Nestlé launches Gender Balance Action Plan to support women in Africa
The Swiss food and drink company, Nestlé, has launched the Gender Balance Acceleration Plan ‘From Aspiration to Action’.
The initiative forms part of the company’s activities for International Women’s Day, and commits to providing equal equality within the workplace.
As part of the act, Nestlé has set the target of increasing the number of women in its top 200 senior executives from 20% to 30% by 2022.
In the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), the company will address the initiative by trainings to raise gender bias awareness, career development programmes for women, gender-sensitive succession planning, and implementing its Maternity Protection Policy.
“When there’s a good mixture of men and women, team-building activities tend to be more balanced, helping to develop greater empathy among individuals and teams,” said Bunmi Etty-Mfon, Total Performance Management Manager for Technical at Nestlé CWA, reported Africa News.
“Diversity stimulates greater effort from everyone, leading to improved decision-making.”
“Also, as the majority of consumers in our region are women, it gives us great perspective to lead in innovation.”
Flowergate Factory is the first all-female production line in Nestlé Nigeria. Ibukun Ipinmoye, Factory Manager of Flowergate Factory, stated: “We soon realised that the female production lines are very productive thanks to their highly committed and collaborative spirit and their careful handling of the equipment. Gender diversity has helped to boost productivity.”
“As a result, we plan to introduce female operators to more complex lines to utilise their multitasking skills, and aim to hire female management trainees to 80%.”
Nestlé is the largest food company in the world and second largest Swiss firm by revenue.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.