Parents struggle daily to leave their children for work while juggling nannies and childcare facilities, and we see their anguish. “Twarabumvise, turabikora”! –Kampeta Sayinzoga, CEO of BRD Plc.
On this year’s International Women’s Day, the Development Bank of Rwanda inaugurated an in-house Early Childhood Development Center, first of its kind in the financial sector. The ECD will be open to all staff with children ages 3 months to 4 years. On that day, the office premises were characterized with softer, richer, more genuine kinds of laughter, contagious giggles, and toddler language. Our new neighbors are bubbly, joyous, energetic, and your new reason to smile more.
The #IWD2023 theme was #EmbraceEquity. It has been seen that we champion for gender equality, rightfully so, but still hit loopholes in the policy that can sometimes render it exclusionary rather than inclusive. To understand what this means, take the example of a popular meme of a monkey, fish, and elephant. These 3 animals are given the equal task of reaching the apple at the farthest branch. Same goal, equal opportunity. However, the monkey finds it easy to get there, and while the elephant tries to use its trunk, the fish has absolutely no hope, for obvious reasons. From this, we can recall various examples in our own perspective where men and women are given equal opportunities but that truly favor men because all conditions weren’t accounted for. Equity therefore comes in to rectify this by inviting us to recognize each person’s different circumstances and allocate the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
We believe that a child is the responsibility of the 2 parents. However, we do not deny that statistics have shown that there are less women in managerial positions because families come to make the difficult decision to have one parent stay home for childcare. We have also seen that absenteeism is higher in both female and male employees who need to stay home on a particular day because their nanny quit or fell sick. How many of us have stumbled upon a lady, pumping themselves to send breastmilk home for their newborn baby? Wouldn’t you like for it to be easier to pop in during your coffee or lunch break and breastfeed your newborn baby at your workplace?
The above and many more are the reasons that motivated our choice to have an on-site childcare facility for our employees. We believe that the Early Childhood Development center will shape our goal for inclusive workspace for the better as we invest in early years for a sustainable future. We trust that this goes a long way to increase our staff’s productivity, career growth and nurtures their mental health. We choose to embrace equity.
[ BRD Day Ca