Studies have indicated that there remain stark gender disparities in the economic realm, especially in developing countries. Fewer women than men participate in the formal workforce and women are under-represented in management positions and boards.
Our strategy for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment 2020 – 2022 has therefore three objectives:
- Ensure equal opportunities and promote gender balance across all levels in Norfund
- Promote equal opportunities for men and women across all levels in investees and through access to finance; and
- Engage with relevant stakeholders to learn and where possible influence others to promote gender equality
Norfund is committed to addressing gender equality in our own organization, in our investments, and through Business Support.
Taking stock and raising awareness
Since 2016 Norfund collects gender-disaggregated data from all investees. This enables us to carry out gender analysis at investee and portfolio level. Annual changes in the composition of Norfund`s portfolio limit comparability of data at this level.
Statistics from portfolio companies in 2019 below:
Leadership and boardroom competence
Norfund has noted that women are underrepresented at the management level in our investee companies and on corporate boards. We are supporting female talents in our portfolio companies in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana to participate in the Female Future program – a leadership and boardroom competence development programme created by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). The programme was established in Norway in 2003 and has since been rolled out to other countries in cooperation with national employers’ organisations.
Supporting women’s entrepreneurship is another priority area for Norfund. We have provided funding from our Business Support Program to support Equity Bank’s Entrepreneurship program for a second year. The training program facilitates the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. Norfund requires at least 50 percent of participants to be women or women-owned enterprises.