Wfm 91.7 holds maiden women sectoral engagement series
The founder of WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers) a gender empowerment and mentoring initiative for professional career women, Mrs Amina Oyagbola, has called for a gender equality mindset in the workplace to enable gender diversity. She said fostering implementation of gender diversity in the workplace is a win-win for everyone.
Lamenting the poor representation of female lawmakers in the country presently, she described it as the worst in the world. “As at today, just four percent of our lawmakers are women. There has never been a female governor or president and the only female presidential candidate that came forward in the last elections, the support was almost non-existent. To make matters worse, Nigeria rejected the Equal Gender and Opportunity Bill in 2016, citing “lack of merit.”
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Women Sectoral Engagement Series organised by Women’s radio, Wfm 91.7 and supported by Eko Electric Distribution Company (EKEDC) during the week, Oyagbola went on to lament that women are vastly underrepresented in every sector in the society with just five percent of women being CEOs of top companies and 30 percent owning equities in companies today.
Presenting a paper on fostering the implementation of gender equity and women productivity in the workplace, she went on to add that men still make up the greater number in decision making forums and this has to change. Urging men to stop paying lip service to driving gender inclusion, diversity and parity, she marveled that despite women making up 52 percent of the country’s population, this higher number doesn’t reflect in the greater scheme of things. “It will take 217 years to achieve gender equality in the workplace if all things remain equal,” she revealed.
She went on to challenge companies and industries that find it difficult not only to employ women in entry-level positions but also most times refuse to promote women to top management positions. “The higher you look in many Nigerian companies, the fewer the number of women you see in boardrooms and heads of department. This has to change and change will only happen if both men and women step up to this responsibility. Most times, men take decisions for women when they are not even in the room and this harms us most times.”
Excellence is not gender related, as women are good at multi-tasking, according to Hadiza Bala Usman, MD Nigerian Ports Authority who was represented by Sarah Ballah Principal Manager SERVICOM.
Commending Women Radio for the workshop, Ibiyemi Odusi, Country Manager Rwandair said workplace diversity is a necessity for organizational innovation and performance, urging women to be more confident in their abilities and improve their networking skills. “Women believe harmful stereotypes and biases that make them feel they aren’t playing on a level field with men. The glass ceiling is cracked, now we need to shatter it completely.”
Organisations represented were from the maritime, aviation, IT, banking, law, Engineering, media, consultancy, telecommunications, media, government agencies and charities.Toun Okewale Sonaiya, CEO, Women Radio (Wfm 91.7) stated that the station belongs to every woman, as it remains committed to promoting and developing Nigerian women. She told the women present that they cannot play in the field if they don’t put in the hard work and urged women to change the narrative by supporting themselves as much as possible. She said the second Engagement Series, which is on banking, would take place in August this year.
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