The International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a partnership agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt) to help Egyptian companies create more flexible and inclusive workplaces. The partnership is part of a broader effort to support the country’s private sector as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same fostering and reinforcing equal opportunities for women in the workplace.
Under the initiative, IFC will launch a peer learning platform that brings together Egyptian companies to exchange knowledge on best practices in creating more flexible and inclusive workplaces.
Under the platform, IFC and AmCham will conduct a variety of knowledge-sharing activities, including hosting a series of webinars, where CEOs and human resource directors representing more than 950 AmCham-member companies, and members of the business community will share knowledge on ways to better support female and male employees.
The series will focus on topics such as; mental health in the workplace, the importance of the provision of childcare services, and the value of flexible work policies.
IFC together with AmCham will invite prominent national and international experts in the relevant fields to address these sessions and build the case for the benefits of the adoption of these policies on overall productivity, with the ultimate goal of creating more employment opportunities, especially for women. This is particularly important given the fact that women have been disproportionately impacted by job losses during the COVID-19 crisis.
It is worth noting that prior to the pandemic, according to the ILO, women represented only 23% of Egypt’s workforce, which is among the lowest rates in the world.
“Fostering and reinforcing equal opportunities for women in the workplace is one of the strategic priorities of the AmCham Women in Business Committee,” said AmCham Egypt CEO, Sylvia Menassa.
“Our partnership with IFC will help reduce Egypt’s gender gap, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will support the sustainable growth of the Egyptian economy,” Menassa added.
Through the partnership, IFC and AmCham will showcase the benefits of creating flexible and family-friendly workplaces, demonstrating to businesses how they can benefit from tapping into Egypt’s underutilized pool of female workers.
The agreement is part of IFC’s Egypt Women’s Employment Program, which aims to help firms close the gap between men and women in the workforce. It is being implemented in partnership with the government of the Netherlands.