To mark International Women’s Day today, global beverage and seasoning giants, Unilever and Nestle say they are aiming to hire more women workforce.
They are projecting for a 50/50 gender balanced workforce by 2025
The 2019 International Women’s Day theme is think equal, build smart and innovate for change.
Alan Jope, global CEO, Unilever, twitted that the company is committed to achieving a balanced work force.
“Pleased with our progress so far but we we still have further to go particularly in our factories and at our most senior levels,” he said.
“As CEO, I am committed to addressing this and I will not rest until we reach 50/50,”he added.
He said that from the farmers who pick our tea leaves to the shoppers who choose our brands and our employees, we aim to empower women at every point of our value chain.
More women in the workplace make business sense – Nestle
Also , Nestlé has launched an ambitious Gender Balance Acceleration Plan ‘From Aspiration to Action’ as part of its activities to highlight International Women’s Day 2019.
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.
He said that the 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.
“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.
At Nestlé CWAR, increasing the number of women in the workforce and boosting gender balance is helping to drive innovation.
Here are some examples :
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.
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.”