The award, presented by IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell on International Women’s Day, recognizes companies for promoting gender equality in the workplace. With the support of IFC’s environmental and social team, Meghmani Finechem Limited has installed restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities for women in its plants. It has also enacted occupational health and safety policies that are sensitive to the needs of female employees.
“The IFC CEO Gender Award recognizes our efforts in implementing policies and measures that encourage the hiring women at our company,” said Ashish Soparkar, Managing Director of Meghmani Organics Limited.
Traditionally, women are not hired in chemical plants due to the perception of these jobs involving hard physical labor and tough working conditions.
“Meghmani Finechem has opened up the chemical industry for women, setting a new benchmark in India,” said Karin Finkelston, IFC Vice President for Asia. “Meghmani Finechem’s efforts will help provide employment and livelihood opportunities to women in rural India, positively impacting their families.”
The winners of this year’s CEO Gender Award were chosen from among 27 nominees from across the world.
Meghmani Finechem Limited’s parent company, Meghmani Organics Limited, is a chemicals group located in the Indian state of Gujarat. In 2008, IFC invested in Meghmani Finechem Limited at a time when the company’s plants did not hire women. By June 2011, 45 of the company’s 630 employees were female. Meghmani Organics Limited has a total of 2,000 employees across its various plants, subsidiaries and offices.
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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities - all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org