In commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), some female professionals have urged women to develop and believe in their capabilities, as well as pursue their dreams while ensuring the opportunities they deserved came by merit.
Chairman, Board of Fellows, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Prof (Mrs.) Mbang-Nyong Femi-Oyewo, said at the Women Leadership Conference that IWD: “Is aimed at continuing determinedly to challenge bias and accelerate gender parity. It is also a call-to-action for speeding up gender balance in business, politics, media coverage and wealth across the world.
“This is the right time in Nigeria’s history to help find a better gender balanced world. The theme, ‘Balance For Better’, is very apt because in many countries, especially in Nigeria, there has not been balance for women in many areas. This is an opportunity for women to engage government on how to have a more gender-balanced world in appointments, nominations and engagements at various levels of government.
“Balance brings a rich mix to the thinking of what will help us solve the issue in Nigeria. We cannot keep having ideas in one direction.”
Managing Director, JNC Limited, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, said the theme focused on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure:
“Those privilege positions are not reserved for men. Women and girls should believe that with hard work, they could break any
barrier. Girls should have that confidence. Women should always be ready to mentor younger women, guide them and give back to the girls in secondary schools, in the university and be an inspirational story
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmus, said: “In recruitment, there is no gender bias but when it comes to the field of play women are relegated. This should not be the situation but rather be given a fair opportunity.
“Success in career path depends on individual passion, she believed in whatever she is doing and always do her job with determination and passion. Once I am sure I move, it is every individual choice as what they want to achieve.
“I try as much as to make the most of every opportunity and ensure I am diligent with my work. What you should do is make sure nobody can dispute the fact that you are good at what you do, and you would keep winning despite the obstacles.”
Initiator of the Boundless Hand Africa (BHA), Titilayo Ogunbambi, said women should be honest with themselves in terms of their strengths and weaknesses: I don’t do things I know someone else is better at. I leave it in the hands of those competent enough to handle it, so they can add the best value. I play to my strengths and not my weaknesses because, in life, I know that if I need to succeed, I need my strengths and the strengths of others that complement my weaknesses to give me the completeness that allows me to succeed.
Managing Director, EMR, Omonike Fowowe, said she is in a male domineering profession and her challenges were numerous but she stood her ground: “Work conditions need to be closely reviewed to accommodate the talents of women.
“A close look at the population of our country shows that women constitute about 52 percent of the total population. Only an institution that is not forward thinking will lock away 52 percent of its resource without maximising it.
“If we continue to run a country where we do not create an enabling environment to take the most value that our women can create, we will always under perform. The best boardrooms in the world are the ones with diversity – women and men.
“Companies need to pay attention to this because every organisation wants the best for itself and, in wanting the best, it means they want the best talents for their organisation. Whether male or female, I think when you get to the crux of the matter, people would go for the best person to deliver value.
“We need to create a system where the females are able to compete effectively so that they are part of that selection line when it happens.”
The event was organised by BHA and IHS Towers of Strength.