Following today’s report on the need to reduce the mobile internet gender gap there is some, potentially, positive news from Nigeria, where operator MTN Nigeria has announced that it is aiming for gender equality by reserving up to 70% of recruitment and promotion slots for women.
The Guardian Nigeria news service says the company argues that this move will help it to achieve gender parity among its workforce, though MTN Nigeria’s chief operating officer Karl Toriola apparently said, “We are going to do our best to reserve up to 70% for women”, rather than making a cast-iron guarantee.
Nevertheless he did add, “We have calculated that to meet our commitment to achieving gender equality by 2030 we have to consciously be reserving posts with those numbers every year in that direction, or else we won’t hit that target.”
The backdrop to this was the signing of MTN Nigeria’s commitment to the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles (UNWEPS) in Lagos, described by the UN as “a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community”.
Established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) offer guidance to businesses on how to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are described in more detail here.
As local press reports point out, women played a significant role in the success of MTN’s primary offer in 2021. The subscription was made accessible through a digital application platform for retail investors, and the primary offer was oversubscribed by 139%. Approximately 76% of successful applicants via digital platforms were women.