Marketers, communicators seek gender equality
• The Guardian shines at WIMCA 2019
In today’s world, marketers are currently seeking new ways to connect and engage the female population globally.
According to a survey by Worldometers, women represent about 49.56 per cent out of the 2018 world population of 7.62 billion people.
Specifically, in Nigeria, organisations and different bodies have spearheaded events aimed at motivating women with the right attitude and zeal for greater exploits at all level.
Last weekend, a women’s conference and awards tagged Women In Marketing & Communications Conference/Award (WIMCA) held the third edition titled; ‘Better the Balance in the Brands and Marketing Communications Industry.’
In line with the International Women’s Day 2019 theme, it was a way of charting new direction for professional women seeking long-term engagement.
Findings show that Nigeria has more girls/ladies in secondary and tertiary schools, yet only few women occupy top positions in the corporate world.
A cursory look, globally, revealed that women represent 6.6 per cent of world CEOs in 2019; a considerable jump from 2018’s 4.8 per cent.
For instance only four women, out of the top 20 Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) members, are at the helms of affairs in different agencies.
In the banking sector, two out of the 21 commercial banks in Nigeria have female chief executive officers. The 10 major media independent agencies on the other hand do not have any woman as heads.
Other sub-sectors of the industry cutting across both agencies and clients have very few women piloting the affair of their organisations. However, a good number of women are calling the shots as chief marketing officers with opportunities for more women engagement on the client’s side of the business.
Corroborating this, Joshua Ajayi, the Convener of WIMCA and Publisher, Brand Communicator, said the event was designed to identify the current trends in marketing communications, while addressing the career challenges of female marketing professionals.
He said, “the theme is a reminder to us in this industry that the race is on for gender-balanced boardrooms, governments, workforces, media coverage, income and wealth distributions, among others. Interestingly, the industry, the nation, the continent and the world generally, have, in the few couple of years, recorded history-defining achievements in gender balance, though, there is more to be done.”
Speaking on the theme, Ademola Adebise, MD/CEO of Wema Bank and keynote speaker, represented by Tunde Mabawonku, chief finance officer at the bank, said a lot of women in marketing and communications industry are doing great. He, therefore, urged women to support one another, be focused and deliberate about their goals in the quest to ensure that more of them get to the top in their career and to the boardroom.
Also speaking on Contemporary Trends In Marketing To Women, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, pointed out that his organisation had more women who had risen to the top in their careers and more were still springing up.
He urged other organisations to deploy creative ways in addressing female related challenges.
Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC said that women were more interested in the functionality of any good or services, explaining that more women invest 90 per cent of their earning in their financial and investment services.
Oyefeso-Odusami added, “we look at our customers and what their needs are and we create around that to suit their needs. For instance, during the raining season where flooding is predominant, we educate our customers on how to stay safe and if you look at our business, the aspect of insurance brokage plays a major role here.
“We create communication to encourage people to save and invest, and we do that through various technological means in which digital is one of them,” she said.
Tolulope Adedeji, marketing director, AB InBev West Africa, also said women are in the season of empowerment and are readily interested in anything that would empower them and make their lives better.
The issue of organisations choosing between equity and equality in their corporate philosophy has always been on the front burner – Equity is the quality of being fair and impartial while Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
Doing justice to this during the second session was Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Group Chief, Sustainability & Governance, Dangote Industries Limited.
Speaking on the sub-theme, Better the Balance in the Work Place; Equity or Equality? she said women in business were always dedicated but in their quest to the top must “define and understand the problem, align with a global movement.”
Prominent and outstanding female marketing professionals in the industry were awarded on the day for their contributions to the growth of the industry and Nigeria at large.
In the individuals’ awards category, Ore Famurewa, Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc was crowned the Outstanding Female Corporate Communications Professional of the year (In the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Category).
Also in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Category, Nsima Ogedi-Alakwe, Marketing Director, Unilever Nigeria was awarded the Outstanding Female Marketing Professional of the year.
Also, The Guardian’s Margaret Mwantok, emerged the Outstanding Female Brands and Marketing Journalist of the Year, while Tola Obi, Chief Operating Officer, Centerspread Grey was awarded the Emerging Female Creative Advertising Professional of the year.
Other individual awards are: Ify Onukwuba, Managing Director, Nigeria Advertising Services Limited, Outstanding Female Out of Home Advertising Professional of the year; Khadijat Okunnu-Lamidi, Founder/CEO, Slice Media, Emerging Female Out of Home Advertising Professional of the year among other.
Access Bank Plc, emerged the Outstanding Female Friendly Bank of the Year, while the Outstanding Female Centric Foundation of the Year went to Felix King Foundation.