MTN Group commits US$1.6 million to deepen gender equality

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gender inequality
gender inequality

MTN Group (MTN) has announced a partnership with United Nations (UN) Women and joining the HeForShe Alliance in a drive to enhance its gender equality efforts.

As part of the drive, the African technology giant is committing some US$1.6 million over a period of five years to accelerate its efforts to advance gender equality.

A statement from MTN said the company’s approach to gender equality is not only about the women in the business but about the girls and women in broader society.

“Working with UN Women, MTN will develop and upskill women and girls to ensure they can actively participate in the Digital Economy,” the statement said.

The statement quoted MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita as saying “At MTN, we are clear that a diverse and inclusive culture will be critical to our success and sustainability. Partnering with the HeForShe Alliance will help us accelerate our efforts to create an environment where women thrive and have a deep sense of belonging within MTN.”

He said MTN has three priorities in that step: firstly, to achieve gender equity by no later than 2030, with a target of 50% women in the workforce, from a 2021 base of 39%, which extends all the way up to the executive leadership groups and the boards MTN’s governance structures; secondly, higher representation of women within technology roles, with a goal of at least 30% by 2030, off an existing base of 17%; thirdly, to close the gender pay gaps have across its businesses.

The statement noted that for MTN, gender equality is not only a moral imperative, but a business imperative too and that is why the company recognizes that it cannot reach a sustainable future without the empowerment of women and girls and the commitment of all stakeholders, including men and boys, to achieving this goal.

“The Group is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and Women Empowerment Principles, MTN is committed to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals – including Goal 5 for Gender Equality,” the statement said.

The HeForShe Alliance aims to develop the largest set of scalable and shareable solutions for gender equality’s most pressing challenges. Convening global trailblazers from across sectors, these HeForShe Alliance members will spearhead transformative change across countries, companies, campuses, and communities, inspiring many other to follow suit and demonstrating the value of allyship in accelerating progress.

The Alliance stems from the global HeForShe solidarity movement, a flagship initiative of UN Women, the United Nations entity for Gender Equality, that invites men and boys as allies for a more equal world. This international movement engages men and boys through programs and partnerships with the aim of accelerating women’s economic empowerment, supporting women’s role in peace and security processes, advancing women’s leadership and eliminating gender-based violence.  Since its inception in 2014, the movement has led to over 1.3 billion conversations across the globe.

Representative ad interim of the UN Women in South Africa, Hazel Gooding PhD. reiterates that “the UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO) is constantly innovating its approach with respect to strategic partnerships that can strongly amplify Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. UN Women looks forward to closely collaborating with MTN on the identified areas of Digital Economy and Ending Violence against Women and Girls to make a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of women and girls.”

Edward Wageni, Global Head of HeForShe, said “MTN’s commitment to fortify access, skills, and leaders to achieve gender equality in the workforce and increase the representation of women in leadership is an aspirational beacon for the telecommunications industry at large. We are proud to be partnering with such a connected organisation in advancing the shared vision of an equal and supportive workplace for all.”

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