges.
“For any women in a male-dominated environment, even a genuine reason can become a woman’s excuse. For example, I felt I had to turn down an opportunity to go into production because I got pregnant, even though factory management made me an offer. At the time, I was unsure it was the right decision to join, as production was not seen as an ideal environment for my ‘condition’,” Julia said.
“Thanks to the support of management, I had another opportunity to take up a role outside of the country for five months. However, others made me feel like I had made the wrong decision to leave my young child behind – but I was determined to make it work.”
Today, Julia heads the milk production and technical team, leading the production, quality, safety, cost and delivery of 130 tonnes of evaporated milk a day, while also developing her team of junior and senior employees.
Women leaders inspiring other women
Creating a solid pipeline of female talent across all levels enables more women to climb up the career ladder to top positions, which has a ripple effect of encouraging other women to achieve their goals.
“Being a career woman is never a burden or added responsibility, but a platform to inspire and motivate the people you are lucky enough to impact,” Julia continued.
“When a woman is appointed in a leadership role, some people believe this is because of a gender balance strategy and not based on merit. It must be based on non-discrimination, equal opportunities, competence and providing the right support for both men and women in the workplace. This is how we will be genuinely able to highlight and remove the roadblocks to career advancement at work,” she added.
Gbenga Oladunjoye, Factory Manager at the Tema facility in Nestlé Ghana, emphasised that women at Nestlé inspire other women to follow suit, and said: “They enhance inclusiveness, advance opportunities and give hope to women worldwide that they can achieve the same too.”
Building a strong pipeline of talent is key to gender balance
Embracing diversity and increasing the number of women in leadership roles and in the workforce all make business sense at Nestlé CWAR – and for the company worldwide. This is part of its commitment to enhance gender balance in its workforce and empower women across the entire value chain. https://bit.ly/2HcBib0
But this just doesn’t stop here. To help achieve this across the board, organisations need to build a solid and balanced pipeline of talent and invest in women’s education and training to create and instil diversity at all levels, and in all functions.
“We recognise that gender balance, women’s rights, education for women and women’s empowerment are critical to Creating Shared Value https://bit.ly/2CT2H3h – our approach to how we do business in creating value for both our shareholders and for society,” said Rémy Ejel, Market Head for Nestlé CWA Ltd.
“It is also key to contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls https://bit.ly/2q90yr9 – and we encourage other companies to also make gender balance a priority,” Mr Ejel concluded.
– Nestlé CWA Ltd
COP28: Shelter Afrique secures grant from IsDBI to pioneer affordable housing products
Shelter Afrique, the leading Pan-African Housing Finance Institution, announced a collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) at the sidelines of COP28. The partnership aims to develop Islamic Housing Finance Products to respond to the growing demand for affordable and climate adaptive housing solutions across the continent.
The Pan-African Housing Finance Institution has sought this collaboration with the IsDBI to create tailored products in harmony with principles of responsible investing. This partnership is timely as several African countries are making notable progress in developing their Islamic finance markets, presenting untapped growth opportunities.
Shelter Afrique recognizes a gap in the availability of diversified financial products at scale. As a Pan-African Housing Finance Institution committed to innovation, Shelter Afrique views the development of Islamic finance products as a viable alternative financing model to effectively address Africa’s housing and urban development challenges.
Mr. Thierno Habib-Hann, Managing Director of Shelter-Afrique, expressed delight at the strategic significance of the program, stating, “We are thrilled to collaborate closely with IsDBI on this initiative. Rent to own schemes are natural products for islamic finance, hence will be leveraged to address the large housing gap. In addition, this collaboration aligns with our commitment towards a dedicated funding thematics dedicated to ‘Green financing and Islamic finance”.
Shelter Afrique’s continuous efforts to enhance its product offerings underscore its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of its clients and fulfilling its mandate of delivering affordable housing for all in Africa. The collaboration with IsDB, a multilateral development bank known for its impactful initiatives in member countries, positions Shelter Afrique to pioneer developing and delivering unique financial offerings and structures for housing infrastructure across the continent.
In his comments on the collaboration, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the Islamic Development Bank Institute, said, “This partnership is part of our collective effort to promote inclusive and sustainable housing solutions through Islamic finance. The Technical Assistance provided by IsDBI aims to equip Shelter Afrique with the necessary tools to navigate the evolving landscape of affordable housing and urban development in Africa. We believe that through strategic collaborations like these, we can drive positive change and contribute to the continent’s socio-economic development.”
mediaReach OMD Nigeria Appoints Stephen Onaivi as New Managing Director
mediaReach OMD Nigeria Board of Directors has confirmed the appointment of Stephen Onaivi effective January 1st, 2024. Onaivi will become the managing director of the nation’s foremost media investment and management agency, known for its thought leadership and innovativeness. The Regional Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Media Group West & Central Africa (OMG WeCA), Alaba Fadero, announced Onaivi’s appointment in Lagos.
According to Fadero, “Stephen’s appointment is the result of a careful succession planning and talent development program. He is expected to maintain OMD’s industry leadership and drive our regional growth strategy across the three critical global pillars of Client, People, and Capability.”
Onaivi is a homegrown, globally evolved professional who has been responsible for driving innovation across major brands, including Diageo, Airtel, Olam, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Google, Uber, and GSK, to mention a few across the West and Central African region.
In addition to being the Managing Director of OMD Nigeria, he has a mandate to drive the OMD brand across West and Central Africa to enhance client value and ensure the seamless integration of OMD values, technology, and strategic processes.
Before his new appointment, Onaivi was the Managing Director of OMD Ghana, where he contributed to developing a multi-disciplinary, forward-looking media and advertising industry and serviced an array of national, multinational, and regional clients.
Reacting to his new appointment, Onaivi expressed confidence that the industry leadership and innovative strides of OMD Nigeria would be maintained under his leadership, stating, “We are proud of our thought leadership and pragmatic approach to providing value-driven services to our clients, and they should expect more with our team’s renewed commitment.”
According to Onaivi, key focus areas of OMD Nigeria will include innovation driven by technology and marketing science, the development of local talents, and enhanced strategic thinking to improve the agency’s value proposition to its clients.
Onaivi is a communication expert who has attended several management training courses and conferences from renowned business schools across the globe, including the Lagos Business School and London Business School. He is a keen golfer and a firm believer in the importance of community service. He is also the founder of the “Play with Stephen” golf tournament held annually in Accra, Ghana. The tournament leverages golf as a ‘passion point’ for key decision-makers to create awareness and support for Autism across Africa.