Gender Equality in the Nigerian Workplace
Recently, issues surrounding gender have gained more significance around the globe, with high profile cases of discrimination and harassment being revealed in the media. In this climate then, it becomes imperative to understand how the forces shaping global discourse affect us locally. This understanding would naturally equip us with the empirical data needed to design and implement sustainable solutions.
To accomplish this work of analysis, it was necessary to employ both observed and reported data, enabling working people to have feed their experiences directly into our work.
In order to gain a better understanding of the experiences of Nigerians in the workplace, an online survey was carried out during May 2018. A total of 6094 responses were collected. Of this number, only 4672 met our inclusion criteria for analysis.
Public sector representation is extremely low. As at January 2019, there are zero female governors, five deputy governors and five women on the Federal Executive Council. Ekiti State has the highest relative percentage of female senators and representatives with 22%.
The private sector also has very low levels of gender equality at senior levels. The waste management sector had the highest average female representation at board level, with 1 out of 4 board members. The consulting sector averaged zero female board members.
The vast majority of responses to our survey came from people aged 26-45. The overwhelming majority also had bachelor’s or master’s degrees, and were currently in employment.
Junior positions at firms are likely to be equally distributed between men and women. Senior positions are much more male-dominated—only 8% of respondents said their organisations had a majority of women in senior positions.
There was a significant difference between experienced discrimination—35% of women reported having experienced discrimination at work, compared to only 9% of men.
Surprisingly, 22% of C-level respondents reported having faced discrimination based on their gender.
Over 70% of women who had faced discrimination reported that they had faced workplace harassment, been paid less, been taken less seriously, or are perceived to be less suited for career advancement opportunities based on their gender.
Across the board (except at entry level) women are more likely than men to negotiate or complain if they feel they are being underpaid at work.