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US Department of State trains Nigerian women on effective leadership at workplace

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F. John Bray

The United States of America Department of State has trained Nigerian women on achieving effective leadership at workplace.

The Department called for a structured mentoring process as a better tool to enhance the bottom line.

The US department said the method seeks to connect rising stars with leaders, retain best employees and develop future leaders, as well as provide a mechanism for knowledge sharing between older and younger employees.

In a remark by the United States Consul General, John Bray, where he spoke on “Transforming the Future: Women Mentoring Women in the Workplace”, gave instances where its workforce stood at 27 per cent most of whom were clerical staff, but after initiating a structured mentoring strategy, it has grew to 40 per cent.

The Consul General also noted that it assisted women to achieve senior positions in both the private and public sector as a priority.
He said:  “The number of female diplomats has remained steady at 30 percent for the past decade. The percentage of senior positions held by women at the State Department is at an all-time high – 30 percent.

“Through structured mentoring programmes run by Executive Women at State and our Human Resources bureau we are working to increase the number of women in line with our goal of having a workforce that reflects the makeup of U.S. society.”

At the training session, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, Darcy Zotter, introduced the programme of structured mentoring to six selected sectors, including tech, education, finance, creative arts, fashion and the media.

Zotter defined mentoring as a process whereby a mentor and mentee build a candid relationship of trust to continually discuss the mentee’s professional development and approaches that will lead the mentee to the top.

She said the need for structured mentoring training of Nigerian women became pertinent to encourage women as they are always under represented at the most senior levels in the workplace, a case where companies also can retain and engage women at faster pace.

She said there was need to introduce structured method of mentoring as Nigeria still practices informal method of mentoring which is in line with what American companies use, a good way she explained is to enhance the bottom line.

“The takeaways of this conference are 71 per cent of 500 companies in the United States has structured mentoring programmes. Why? It enhances the bottom line.”

“We are hoping by introducing the structured mentoring programme to leaders in six different industries in Nigeria, this will be another tool you have to enhance the bottom line.

“For instance, 50 per cent of our population is women, therefore we want our workforce to be 50 per cent women. To do that, we’ve got to retain, train them and we’ve got to encourage them. That is one of our human resource problems that we are working on.

“We have given everybody all of the tools that they need and all of the information so that they can launch their own structured mentoring programme,” Zotter said.


In this article:
Darcy ZotterJohn Bray
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