According to a 2021 report from Catalyst, 39% of working women in Africa are in senior management roles. If that number seems low, it’s not. Even fewer women hold senior management roles in Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. But achieving the top ranking in terms of women empowerment is bittersweet when you consider that women are still far outnumbered in leadership meetings.
That’s why global technology companies like Westcon-Comstor are taking a strong stance, and even more noticeable action, toward equality. It’s also why employees in Weston-Comstor’s Sub-Saharan Africa division are motivated to dig deeper into gender inequality issues. They want to ensure women are given opportunities to grow and climb as high as they can in the company and in life.
Taking a Page from the Corporate Book
In 2021, Westcon-Comstor Group implemented The One Westcon Program, which encourages diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in the workplace. The Sub-Saharan Africa leadership team, made up of a majority of women, was instrumental in hosting the first One Westcon virtual event with both internal and external speakers addressing various topics, including ways to identify prejudices or biases in the workplace.
This program has since been expanded, resulting in the creation of employee resource groups (ERGs) across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. These groups, which are made up of Westcon-Comstor employees and led by senior advocates appointed by Westcon, provide support and resources related to different topics, including health and well-being, inclusion, workplace, sports, equality, and family.
Elevating Women’s Empowerment Resources
Robyn Newel, HR Director for Westcon-Comstor’s operations in the Middle East and Africa, sees how the women of Africa face genuine challenges every day. “Pressure from a patriarchal society, lack of opportunity because of their gender, and unnecessary abuse are just a few of the many reasons why women may not be able to showcase their talents, pursue their passions or apply their intelligence in the workplace. For us, as a business, we arrive every day knowing that this is the reality for many women. However, we don’t just talk about it. We work together to change it in everything we do.”