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Survey, experts draw attention to growing digital divide among genders

By Guardian Nigeria
13 April 2022   |   4:02 am
The Managing Director/CEO, Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), Chizor Malize, has called on organisations to equip millennial females with the support and resources needed to cope with the challenges of the corporate world.

Chizor Malize, Managing director and CEO, FITC

•As FITC boss seeks more innovation, creativity in workplace
The Managing Director/CEO, Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), Chizor Malize, has called on organisations to equip millennial females with the support and resources needed to cope with the challenges of the corporate world.

She said it is important to support them to excel in their careers without compromising their responsibilities on the home front.

She made this known at the Employee Marketplace (EMP) 2022 themed ‘Millennial Women in the Workplace: Building Career Resilience Post Pandemic’ held recently in Lagos.

EMP is a knowledge-sharing network designed to deliver insights on the changing workplace and how today’s organisations could effectively harness the talent of millennials to stimulate workplace innovation.

The event, the fourth series of EMP, brought together business leaders, entrepreneurs and millennials from diverse sectors across Nigeria to take part in the review of its research study findings, which focused on millennial women in the workforce.

According to the EMP convener and the Group Head of Strategic Brand Management and Communication, Polaris Bank Ltd, Nduneche Ezurike, the objective of the study was to determine the extent to which millennial women in the workplace believe their work environment enables gender parity and inclusiveness.

That set the tone for the panel conversation session comprising Malize, Ezurike and the Founder of WILAN Global, Abosede George-Ogan.

Ezurike said organisations and senior leaders alike have a responsibility to make their workplaces conducive for women, bearing in mind that the female folks have a lot to offer irrespective of the hurdles before them. She added that millennials are innovative, extremely dynamic and creative with a greater number of them coming into the workforce.

“Today’s reality has shown that with the millennials, there is barely any line across gender because everyone is aspiring to do great things. A greater number of women are coming into the workplace, challenging themselves to take the reins in a lot of areas. The problem, therefore, is retention,’’ Malize noted.

George-Ogan said 21st-century skills should be taught to young girls from secondary schools. She observed that this is a defining phase in their lives, adding that skills such as digital application, public speaking and critical thinking should be consciously included in the school curriculum as these are catalysts.

The principal consultant and CEO of NECCI Consulting, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, called on women to rewrite their narratives. She added that female leaders should follow due process irrespective of the challenges and look out for outcomes and results.

The report said females in the workplace are either lacking in digital skills or are yet to fully embrace them while Malize noted that there is a disparity between genders in regards to digital knowledge, usage, deployment and conversion.

“Men are more curious; they want to unbundle things. This attitude can be seen and projected onto technology platforms as they want to be able to understand what is going on behind these platforms.

“Women, on the other hand, are more amenable to nurturing, preserving and grooming whereas a lot of the things around technology sit around the things that can be unbundled and developed. But that is not to say that it should be a limitation for women,” she said.