​​NSE Calls for Action to Step Up ​Gender Equality
Tuesday, ​​March 8, ​2016

The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, held series of activities to commemorate International Women's Day and to advocate for gender equality. Created to inspire women, International Women's Day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women's past, present and future, while calling for greater equality.

IMG_0204.JPGThe NSE commenced its International Women's Day celebration with a half day knowledge sharing symposium themed: "Unleashing HER Full Potential - advance gender equality and empower women". The event  which brought together over 150 women from the NSE,  listed compa​nies, Dealing Member firms, media, civil societies and Government to discuss how to help women realize their dreams, had  Her Excellency, Dr Idiat Adebule, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State as keynote speaker.

According to Ms. Tinuade Awe, General Counsel and Head, Regulation, NSE, the main objective of the symposium is to identify key issues, policy options and share learnings on how to create globally relevant, but locally appropriate solutions that can help businesses accelerate the momentum to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls. She stated that “achieving gender equality is important for workplaces not only because it is fair and the right thing to do, it is also vitally important to the bottom line of a business and to the productivity of our nation”.

Delivering her keynote address, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State commended the management and staff of the NSE for investing their time and resources in advancing gender equality and celebrating women. She stated that “women in Nigeria are still under one form of discrimination or the other. Our laws still has provisions that discriminate against women. Our political, business and work environment are deliberately made unconducive for women. Many successful women in the area of politics, business and investment, education, entertainment and the like had to work extra hard to achieve their objectives”. 

“Therefore, I wish to urge the business and investment community in Nigeria to utilize every opportunity such as presented by this symposium to seriously do some introspection and come up with useful suggestions to the nation on how to harness the innate capabilities of women by allowing them to flourish just like their male counterpart”.

A key component of the symposium was the signing of the Women Empowerment Principles by Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, NSE where he noted that, “private sector plays an essential and pivotal role in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment all around the world. Until women are treated as equal members of society, politically, economically and socially, our nation won’t reach its full potential”.

“At The Nigerian Stock Exchange, 33% of our workforce are women and we are committed to improving the figure. I urge all organisations to step it up for gender equality”, said Onyema.  

The symposium featured panel discussions and had eminent leaders such as Ms. Tinu Awe; Dr. Lucy Newman, Managing Director/CEO of Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC); Mrs. Abimbola Ibironke Akeredolu (S.A.N), immediate past Attorney General of Ogun State and Mrs. Ope Wemi Jones, Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank Plc.  The session was moderated by Pai Gamde, Head of Human resources, NSE.

IMG_0243.JPGThe Exchange also joined other stock exchanges around the world that rang the bell for gender equality to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality to capital markets.  T​he Exchange used its Closing Gong ceremony to highlight the business case for women’s economic empowerment, as well as opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

Sounding of the Closing Gong of the Exchange, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State said, “As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, I wish to remind us that it’s our primary objective to consistently encourage and celebrate the achievements of women in Lagos and the world at large by stimulating awareness and building knowledge on gender and leadership inclusion”.

“This is a call for the need to give women a chance; recognize their inputs and adequately involve them directly in policy issues that affect them. We hope today’s Closing Gong ceremony for gender equality will speed up the clock for equality in rights and opportunity for Nigerian women,” She added.    

The NSE was supported by a global partnership of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and United Nations Women. 

To close out the day, the women were treated to a networking cocktail session during which there were free make-over by M.A.C Cosmetics and Health Screening by Livewell Initiative. Other companies that exhibited included Bestman Games, Laterna Bookstores and Iro Lagos. ​