IFC and Australia to Help Papua New Guinea Set up PNG Women in Business Initiative

PORT MORESBY- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Australian government will support Papua New Guinea’s private sector to establish Women in Business Initiative which will facilitate connections between businesses to demonstrate through policy, practice and profit that women’s economic empowerment is smart economics.

Through funding from the Australian Agency for International Aid, AUSAID, IFC will provide financial and technical support to the Papua New Guinea business community in setting up the Women in Business Initiative, which will come under the Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The initiative will enable businesses to recruit, retain and promote female employees through sharing best human resources policies and practices. It will also provide training opportunities and serve as a platform for communication between the government and the private sector to devise ways to help women advance in the workplace, and for women to network with and learn from each other.

“Women have formidable economic power, making up 40 percent of the world’s workforce, and they are vital to Papua New Guinea’s economy,” said Lady Winifred Kamit, patron of the Women in Business Initiative. “Investing in women’s employment makes good business sense and can improve productivity. This initiative will lead the way in advancing women's status in Papua New Guinea through formulating policies and sharing best practices to attract, retain and promote female employees.”

IFC will advise the Women in Business Initiative on strategic planning, and the government and the private sector on amending the employment law to benefit female employees, addressing issues such as equal opportunity, non-discrimination, sexual harassment, and maternity leave.

“We are excited that the Papua New Guinea business community has taken the lead in establishing the Women in Business Initiative, which will be a great step forward to empower women in business,” said Carolyn Blacklock, IFC’s resident representative in Papua New Guinea.

Research conducted by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand opportunities for women and business, in 2011 has shown that companies with more women board members outperform those with the least by 53 percent: They record substantial increases in sales and greater returns for their equity and capital investments.

About IFC IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. [IslandBusiness]
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