The Handmaidens Women in Leadership Forum with a vision to enlighten and empower women positively and impact the society recently held its Women in Leadership series (WiLS) 2019 edition at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Chief Convener of WiLS, Dr. (Mrs.) Siju Iluyomade, founding partner in the law firm Iluyomade and others, brought the initiative to life from her mission of empowering women to fulfill their destinies in Christ.
This year’s edition with the theme “Leading Women- Building Legacies,” had Dr. Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, a haematology oncologist and director of the University of Chicago Hospital’s Cancer Risk Clinic, as the keynote speaker alongside other distinguished panelists and speakers.
Also in attendance as special guests of honour were the Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo Olu; Ogun State First Lady,Mrs Bamidele Abiodun; Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki and wife of the Speaker, House Representative, Mrs. Salamu Gbajabiamila.
Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu (rtd) was also in attendance as she opened the programme with a short prayer.
With a vision to building a network for women to leverage and grooming up-and-coming ladies, the conference holds yearly and has never lacked a massive audience. Comprising a wide range of personalities from the media to top bank executives, over 4,000 people were in attendance at this year’s event.
The convener in her opening speech, urged women to maximise their talent, strengths and skills to do what matters now as time waits for no one. She also said legacies are built when we monitor our impact on others. She further said that lasting legacies are built when poor or maleficent behaviours and attitudes that dilute impact are done away with.
Speaking as the choice of keynote speaker, Dr. Iluyomade who is a lawyer, said; “Poor health is one of the obstacles standing against a woman’s career, particularly the ravaging disease called cancer. Taking care of our health enables us to maximise our full potential in all we take on.”
With focus on building lasting legacies, over ten presentations were delivered by the accomplished panelists – Bolanle Austen Peters, founder- Terra Kulture; TY Bello, accomplished photographer; Kofo Akinkugbe, founder and CEO- SecureID; Prof. Sade Ogunsola, Deputy Vice Chancellor- UNILAG; Prof. Enase Okonedo, Dean, Lagos Business School; Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Editor-in-Chief, Today’s Woman, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe- Founder and CEO- Zapphaire Events; Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro, Award winning Entrepreneur and Cecilia Akintomide, Independent Non-Executive Director at First Bank.
The convener, Dr. (Mrs.) Iluyomade said she believes believe that women enjoy each other’s company and draw strength from each other which was what informed her decision to start the Handmaidens, years ago as a vehicle to empower women to fulfill their destinies in Christ.