As part of its commitment to gender equality, Stanbic IBTC makes a bold statement today the International Women’s Day (March 8) by changing the colour of its logos which are predominantly blue, to magenta on most of its digital platforms. Magenta is the colour of the UN Women HeForShe brand.
This symbolism, according to Mr. Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, “reconfirms our organization’s commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Women HeForShe initiative which encourages equality in the way and manner people are treated and the opportunities with which they are availed, regardless of gender or race.” Stanbic IBTC Holdings, he adds, is championing this initiative alongside its parent group, Standard Bank which is the only Africa-headquartered corporate to become a thematic champion of this campaign.
“Achieving gender equity is not only a fundamental human right but a business imperative,” says Standard Bank Group Chief Executive Sim Tshabalala. “Women embody half the world’s talent, skill and energy and more than half its purchasing power.” He adds that “business leaders, therefore, ought to be committed to achieving gender equity in their organizations and to helping to drive this cause in the societies in which they operate.”
Stanbic IBTC Holdings has always been distinguished by its deliberate and painstaking commitment to gender equality. In its 30 years of existence, it is one of a few publicly quoted Nigerian corporations to have had a female Chief Executive. In addition, women occupy many strategic roles in the Stanbic IBTC Group including functioning as Chief Executives of its subsidiary companies. According to Sanni, “At Stanbic IBTC, we have long recognized that we have a duty to create an enabling environment that thrives on merit and ability, rather than gender, for our people to excel. In the years ahead, we pledge to remain steadfast in this commitment.”
The partnership between Stanbic IBTC’s holding company, Standard Bank Group and the HeForShe initiative was announced on September 26, 2018, at a UN Women’s event that ran parallel with the UN General Assembly in New York.
Standard Bank has since set itself the goals of increasing the representation of women in executive positions to 40% by 2021 in its South African operations and 2023 in the entire group. Standard Bank also aims to enhance the representation of women on its board from 22% in 2018 to 33% by 2021 while doubling the number of female Chief Executives in its Rest of Africa operations from 10% in 2018 to 20% by 2021.
Stanbic IBTC, affirms Sanni, “remains very committed to nurturing a great workplace that is founded on merit, a diverse workforce that thrives on equality of opportunity for all, regardless of gender, religion, tribe or race.” Doing so, he says, “enables us live up to our mission to provide end-to-end financial services solutions to our customers and drive the economic and development growth aspirations of the country.”
The organisation, he said supports the development of its women with several initiatives and programmes such as the Stanbic IBTC Blue Women Network, a platform established to, among other things, provide the women in Stanbic IBTC the opportunity to gain new insights that will enhance their professional skills as well as support their all-round growth through information sharing, best practice and mentorship to help develop their leadership skills and advance their career prospects.