Sunday, 4th June 2023

100 Women in Finance berth in Lagos

Leading corporate amazons in Nigeria has reiterated the needs to empower women across the continent with business and investment

Women in Finance

Network to bridge gender gap

Leading corporate amazons in Nigeria has reiterated the needs to empower women across the continent with business and investment opportunities through networking, thereby closing the gender gaps.

The women came together under the platform of 100 women in Finance by the working group in Lagos at a cocktail reception with the Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Pullinger, was organised by Tariye Gbadegesin, ARM Harith Infrastructure Investment Corporation; Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Aruwa Capital Management; Taiwo Okwor, Africa Finance Corporation and Nieros Oyegun Soerensen of Verod Capital.

The gathering of 100 women in Finance, which was the first of its kind is to afford women in the financial industry the avenue to network, share ideas on the opportunities to harness the potential of women in the corporate world.

The event, held at the exclusive members club, Capital Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, also attracted top women chief executive officers of banks, capital allocators and CFOs.

Founder and Managing Partner, Aruwa Capital Management, Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, who spoke on behalf of the Nigeria women working group of 100 women in Finance, said the idea is bring women of like minds together to network and close the gender gap across all levels of the finance industry to ensure retention and promotion.

She said, “With organisations like 100 women in Finance which is a global organisation that brings together women in all finance roles, whether private equity, investment banking or corporates, to network and learn from one another. We have over 20 locations across the world.

“As a member of the working group that is now opening the chapter of 100 women in Finance in Nigeria, the organisation have received a grant from Dambisa Moyo to open some locations across Africa, including Kenya and South Africa. We are here today to unofficially launch the Nigeria chapter. I’m part of the working group that is leading the effort to make sure Nigeria is successfully opened.

“We have a very strong network of women in finance in Nigeria already, we have nine females bankers CEO’s and we want to continue to ensure that women are empowered and see that they have a voice and a global bot only local network. We want to ensure that there is progression and retention of women in finance, because sometimes, they are a lot of women at the bottom level, but no women at the top level, where there is a peer network, you can lean on as you progress in your career.”

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, 100 Women in Finance, Amanda Pullingger, commended the leadership role Nigeria women are playing in the financial sector in the country noting that the percentage of Nigeria women in the industry is higher than that of the Unitrd Kingdom and the United States.

“What is even amazing to me typically in Nigeria, is the numbers of senior women in high level roles in the finance industry both in banks and other financial institutions. The number of women who are chairing boards in the sector is far higher than in the UK and the US and the rest of the world. People don’t know who they are and they don’t know their stories. I think the 100 women can bring to Africa and into the three locations we are exploring is actually for the outside world to know what is going on here and giving women who are in the community in Nigeria platforms to network.”

The night also had a panel discussion from three amazons, namely Elizabeth Uwaifo, partner ASAFO & Co; Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, board member, Stanbic IBTC; and Olaitan Martins, Group Executive, Corporate Banking, First Bank Nigeria as they shared their experiences and how they scale the hurdles to remain at the top levels despite the fact that it somehow lonely as you get to the top level. This session was moderated by Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes of Aruwa Capital Management and also part of the Nigeria working group.

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