Stepping on toes

IWD2023: AfDB marks progress in gender equality with EDGE certification

The African Development Bank (AfDB) group announced that it has made an appreciable achievement in the area of gender equality with the EDGE certification.

In a statement made available to BusinessDay on Wednesday, the development agency marking International Women’s Day 2023 said that the launch of the EDGE certification process in 2022 had enabled the bank to address concerns of women, especially in management, and the overall treatment of women in the workplace.

The bank said that after the launch of the certification process, it had attained Level 1 access, which is in “recognition of its commitment to monitoring, benchmarking, and achieving gender parity in its workforce.”

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The statement read, “The bank began the EDGE certification process in 2022. EDGE is the world’s leading certification that measures gender equity in the workplace.

“The Bank is now EDGE certified at Level 1 (EDGE Assess), which recognises the organization’s commitment to an impactful action plan to accelerate its progress across the 4 pillars of the EDGE Global Standards: representation, pay equity, policies and practises, and inclusiveness of culture.”

Jacques Edjangue, AfDB Acting Vice President, said, “This is a new milestone in the Bank’s journey to join, under the leadership of our President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, a global community of organizations committed to giving equal opportunities to men and women in the workplace.

“Significant progress has been made on the Learning & Development front to empower our women in the workplace.”

EDGE noted in a statement on its website that the bank, “by working to close gaps identified during the assessment, will continue to expand its efforts towards creating a more gender-equal workplace.”

The African Development Bank remains committed to pursuing initiatives and procedures that promote gender equality within its institutions. In 2019, 83 percent of the executive workforce at the African Development Bank was men. But within three years, the ratio of women in senior leadership had changed from 17 percent to 32 percent. The bank has set a goal of reaching 50/50 gender parity across its workforce in the near future.

Aniela Unguresan, Founder of the EDGE Certified Foundation, said: “It is with great pride that we announce the certification of the African Development Bank Group at the first EDGE Certification level, EDGE Assess. We look forward to the African Development Bank Group’s continued progress towards gender equality in the workplace as the organization works towards the next EDGE Certification level.”