Research shows high percentage of African firms welcome women returners
Facebook boss Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book Lean In that “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”
Latest research by Regus, the flexible workspace provider, confirms that mind-sets are rapidly changing as 80 percent of African firms believe companies that will not employ women returning from maternity leave are missing out.
Far from returning with an obsolete address book and a rusty memory, working mums bring valuable skills and expertise, say 68 percent of African businesses.
These are the key findings of the latest research by Regus that canvassed the opinions of more than 19,000 business owners and senior managers in 98 countries.
Respondents reported that flexible hours, working closer to home and the option to video conference instead of travelling at least some of the time are among the top strategies to get more mothers back into the workforce.
Other interesting figures show that: a total of 63 percent of African respondents think more women are demanding to work remotely when they return to the workforce; some 40 percent say working closer to home is a key incentive; and 15 percent report that the option to video conference instead of travelling would help returning mothers
Joanne Bushell, Vice President for Africa at Regus said: “Reports highlight that the non-participation of women in the economy is costing as much as 27 percent per capita GDP in some countries.
“When combined with the fact that companies with a higher percentage of women on the board are more profitable, it is clear that businesses need to adapt protocols to better suit working mothers.
“When women return to work after maternity leave, they often find that juggling professional and personal duties can be very demanding, if not impossible. It is not surprising, therefore, that more and more mums seek flexibility.
She added: “Whether that’s through flexi-time, the opportunity to work closer to home at least some of the time, or the option to choose video conferencing over business travel, these incentives are increasingly key to encouraging more women back into employment and driving the workplace into the future.”
Regus customer, Zandra Persson, a web based masters student in Kigali said: “For businesswomen that are on the move and who want to cut expenses this is an attractive concept. I have a small son at home and need to work somewhere quieter and not too expensive so the business lounge in Kigali is great.”
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”