Building the lady and her brand
The theme of the event was appropriately chosen, The Evolving Woman. And there they gathered at the Four Point Sheraton Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos to try to chart a way for the future woman in the business environment. Some, if not all at the event, were already that type of woman they were there to create-the independent and financially sufficient female.
They are already chief executives of companies or businesses they founded by themselves. But as the event highlighted, they were this nation’s evolving women, the new modern woman in business and many, who are still in their mid-20’s, see the sky only as the terminating point of ambition.
And to make their dreams easily achievable was Miss Oladoyin Taiwo, who has initiated The Lady and Her Brand training programme for women. The Evolving Woman was the theme of last Saturday’s maiden edition in the series of trainings. And the 2016 edition brought together seasoned speakers and successful entrepreneurs to show them the way.
Mr. Niyi Adesanya, motivational speaker, Author and Managing Consultant of Fifth Gear Plus Consulting was the only male speaker in their midst, though he turned up with a male assistance. He did not discourage the new woman for trying to have a space in the economic world; his words give the impetus that she can make it, although he warned that the male would not easily give up their space in this world, which has all along been seen as a man’s world.
But it is possible, he stated, noting that a study from the Mckinsey Global Institute has observed that the world would be richer if all industries were ran by man and woman.“But the woman would have to take the opportunity because the man would not hand it over on a platter of gold”, he stressed.“The evolving woman would have to improve on the number of the successful and rich women in Nigeria, too,” he said.
But how does she take the opportunity? For one, they can create a business from a burning passion, he said, while pointing out that a woman will need to be competitive. Having the right knowledge would prepare her, too.According to him, in the Fourth Revolution of the world, robots would take over from human beings: “Acquire knowledge that will help you to compete with the robot”, Mr. Adesanya urged his audience.
“Make enough money to be able to buy the robots”, he emphasized.The competitiveness formulae, he said, are hard work, “work on oneself, know yourself, know something of everything, know everything of what you want to do,” he told them, adding that creativity, confidence and communication are the keys to what the post- modern woman should do to succeed.
He noted that when you look at life somebody is already doing what you want to do, however a woman could still succeed in her chosen industry, positing that that success would depend on what she could do differently under such condition. The example he gave was the emergence of the new generation banks in Nigeria today. They made a difference when they eliminated the long queues at the banks.
Mr. Adesanya reminded them that the right connection was important to standing out in business. A woman has to have the right connection to people who share in her dreams and she can build her relationships with what he calls E.B.A (Emotional Bank Balance). She would grow if she builds relationships downwards as she is making friends who are in the top echelon of business, he posited.
Ms Shade Ladipo, Executive Director WEConnect International in Nigeria and Founder, Avienti Destination, a Management Company, observed that the general impression would be that women in Nigeria are not serious in business. Many are there to support the family or just see it as a means of survival, she noted.
But their handicap comes from issues like training, which tells them that they could not aim so high as females.“We have been defined by the society, but the new woman would have to redefine herself by building a credible brand which represents who she is.”It would take courage, she cautioned: “Be ready to break rules, I had a mentor who told me that I could not do what I do today.”
“Identify what makes you different that would help you build an online presence; be ambitious,” she advised.Ms. Ladipo, who has made a reputation as helping women-owned businesses to succeed and has cofounded some NGOs, revealed that she never had formal training in all businesses that are run by her.
It is not an easy road, she advised too, adding that she cried at some point in time.The panelists were Francesca Uriri, the Founder, Leading Ladies Africa, who spoke on the 21st Century Leading Woman and Basic Brand Management Skills for a beginner; Funto Ibuoye, Founder, Beautiful Network,discussed Excellence in Building a Personal Brand: How to attract your Tribe.Stephanie Obi, Founder, Seph B-School discussed: Leveraging the Internet in Building a Bankable Bank.Damilola Owolabi CEO, Dreg Waters and Logistics Limited, spoke on Positioning Yourself in a Saturated Industry.