BrandArena: Ecobank Group Reaffirms Commitment to Gender Equality, Signs UN Women’s Empowerment Principles

Monday 25 March 2024

Ecobank Group Reaffirms Commitment to Gender Equality, Signs UN Women’s Empowerment Principles

Ecobank, the pan-African banking group, has signed the Women's Empowerment Principles by UN Women and the UN Global Compact (WEPs), which guide the private sector in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. Ecobank Group CEO Jeremy Awori announced the signing of these Principles during a webinar hosted by the Ecobank Foundation and UN Women to commemorate International Women's Day.

Themed “Invest in Women: Why does it matter? How can we accelerate it?”, the webinar explored the necessity of investing in women to develop inclusive communities, as well as practical tactics for combating unconscious biases and discriminatory practices that impede investments in women.

Commenting about the signing of these principles, Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, said: “At Ecobank, we are fully committed to driving gender equality. Ensuring that women and girls have equal rights as men and boys and can attain their full potential without facing discrimination in any aspect of their lives. This is essential to achieving a sustainable, just, and prosperous society. Across the Bank we have implemented numerous initiatives and solutions, including our multi-award winning Ellevate programme to meet the financial and non-financial needs of women’s businesses, and we will continue to introduce new solutions. While we recognise that there is more to do, signing the WEPs is another step in our absolute commitment and determination to advance gender equality and inclusion.”

Ecobank ‘s dedicated Ellevate programme provides women-owned, led or focused businesses with a comprehensive suite of cash management, borderless payments and collections, banking and funding solutions, in addition to skills training and mentoring. It has onboarded over 73,000 women business customers and lent more than US$177 million since its launch in November 2020.  

Ecobank has implemented several other initiatives to advance gender equality and inclusion. These include establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Council to create an environment where individuals can thrive without discrimination or bias. Additionally, Ecobank has signed the Women Working for Change Gender Diversity Charter; sponsored awareness programmes on gender-based violence for its staff; and implemented mentoring programmes, along with comprehensive learning and development initiatives aimed at advancing women's career progression. The Bank will shortly launch a women supplier programme to onboard more women-owned and women-led businesses into its procurement database.

Congratulating Ecobank Group, Mireille Kamitatu, Deputy Regional Director UN Women Regional Office West and Central Africa said: "I am pleased to acknowledge Ecobank Group's commitment confirmed by the signing the WEPs. We commend the leadership of this Pan-African bank, spanning 35 countries, for its decisive step in advancing gender equality across the continent. UN Women stands ready to offer support in your gender-focused initiatives towards our ultimate objective to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Many of Ecobank Group’s gender equality initiatives align with the seven Women Empowerment Principles which are:
  • High-level Corporate Leadership
  • Treat all Women and Men Fairly at Work without Discrimination
  • Employee Health, Wellbeing and Safety
  • Education and Training for Career Advancement
  • Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices
  • Community Initiatives and Advocacy
  • Measurement and Reporting.
WEPs are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By joining the WEPs community, Ecobank’s Group CEO has signalled the Bank’s commitment to this agenda at the highest levels of the conglomerate and a desire to work collaboratively in multistakeholder networks to empower women. These include equal pay for work of equal value, gender-responsive supply chain practices and zero tolerance against sexual harassment in the workplace.

For more information about the Women’s Empowerment Principles by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, please visit

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