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IWD 2019: Women at top law firm, DOA, take action for gender balance

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With the celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), today, March 8th 2019, gender advocates are driving conversations around this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, pushing for a gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced employment and more gender-balance in economic empowerment.

Across the globe, organisations, including law firms are taking action for gender equality, gender parity and balance. In its IWD message, Kingsley Napley said, “We are proud to support the #BalanceforBetter campaign and we would be publishing a series of blogs and short podcasts to promote discussion around gender parity and the continued relevance of International Women’s Day.”

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In Nigeria, commercial law firm, Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe (DOA) joined global organisations and law firms across the world to take action for gender balance, as they celebrate the achievements of their women, whilst raising awareness against bias. They urge organisations to take action for equality and help forge a more gender-balanced world.

Speaking about gender parity, six DOA women, spoke about their experiences at a law firm that is #BalancedforBetter.

DOA Partner, Soibi Ovia, shared her experience as a working woman, wife, mother of three and a legal practitioner.

She said, “Success means finding a seamless work-life balance. Life at DOA has provided me with a conducive environment to build my professional career in dispute resolution whilst maintaining a happy home front.

“The culture at my firm is inspirational. With one voice we are changing the narrative and levelling the playing field across gender lines. It is for this reason that the theme for the IWD 2019, #BalanceForBetter, means a lot to me personally. DOA is phenomenal. DOA is balanced for better.

Bolanle Dabiri, on her part, gave an insight into the personality of a DOA woman. She said, “She has the opportunity to earn her seat at the table and I like being her because she is poised to achieve so much and nobody but her can stop her.”

Chika Oke, who is an avid advocate of gender equality, values the pedestal given to her as a DOA woman. She says, “There is no limit to what I can achieve,” even as she urges other women to challenge the status quo.

Kitan Arogundade, who spoke of stereotypes, is quick to point out that she is free from gender stereotype at her workplace. “There is no limit to what I can achieve. At DOA, I own my career, I am #BalancedForBetter,” she said.

Another DOA woman, Bubari Agara, is excited to see how women at DOA effortlessly demonstrate courage and leadership skills in various interactions throughout the course of the day. “I support women empowerment and I support being balanced for better,” said Agara.

Funke Alabi, on her part, believes that diversity and inclusion remain one of the ultimate focuses at DOA. “We strive to cultivate an environment that fosters an all-inclusive workforce through a dynamic approach where our team feels fully engaged and have a sense of value,” she said.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for the rights of women and a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

More recently, there seems to be a significant shift in attitudes towards women and society’s thoughts about equality. Women are gradually obtaining greater rights at work, greater equality in legislative rights, and increased visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life.

Unfortunately, gender parity isn’t there yet. Women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women are still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. This is why International Women’s Day is celebrated.

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