- 18-month initiative for women in emerging markets
- Will run the Mompreneurs Programme and Ladies First Programme
SOUTHEAST Asian e-commerce company Lazada Group has announced its participation as a founding member of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -led Digital2Equal initiative. It is one of 17 technology companies that have come together with IFC on this 18-month initiative to boost economic opportunities and gender equality for women in emerging markets.
Lazada chairwoman and group chief executive officer Lucy Peng, said “Lazada has been operating in Southeast Asia since 2012 and intimately involved in the region’s growth. It is a uniquely diverse region with different spoken languages, cultures, and state of development with varying degrees of challenges for women.
“Lazada has always been supporting the female community in Southeast Asia, from providing selling opportunities on our platform to hiring women riders among our courier fleet. We strongly believe that when women are empowered, they can bring positive change and shape the future of all those around them, from their families to society at large.”
“Lazada employees hail from 57 nationalities speaking more than 100 languages. Four in 10 entry-level Lazada employees are female, and even at the senior management level, we have managed to retain this percentage. This is no coincidence, as we make a concerted effort to support women’s career advancement and ensure equal development opportunities in our workplace, through initiatives such as women roundtable, networking and mentoring programmes sponsored by senior leaders in the company.
“Diversity is in our DNA, and the partnership with IFC on the Digital2Equal initiative is an extension of what we’ve always believed in,” added Sophie Xue, chief people officer, Lazada Group.
The company was represented at the official launch of the Digital2Equal initiative in San Francisco last week by its general counsel, Gladys Chun (pic).
In its endeavour to continue to develop and support female employees and women in Southeast Asia, the company has also unveiled the programmes that it has embarked on, in its workplace and for the e-commerce industry. Key programmes include:
Lazada provides stay-at-home mothers with the opportunity to earn a living by running online store while juggling family responsibilities. Free training and assistance are provided to Lazada sellers to help them set up shop. Lazada does not charge commission for selling on its platform, helping sellers keep costs low. Working with local partners, a small working capital loan is offered to top sellers to give them a boost in inventory management. Lazada also offers photography services at heavily subsidised rates, to help the mompreneurs capture high quality product images for their online stores.
The Mompreneurs Programme is currently available in the Philippines. Lazada is looking to scale up similar programme in other markets.
Ladies First Programme
In an effort to narrow the digital divide and encourage more women to use digital platforms, Lazada is launching a Ladies First programme specifically targeted at female shoppers. Under the programme, Lazada will support and grow a group of female role models, comprising Instagrammers and influencers with a large following in the fashion, and mother and baby categories. The objective is to foster a community of women for women, across the six countries in Southeast Asia that Lazada operates in.
Lazada will also collaborate with non-government organisations (NGOs) to design training and outreach programmes targeted at underprivileged women.