Celebrations and commemorations give us an opportunity to regroup, highlight our achievements, and give credit where it is due.
Certain celebrations, in this case International Women’s Day, are more worthy of our attention than others however, because they bring important issues into focus and prompt us to step up our efforts where we are slacking and build consistency where we are succeeding.
At Zambian Breweries we are conscious of the fact that solving some of society’s biggest challenges requires a diverse pool of ideologies and talent. You cannot progress as a society by leaving what amounts to more than half the country’s population behind.
Diversity and inclusion are ideals that drive our success as a company because when you bring together a diverse community of bold, ambitious, and passionate people as ZB has done, the potential for growth is limitless.
A case for the bottom line
Countless studies have shown that companies that are more gender inclusive on average have a larger turnover than those with little to no gender diversity in their workforce.
A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review showed that companies with greater gender balance recorded higher productivity measured by market value and revenue across 24 industries in over 35 countries.
What this demonstrates is that reductions in the gender gap in the workforce particularly in leadership roles does expand a business’ competitiveness.
As such, gender balance is a key component of Zambian Breweries’ diversity and inclusion agenda not only from an ethical standpoint, but it also makes business sense.
From upper management to sales representatives, ZB makes full use of its entire human capital’s talents regardless of gender to stay relevant to upcoming generations by giving us greater innovative agility.
More than just words…
Over the years, we have made good progress in becoming more gender balanced. Today, the ratio between females and males in managerial positions at Zambian Breweries is at one to three.
While this number may still be low, we are making strides in different areas of our operations to make the workplace more inclusive.
It is also worth noting that the company now has a sizable number of women in technical roles that have historically been male dominated.
Our commitment to providing everyone an equal opportunity to succeed is reflected in our mantra ‘Together we thunder’ – which drives our dream of bringing people together for a better world.
In our eyes, a better world is one in which everyone is valued and celebrated for who they are as individuals.
At the grassroots, our Manja Pamodzi Aggregator initiative represents one of the countless ways we are empowering women and their families in local communities. The recycling initiative implemented by Zambian Breweries and the Lusaka City Council has 800 waste collectors, of which 75 percent are women.
As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme ‘Choose to Challenge,’ we must all remain wary of prevailing challenges around gender equality in society.
Individually, we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions; Collectively, we have a moral obligation to help create an inclusive world.
By delivering on our goals and vision, Zambian Breweries is not only staying true to its values, but we are also unlocking our people’s potential to position our company and society at large for greater success through gender equality – something that is certainly cause for celebration!
Sharon Mwelwa Lima is Zambian Breweries’ People Lead