Ruth Butaumocho : Gender Editor
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe has called on the business community to adopt gender diversity as a key business lever to ensure profitability and a good working culture. Addressing a press conference ahead of the International Women’s Day in Harare yesterday, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mrs Amal Tantawi said companies should realise that by investing in gender equality, they will positively impact on their business through improved employee morale, performance and productivity resulting from equitable workplace practices that select, develop and treat people based on merit and fairness.
“We consider diversity and inclusion as a business enabler. We believe that only by having a proper mix of skills, perspectives and backgrounds, we will be able to deliver results and develop the innovations that will shape the future of the industry,” said Mrs Tantawi.
She added that Lafarge’s policy on diversion and inclusion has eliminated all barriers in the workplace that hinder full participation of women, while improving retention and cost reduction due to lower absenteeism and turnover.
As a result, 42 percent of
the company’s senior management are women, while 13 percent of Lafarge’s total workforce is made up of the female populace with various skills.
“Given these statistics, it is evident that Lafarge Zimbabwe continues to actively focus on gender in pursuance of its diversity and inclusion policy.
“Lafarge realises that people are its strongest asset and therefore makes every effort of hiring men and women from various geographical and cultural background,” she said.
The company also has put in place various policies to enhance the inclusion of women in its business, among them initiatives to support work life balance for women and their health.
As part of its support for work life balance for women, it has since established a lactation room for breastfeeding mothers, which they can use during working hours.
The lactation room is meant for breastfeeding mothers to express their milk and have it kept safely within the recommended temperatures until they knock off from work.