An initiative that is intended to promote gender diversity on the boards of public and private organizations and thereby enhance corporate governance across the Liberian economy has been launched in Monrovia by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor.
Referred to as Women on Boards Network of Liberia (WOBNL) took over from the Women on Boards Taskforce, which initiated efforts to gather data on women’s representation on boards in the country; identify the challenges to getting women on boards; and recommend a way to achieve 33 percent women representation on boards by 2023. The key slogan for the network’s advocacy campaign is “33 by 23.”
VP Howard-Taylor indicated that Liberian women have been patient for this change to take place; and have waited for 171 years for a nation that knows the value and contributions of half of its population; yet continues to stand in a place where it feels that though they are able and capable, it is not yet time.
She said the long-running crusade for gender equality; not only in Liberia, but across the world is one that demands the full and concerted push from all sides, particularly from national leaders-males in positions of trust and authority and women who have made some gains in climbing the ladder in the public and corporation realm of governance, who have opportunities to hire, yet consistently choose males over females.
“But, today is a good day; so let’s not cry over spilled milk. When we look at Boards of Corporations, one can see clearly, by virtue of the oversight role they perform that they are critical in our governance process, ensuring judicious use of resources, both human and financial; enforcing accountability, good governance, and responsibility for the benefit of stakeholders,” VP Howard-Taylor said.
Madam Howard-Taylor said, “Today is indeed a new day when citizens out of their own accord would look at issues affecting the growth and development of our nation and seek to change the old ways which have held us down.
She also used the occasion to acknowledge the new breed of conscious leaders of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce for the farsightedness and drive to actually begin to turn the tide towards greater equality.
The vice president described the movement as a remarkable initiative undertaking by the LCC. “As we begin this new cycle, let us truly commit to a cause than ourselves, to do all we can to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality in our lifetime; keeping in mind that this time we will accept no other outcome,” she said.