Standard Chartered celebrates International Women’s Day with 50 girls to inspire inclusion

The Mentor’s Den event was dubbed “a conversation with the Goal girls” under the Topic, “Turning passion into success.”

Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and BRAC have Tuesday, March 5, 2024 celebrated International Women’s Day with 50 girls whom they have been supporting as part of the Goal girls programme. T

The Mentor’s Den event was dubbed “a conversation with the Goal girls” under the Topic, “Turning passion into success.”

A Mentors’ Den is a small group session that brings together Futuremakers participants (mentees) and Standard Chartered volunteers (mentors). The objective is to provide guidance and support to young ladies and help them solve problems with the wisdom of others. The mentorship session addressed challenges faced by the young people who are starting up microbusinesses in trades such as bakery, tailoring, saloons among others.The programme intervention will seek to prevent, mitigate and build the resilience of adolescent girls and community members

The Goal project is a community investment initiative uses sports and life skills education to transform the lives of young women and girls under the Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescent program (ELA).

The project’s objective is to equip girls with financial education and life skills so that they can play active leadership roles in their families and communities. This is done through supporting Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) ages 10 to 24 years through five modules which are; Be yourself, Be healthy, Be empowered, Be money savvy and Be Independent.  

The trainings are conducted by 56 Goal Coaches in 56 adolescent safe spaces/clubs in 7 branches where the project is being implemented. Every year a sample size of 1,500 girls is selected to fill in the baseline survey which is used to measure the project success that year.

With support from Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, BRAC started implementing the Goal Programme in October 2014. As of 2023, BRAC Uganda’s Goal project had impacted on the lives of 60,346 adolescent girls in rural and urban communities in 7 districts and established 8 adolescents’ safe houses in 56 villages of Kampala, Mbarara, Isingiro, Lyantonde, Wakiso, Kayunga and Mukono Districts. These clubs are facilitated by 56 trained Goal coaches who are tasked to train and recruit 6,500 adolescent girls and young women to undertake the Goal curriculum training for a period of 10 months.

The project also targets other girls who are not direct participants through goal events where the project conducts awareness and outreach sessions.

During the mentor’s den Margaret Kigozi, the Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing said as Standard Chartered, a culture of inclusion is a critical lever to their business success and any business for that matter.

“It enables us to be the best place to work, the best place to bank and contribute to creating prosperous communities. We believe that when all our colleagues are included regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, generation or nationality, it will help us deliver our purpose and achieve our goal of becoming the best employer in the market. This is evidenced in our employee gender ratio which includes females at 57 per cent of the current staff population and 36 per cent of the Executive Management team,” she said.

According to Kigozi, to ensure they are inclusive and support women, in addition to the benefits they offer their female employees, last year they rolled out medical coverage for treatment of menopause related symptoms for all female employees and their partners as part of their medical benefits as well as access to specialised medical practitioners and prescription medication.

“We also offer Hybrid or Flexi working from both office and home with a focus toward embedding and enabling new ways of working, so that our colleagues can maintain the work life balance and outcome-focused approach that suits them as individuals and teams, resulting in better outcomes for our clients especially women. We also rolled out enhanced parental leave benefit of 20 weeks for both men and women, providing parents the option of undertaking more equitable caregiving responsibilities for their children,” she further stated.

Standard Chartered chose the GOAL girls programme because in Uganda and many societies around the world; women and girls are discriminated against for being young and being female. Girls have less opportunity to be educated, are more at risk of gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, face greater risks of economic and sexual exploitation.

The Bank believes that by investing in girls, it will result in increased prosperity and diversity as giving girls the tools to shape their own future has an incredible multiplier effect on communities and societies.

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