It’s time to get real about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in Africa – a diverse, multifaceted region where it is difficult to make broad sweeping statements. Yet, one common challenge every African country faces is gender inequality. Today’s leaders claim to understand that diverse teams bring value to organisations and that companies with high levels of diversity substantially outperform those without. Yet despite the proven business case, African women continue to face significant income inequality compared to their male counterparts. They also suffer from the absence of support systems and limited opportunities to advance into senior leadership positions. 

 

In Mercer's When Women Thrive inaugural study in Africa, the report highlights actions needed to boldly shape the future. 

 

In sub-Saharan Africa, more organisations report receiving significantly more pressure to improve D&I than the global average (68% in SSA vs. 31% globally), with pressure coming from multiple sources:

 

It’s time to Walk the Talk

 

There’s what we say we will do, and then there’s what we actually do.Ideally, they match up; too often, they don’t.It’s called the “say-do” gap, and we were surprised to discover a number of these gaps in our latest research.

 

Although more than three-quarters (76%) of organisations in sub-Saharan Africa report that their senior executives are actively engaged in D&I, we found less robust evidence-based, strategic planning to back up or propel a concrete forward approach.


About the When Women Thrive Study

 

 

 

In March 2020, Mercer published Let’s Get Real About Equality: When Women Thrive 2020 Global Report, which builds upon our seminal 2014 and 2016 research. It looks at the achievements made to date and the ground yet to cover. What follows are insights, grounded in data and country-to-global comparisons, for sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Learnings from this research will help guide organisations in the steps they must take to successfully institutionalise the policies, practices and programmes that will help ensure equality of opportunity, experience and pay — and ultimately nurture an inclusive culture.

Companies were surveyed on topics relating to:

  • Engagement, accountability and leadership
  • Organisational design and governance
  • Pay equity commitments and analysis
  • Talent practices and career development
  •  Financial wellness, health and caregiving
  • Organisational flexibility
  • Policies and programmes
When Women Thrive Africa report