One small step for Ethiopia; one giant step for AWiB
“Most look up and admire the stars. A champion climbs a mountain and grabs one”. ~Unknown~
AWiB, as a champion, has launched 50% Women on Board (WOB) Policy campaign on State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) on March 21st at a press conference at the Hilton Addis where 43 media and many supporters of AWiB joined. The ultimate aim of this campaign is to present the studies done in Ethiopia to help with contextual argument and the proceedings (from a one-day seminar in June 2019) to the PM office and to request the highest office of the land that our demands be put for debate to the Parliament. We ask all Ethiopians, friends of Ethiopia, and those activists who stand for gender parity, for peace, for prosperity, for democracy that is inclusive to campaign for us and with us.
Gender Diversity on corporate boards is a growing necessity for companies to thrive and grow in today’s environment. In the 21st century, women account for about 70% of the global consumption demand and control about $28 trillion in annual consumer spending. If corporations must be profitable, corporate boardrooms need to reflect the diversity of its consumer base. Despite the progress made by women in education and in the workforce, they continue to be under-represented in decision-making. In Ethiopia where 50% (some statistics say 51%) of the population is from the female species, we demand that the leadership reflects this reality.
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Why the Board and Why Public Policy?
Because the boardroom is where strategic decisions are made, governance applied and risk overseen. A number of studies carried out in over 90 countries, show that those with specific targets, quotas, and penalties for not meeting regulations, including Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden, have nearly doubled the average percentage of women on boards (about 34%) than countries without such regulations (about 18%). In the USA, where there isn’t any form of legislation, a 2018 figure showed only 24%. (Press Release For WOB(ENG), WOB PR (Amharic)).
AWiB is campaigning that women be included on boards of governance at 50% and this campaign must translate into public policy. Every other seat on board must be filled with a woman. We ask all concerned about our nation’s wealth and peace to include 50% of the stakeholders. AWiB propagates 50% on board in the interest of more inclusive growth and more inclusive capitalism; in other words, democracy in its truest form.
We trust we will celebrate the implementation of 50% WOB Policy soon and we will work hard and smart to see this policy through. This Policy’s implementation and its execution to a precision would be a greater largess those of us Ethiopians who live in the 21st century will give to those to follow.