WFM holds second women sectorial engagement series
Urges Support For Women In STEM, Entrepreneurship
Senior Director, Andela Nigeria, Taiwo Judah-Ajayi has urged that young girls must be engaged early on in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in order to change the narrative of who can be in those fields as most people presently believe it is strictly for boys and men.
Putting forth recommendations for enhancing the participation of girls in science in Nigeria, Ajayi posited that partnership and data quality and accessibility are paramount. She went on to add that teachers undergo sensitivity training and women in science must encourage and help other women to get into science. “Government and private individuals must build STEM initiatives in Nigeria and there must be the application of story-telling and collaborative pedagogy to nurture interest.”
On what the society can do to support women in tech, Ajayi said we must all be mindful of how we talk about women and stop being overly protective of women, shielding them from what many erroneously believe are not feminine fields/activities. “To foster gender diversity, employers must identify and address unconscious biases in job descriptions, involve more women in hiring processes, create flexible work-life policies, conduct gender diversity training and leadership development programs for women technologists,” she said.
Speaking at the second edition of the Women Sectorial Engagement Series organised by Women’s radio, Wfm 91.7 and supported by Cellulant with the theme, Gender Diversity and Women Productivity, Ajayi who was one of the guest speakers advised the women present to become role models and mentor other women as much as possible, speak up and make excellence a personal brand identity.
Another guest speaker, Uzo Nwani, Client Executive at Global Markets lamented the fact that women in ICT constitute less that 10 per cent, noting that it is not improving despite better awareness. “Parents need to ensure they’re sharing the right messages with their kids especially the girl child. Stop stereotyping girls and allow them be and do what they want.”
Regretting that many women have technology but don’t engage it properly to its maximum use, she said many women fail to use technology to promote their businesses even though there are more female entrepreneurs than male ones presently. “You are leaving money on the table for others by excluding the use of technology. Women are naturally entrepreneurial but usually hide their natural skills for one reason or the other. Strike the right balance, discover your goal, focus on it, build it and ensure you become an expert in that area.
Urging women to be ‘selfish’, the assistant General Manager, AXA Mansard Insurance, Abisola Nwoboshi, said they should learn to put themselves first as that is the only way they could help others. Oyo Governorship aspirant, Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu was also present to advise participants to go for their dreams and ignore the obstacles in the way of pursuing greatness and their ambition. “We need more female CEO’s, more female bosses and more women to show the way to other women that it is possible and it can be done.”
Toun Okewale Sonaiya, CEO of (Wfm 91.7) stated that the station belongs to every woman, as it remains committed to promoting and developing Nigerian women and families. She told the women present that they cannot play in the field if they don’t put in the hard work, urging women to change the narrative to favour them by supporting one another as much as possible and not letting their dreams and ambitions die.