Sunday, 4th June 2023

Live awake conference tackles bias women face in diverse professional spheres

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
19 March 2022   |   4:17 am
Women have been charged to be the change they hope to see in society by breaking the gender, cultural, financial and economic biases they encounter in their various fields.

Executive Director, Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Hansatu Adegbite (Left); founder, SKLD Integrated services Limited, Temioloa Adepetun; founder, Immerse coaching company and convener Live Awake Conference, Debola Deji-Kurumi; chief commercial officer, Mixta Africa, Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani; Abiodun Adediran and Bodam Taiwo at the 2022 edition of the Live Awake conference, held at MUSON centre, in Lagos last weekend.

Women have been charged to be the change they hope to see in society by breaking the gender, cultural, financial and economic biases they encounter in their various fields. They are also urged to live above self-doubt, play up their strengths to contribute to societal growth.

This was the thrust at the International Women’s Day edition of the Live Awake conference hosted by Immerse coaching company, with the theme: Break the Bias – Rise of The Future-Forward FemaleTM.

In a keynote address delivered by the Executive Director, Women In Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Hansatu Adegbite, she said that it is important for women to identify a network that helps them grow, “be in a congregation that propels you to achieving your dreams and moves you forward.

“As you grow in your area or sector, always have seeds you leave behind, that way you are grooming more women to take more space. Also, know that as women, it is not every opportunity or venture that you jump into. There is a place for analyses so you don’t burn. In our society where there are issues we are faced with on a daily basis, women should look out for what role they can play to provide solution to society and most importantly, know your limits.”

Adegbite added, “When people say women don’t support women, I am a living proof because every time I am in a critical situation in my life, a woman picks me up. There’s no successful person who has had a smooth sail, your job is to identify him or her, learn from their stories and know that whatever you are going through is for a moment.”

Convener, Live Awake conference and founder Immerse Coaching company, Debola Deji-Kurumi said that conference is essential to awaken the minds of young women to shape our collective future through vision, leadership and collaboration.

While defining a visionary as a person who has an image of future possibilities and is willing to take up the work to get there, she stressed that whatever it is that burns in your heart is what keeps you going. “Do the work that gets your hands dirty and don’t be caught in the mass mediocrity of humanity.”

According to award-winning dancer, Kaffy Shafau-Ameh, she decided to create a lane and opportunity where there was none. “For me, I broke the bias that existed not from the industry, but the bias from my family who thinks a woman shouldn’t dance, the society and culture that frowns at it. Humanity is transactional and once you are able to understand what value you are adding, that gives you self worth, self-confidence and the capacity to be more.

On building wealth as a way to break the bias, Business and Executive coach, Abiola Adediran, said, “I see a lot of transition in this time and age, unlike the time of our mothers where they don’t want to have money conversations. It is almost as if they have been told not to run after money because they have a husband to take care of their needs, so whenever someone comes talking about money it feels like talking about evil. So we have been wired not to see ourselves as people that can amass wealth.

“Women are not in the forefront of discussing capitals for businesses, with women investment hubs coming together and lots of sensitization on financial literacy for women going on, we need to embrace more to step into a place where we ought to be. It is not only men that should talk about money, women should be able to talk about not just wealth, but also multi-generational wealth so that women do not feel incapacitated to achieve the many dreams laid in their hearts.”

On breaking the bias, Chief Commercial officer, Mixta Africa, Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani said, “we have to start with our own bias against ourselves, the limitations we have placed on ourselves have hindered us more and until we let that go, we will only hold ourselves down.” While Founder, SKLD Integrated services limited, Temilola Adepetun stressed on the importance of prioritizing your mental health alongside work, “The line between sanity and insanity is paper-thin so prioritize your mental health to maximize productivity.”