WOMEN ARE TAKING TOP CORPORATE POSITIONS WITH NO FEAR: IS IT A LEVELED PLAYING FIELD YET?

Some years ago, it was considered more of a suicidal move if women make a move for top positions in the corporate world.This pervasive culture led many to embark on entrepreneurship, owning their own business .

However, the story is changing gradually but does that mean it is a level playing field?

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A woman presenting during a board meeting

According to the Global Gender Gap report 20, it will take the world 275 years to close the Gender Gap economically. It also states that only 55% are engage in the labor market, as opposed to 78% for men.

In 2015, the African Development Bank released a report titled ‘where are the women’.The study reveals that in 307 top African companies, only 14% of women are board members. Meaning in every seven board members, only one woman can be found. The study further revealed that one third of the boards have no women holding positions. Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Zambia constitute countries where the highest percentage of women held top corporate positions, while Morocco, Ivory Coast and Egypt were down in the pecking order..

Five years after that groundbreaking report, the narrative has changed and women are taking top corporate positions boldly and bravely. In 2020, 38% of African women are holding senior management position – as per report on the Catalyst website. This percentage is even higher than the percentage seen in European Union, North and Latin America. In the same year, we’ve seen women climb the ladder of the corporate world, taking top management positions. A perfect example is Coca Cola’s appointment of three women to senior management positions.

Patrica Obozuwa- Coca Cola’s Vice President, Government Affairs, Communications & Sustainability for Africa. PC: Guardian Ng

WHAT DOES LEVEL PLAYING FIELD LOOK LIKE?

EQUAL TREATMENT AND OPPORTUNITIES

Looking at the number of women taking up senior management positions, we might be excited for them. In fact, that alone is a source of inspiration to many other women out there. But the big question is — are women receiving the same figures as their male counterparts?

We have seen or heard of instances where a woman holding the same job with a man is earning less than the man. As women accept senior management jobs, pay rate should be the same as their male counterparts — nothing less!

Monlai Shah- Coca Cola’s Head of Integrated Marketing Experiences, Africa. PC: Monlai on Twitter

There should be equal opportunities, equal treatment and representation of women. The lack of representations is leading to women not to be promoted to managerial positions. So, if we are expecting a level playing ground, women should be well represented at all levels of a company.

COMPANY BENEFITS SHOULD REFLECT EVERYONE IN THE ORGANIZATION

In one of our published articles, we look at how the pandemic has affected women in the corporate world. One reason we mentioned was the need to take care of family—especially for women with children. In that light, companies should introduce equal benefits for women and men in the work place which will allow and carter for women with children not to be in the unenviable position of choosing between family and work.

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