In order for organizations to survive in an increasingly hostile environment, they have been forced to challenge/examine and review established orthodoxies, move out of their comfort zones and think out of the box. This has led many organizations in the developed economies of the world to embrace ways of thinking and responding to environmental challenges. Their counterparts in the developing world, on the other hand, have tended to lag behind or at best play catch up in many respects. The situation in Africa is even more complex – for reasons of traditional cultures, primordial affinities vis-a-vis modern management practices.
The most evident gap between the developed and developing world is in the area of the Management of gender diversity in the work place.
As a fall out to historical struggles for human rights, most developed countries have met the challenges/agitations with a myriad of laws and elaborate legislations, policies and procedures to promote and encourage diversity in the workplace. This has resulted in many organizations in these climes developing advanced approaches and practices in diversity management.
In her book titled “No Excuses”, Gloria Feldt (a New York Times bestselling author)
declared “The doors to equal opportunity have been cracked wide open, but too few
women are willing to push on through them. We have to stop putting boundaries
around our own vision for what we can do…”
It is no longer news that the dynamics of workplace statistics is fast changing. Many
contemporary organizations are beginning to realize and appreciate the giant strides
women are making in the workplace and they are willing to support them to achieve
their career aspirations. Today, most businesses in the world embrace diversity management both to satisfy the letters of the law and to secure sustainable competitive advantages for themselves.
Gender diversity in the work place is generally understood as a tendency to have an equal number or at least close to equal number of employees of both genders. There are a number of benefits of this tendency, however there is more to gender diversity in the work place than just mere numbers. Yes, it will be great to have an organization of a thousand employees with 500 men and 500 women. However, if all the men were in leadership positions and all the women in inferior positions, then this would not be equality, would it? It is important to note that women have to be found in executive positions in serious companies in order to say that gender diversity and equality has been achieved.
Globally, white collar gender diversity in the work place has become as politically correct a course to espouse as say corporate social responsibility. This is not a bad thing if only because it puts the issue squarely out there in the boardrooms so that women get a better chance at job sweepstakes than they had before. But political correctness should not be confused with sincerity of action. In reality, unlike commitment to corporate social responsibility, the gender diversity exercise is so profound as to make a mockery of the concept.
Efficiency and performance, at least at corporate level, are gender neutral which is why gender based affirmative actions can backfire on corporations looking to earn good karma. It makes men resentful and hardly helps the cause of working women.
The argument for gender diversity is actually a practical one. The competitive advantage of the future organization lies in the quality of its talent and with the growing number of qualified women entering the workforce. The market for talent is widening steadily. If corporations do not create opportunities for competent women, they will be depriving themselves of a wider talent pool.
At the turn of this decade, we have witnessed significant contributions of women in all
strata of life, including the banking sector. Recently, we have seen women in roles
such as Finance Ministers, Chief Executive Officers and varied other responsible
We are blessed to be part of the NDIC family at a time like this. We are particularly
blessed with a team of Management that is concerned about diversity and inclusion in
the workplace. We are all witnesses to various transformation efforts currently going
on in the Corporation. This interactive session is one of such huge steps towards
achieving the Corporation’s vision “to become one of the leading deposit insurers in
The wind of change is already blowing and just like Gloria Feldt had indicated, the door
of opportunity has been pushed open. Let us grab them with both hands and push
towards career growth in NDIC. You will hear details of needed steps to be taken to
achieve your career aspirations in the subsequent papers to be presented at this event.
Gender diversity in the workplace is therefore important and urgent and is not about including women for their gender, it is about not excluding them.
I wish to welcome you all to this 1st Management’s parley with female employees of
NDIC. Thank you!