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Entrepreneurs move against gender stereotypes in workplace

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Dr Kemi DaSilva-Ibru


Time has come for organisations to take deliberate steps aimed at reducing gender gap in leadership positions by changing policies that reinforce wrong perception of women capacity, NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NEWW) has said. 
 
President of the group, Mrs. Funmilayo Arowoogun, said this at a forum organised by NEWW in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) with support from Action Aid Nigeria to mark the International Women’s Day celebration in Lagos.
  
Arowoogun said it had become important for stakeholders to press forward, and continue to raise awareness against stereotyped beliefs that some things or some places are not meant for a group of people because they are women.
  
The forum attracted the founder, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru; the President of Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Saratu Iya Aliyu; Vice President of NEWW, Olakitan Wellington and the Director-General of Nigerian NECA, Timothy Olawale, among others.
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She noted that for years, the growing pressure around the world had been equality, gender parity and equal pay, which had propelled gender equality up the business agenda.

“In boardrooms around the world, business leaders are turning into the reality of the business case around inclusive practices making not only business sense but also being the right thing to do. In a gender-equal world, everyone benefits, everyone wins,” she added. 
  
The Chairman, ICCN, Babatunde Savage, represented by Mrs. Olubunmi Osuntuyi, also called for policies that would encourage the appointment of women in key positions and to ensure that such appointments are not lopsided.
  
He advised women to be more outspoken on issues that affect their development, boost their capacity and fight victimisation. He stated that ICCN had been in the pursuit of a 50/50 balance in staffing and employment.
 
The Chairperson, IWD 2021 Committee, Mrs. Maryrose Adebayo said despite the challenges women face, they have a fierce and robust spirit, which propel them to excel in their respective areas. 
  
She said women had faced issues ranging from relegation, deprivation, dehumanization, abuse, and rape but are now in a new dispensation, breaking barriers in every profession.
  
“We choose to challenge gender inequality and rule our world. We choose to ride upon the wings of our challenges and soar like the eagle in the new normal. Our words can change the whole world because we are all together,” Adebayo said.

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