The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has called for law promoting gender equality in the country.
Speaking in Lagos at the 2019 Women Corporate Directors Lecture sponsored by Aliko Dangote Foundation, he advocated legislation backing to allow a certain percentage of women in public or private sectors workforce.
He stated that “We can start with a proportion of like 30 women to 70 men on the board.”
He noted that increasing the number of women in the corporate world lead to increase in innovation and innovative thinking, which opens up the door of fresh perceptive, saying that women on board of directors reduce governance-related issues and ultimately result to better performance.
According to Dangote, “from my businesses as well, my three daughters all take on challenging roles as a senior executive at the group level and I can tell you that they have led the businesses to success. We have a strong number of women at Dangote Industries across the board, a lot of women occupy important leadership, and their efficiency has been noticed.”
He noted that with the calibre of women at this event today, ranging from board executives of various organisation, business executives and top government executives, this is a clear indication that women in the workforce have started taking their rightful place in the private, public and social sector in Nigeria and across Africa.
He, however, said despite this impressive achievement there is still a lot of work to be done to close the gender gap in the world workplace.
Nigeria women according to Dangote are climbing the corporate ladder and we have a good number of them as CEOs of top firms, members of board of directors or chairperson of board of companies in the like of former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nike Akande, chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukunoluwa Awosika, chairman of Access Bank, Mosunmola Belo-Olusoga, chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank, Osaretin Demuren, to mention a few.
He said: “At Dangote Group, we practice what we preach and women have excelled to board of directors. We ran an organisation that women aspired to the highest position without hindrances.”
Dangote hoped that the meeting will open more doors for women as the world continued to close the gender gap in any organisation.
According to him, the World Bank report showed that women and girls account for 40 per cent of Nigeria population which comes to over 90 million, they represent huge assets for our country and if we collectively tap into their potentials for the development of our economy. I can assure you that Dangote Group will continue to strengthen and mentor women in assuming a leadership role in the corporate world.
Speaking on the theme, ‘The courage to Lead; Inspiring Others, Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Success’, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, who is the guest speaker said that gender equality is important as women potentially represent half of the world’s pool of talents and prospects for advancement.
He said, “For Africa to prosper, we need to engage and give chance to women to be very active in our politics, economic and business environment.”
He noted that women have special value and should be harness by Africa, saying “Country who have grown in the human capital index, then you find those countries women were very active they have truly occupied places in the societies.”
Also, executive director of Dangote Industries, Halima Aliko-Dangote said emphasized the need for equality gender in the country.
She said that in Dangote Group, we are ensuring that stereotypes are seriously eliminated, looking at our board we are having almost 50 per cent of women on the board member.
She also insisted that a bill promoting gender equality should be passed to be passed in enabling having fairly represented of women in any organisation.