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
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,
SECO is Switzerland’s competence center for all core issues relating to
economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve
sustainable growth. Such growth is sustainable if it creates jobs, helps
to increase productivity, to reduce poverty, inequalities and global risks.
For more information, visit www.seco-cooperation.ch.