Freetown, Sierra Leone. March 9, 2017 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping women in Sierra Leone take their place in senior management and boardroom positions as part of its strategy to promote gender diversity and inclusion, and strengthen the country’s economy.
IFC hosted an event on March 9, to mark International Women’s Day, in Freetown to discuss the benefits of promoting women to senior positions in businesses, and the challenges women face. Participants, including government officials, regulators, business leaders, and other experts, agreed to establish a taskforce to monitor progress, and report results annually, starting from 2018.
Chinyere Almona, Head, Africa Corporate Governance Program for Sub Sahara Africa, said, “Having more women in management and on boards brings a diversity of skills, experience, and views, contributing to smart decision making. It also helps companies increase transparency, boost investor confidence, and improve financial performance. The task team created today is an important step in helping women take their rightful place in managing businesses in Sierra Leone, where few women sit on company boards.”
IFC has nearly reached its target of nominating women 30% of the time as directors to companies it has invested in – and continues to aim for full parity in the near future.
IFC’s Corporate Governance Program, which organized the event, has been developed to improve the performance of businesses by helping them adopt good corporate governance practices and standards that are adapted to regional priorities. The program is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland.
Corporate governance refers to the structures and processes by which companies are directed and controlled. Good corporate governance makes companies more accountable and transparent to investors, which encourages new investments, boosts economic growth, and provides employment opportunities.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, IFC uses its six decades of experience to create opportunity where it is needed most. In financial year 2016, long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly US$19 billion, leveraging its capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org