Captains of Industries, Administrators, Leaders, Industrialists, Philanthropists, Women, Parents and the media gathered at the MMS Women of Fortune Hall of Fame, (MMS WoDHof) public lecture on “National Integration Women’s Role in Leadership and Mentorship and 2017 Induction” at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Thursday 26th October, Lagos.
Mr. Kingsley Anaroke, Founder MMS WoFHoF, in his welcome address said the initiative has grown in the last five years as an NGO with the preoccupation of seeking means to impact the younger generation of women through mentorship pairing, career enhancement and celebration of women of substance.
He ended that today a statement will be made that the solution lies on leadership and mentorship, which is empowerment with bonding.
The Chairman of the occasion, Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi said without trying to preempt the likely submission of the Guest Speaker, she will like to emphasize that gender equality, business, capacity building, among others can only be achieved with the presence of peace.
The Chief Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, represented by the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Hassan Bello, noted that the present crop of women in the sector are ageing hence the need to train and mentor young women to take up responsibilities into the industry.
“We have women who have occupied the pinnacle of this important profession in shipping, maritime and admiralty in general. They are the captains of industries. We have them in terminal operations, lawyers and heads of government agencies and parastatals but we need to cultivate the crop of young women to take over or replace the ones who are going away.
“There is need to come together and evaluate things and see how people should be mentored into this profession especially when there are some fading disappearance. We are ageing rapidly and it is always good to catch them young.
“I know there are so many women organisations like WILAT, WISTA who are also into this venture to catch them young,” he said.
He said the council is also supporting initiatives to mentor young ones in various universities of the enormous potentials in the industry.
The summary of the Guest Speaker’s lecture
The Guest Speaker, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin in her presentation on the theme of the event National Integration: Women’s Role in Leadership and Mentorship. In her opening said “National integration is a critical building-block for the harmonization of the socio-political as well as the economic life of a heterogeneous society into one whole entity to enhance rapid and sustainable development.
Further she asserted that National integration is the awareness of a common identity amongst the citizens of a country. It means that though we belong to different tribes, religions and regions and speak different languages we recognize the fact that we are all one.
She further gave the statistics that:
Women form a significant part of the available talent pool. If we select our leaders from only half the population, that amount to waste of talent.
Ø 60% of graduates in all developed countries are female
Ø 80% consumer decisions are made by women
Ø Companies with women on the board have better corporate governance
Also highlighted the benefits of Women in Leadership position:
• Women at leadership positions play an influential role for the other working women; the other women can get inspiration and motivation from the successful and highly professional women. They learn from their experiences how to excel in their career development stage.
• Women in leadership offer uniquely important mentorship
• Women in leadership have a positive impact on workplace, economic and political policies
• In summary, women in leadership help to foster national integration
She finally tasked the Federal Government to initiate policies that will focus on women empowerment, according to her, government’s policies with regards to empowering women is terribly worrisome.
“A lot of our women are economically having challenges and this has served as a form of retrogression. Women are the lubricant for the survival of any entity “she said.
In her remarks, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex and Convener, Women in Logistics and Transport (WILAT) Aisha Ali Ibrahim advise women to embrace empowerment initiatives.
According to her, just few women are interested in empowerment initiatives.
She said, “The majority of women, when you talk to them about coming together for empowerment, they look at you as somebody wasting your own time. You try to make them understand that the power of togetherness is more than that of an individual which is why we have these groups who have focus on empowerment.
Highlights of the event was the induction of eight women including maritime lawyer,
Funke Agbor, (SAN) into the 2017 Hall of fame.