Expert urges women in leadership roles to mentor young girls to boost gender equality
A gender expert has called on women in leadership positions to mentor younger girls to bridge the gender equality gap in the society.
According to the expert, if women that have risen to the top of the ladder in their carrier serve as mentors to women to aid their professional growth, the girls will grow up to fulfil their potential
Gender equity and empowerment specialist Faith Solomon who stated this at the Girls Pro Mentorship virtual graduation ceremony yesterday said “if women that have risen to the top of the ladder in their field serve as mentors to women and aid their professional growth, help them gain access to opportunities, cultivate their confidence, it will help them reach their full leadership potentials.
While noting that the importance of mentorship for women cannot be overemphasized, Solomon stated that a 2021 report on gender equality in the private sector indicated that women held only 20 percent of executive positions in corporate Nigeria and about 7 percent of women are holding political positions, which is a far cry from the 35percent affirmative action in the gender policy.
She, however, advise the cohorts who were being mentored that having a plan, working hard at it, developing skills through learning programs, and providing assistance to others after achieving some level of career stability are all important for one to grow in a career.
The founder of the initiative Nihilola Ayanda stated the aim of the Girl Pro development program is to transform education for female undergraduates in Nigerian universities through mentorship programs.
She explained that about 9 girls went through the mentorship training aimed at churning out intelligent, excellent next generation of women leaders to become professionals in the different skills.
The Girl Pro initiative was launched in the context of statistics showing that only one in ten graduates are able to find employment after graduation and that three in ten girls must rely on their parents after graduation. It also stated that a staggering 600,000 graduates enter the labour force each year, with 30% of them remaining unemployed.
She disclosed that of the 57 applications that were received 9 was carefully selected and would be graduating today
The cohort includes girls from the University of Benin, Nsuka, Lagos, Ibadan, Abubakar Tafa Balewa, Bauchi and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
A Girls Pro Mentor Mrs Eghosa Gbadegesin Said “mentoring under the auspices of Girl Pro Nigeria has been a rewarding and inspirational experience. This has further enlightened me on the need to encourage intentional and systematic mentorship programs within our society.”
“Mentees are like gems undergoing refining. Mentors process their potential, transforming them into enviable personalities that they had previously only dreamt of becoming.”
“Never underestimate or write off the potential of any individual under mentorship. Every individual’s potential is limitless.”