International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organisation of the World Bank, signed on Tuesday a partnership agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) that aims 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 time fostering and reinforcing equal opportunities for women in the workplace, AmCham Egypt said in a statement.
Under the initiative, IFC will launch a peer learning platform that brings together Egyptian companies to exchange knowledge on the best practices in creating more flexible and inclusive workplaces, according to the statement.
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, according to the statement.
The series will focus on mental health in the workplace, the importance of the provision of childcare services, and the value of flexible work policies.
The two sides announced that they will invite prominent national and international experts in the relevant fields to address these sessions and build a case around the benefits of adopting these policies on overall productivity, with the ultimate goal of creating more employment opportunities, especially for women.
The agreement also came in light of the fact that women, who represent 23 percent of Egypt’s workforce, have been disproportionately impacted by job losses during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Fostering and reinforcing equal opportunities for women in the workplace is one of the strategic priorities of the AmCham women in business committee. Our partnership with IFC will help reduce Egypt’s gender gap, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and support the sustainable growth of the Egyptian economy,” said AmCham Egypt CEO, Sylvia Menassa.
The agreement is part of IFC’s women’s employment programme in Egypt, 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.