Monday, 17 October 2016

Inspiring The Next Wave of Female Leaders At #WIMBIZAnnualConference

The theme for 2016 International Women’s Day was Pledge for Parity with a focus on getting everyone to accelerate gender parity. The conversation about gender equality in spheres of life particularly in the workspace is an ongoing one that is guaranteed to continue until the desired goal is achieved. Women have and continue to make great strides, accomplishing various feats in several fields, proving that they are just as capable as their male counterparts and sometimes better. So why aren’t there more women in positions of leadership?

At #WIMBIZAnnualConference, we will spotlight the state of gender parity in Africa, as it achieves global prominence as a key Sustainable Development Goal and private sector buzzword. Panelists will examine the different perspectives and what (if any) progress has been made in bridging the gender gap. Participants will be inspired and left with a strong sense of what today's crop of aspiring female leaders should do to leverage increasing focus on diversity to build successful businesses and careers in the private and public service.

Do you know that the WIMBIZ Annual Conference is the largest and most inspiring Conference for women in Nigeria? If you have not registered to attend, what are you waiting for? Visit or send an email to

Friday, 23 September 2016

An Unexpected Way to Stop People from Quitting by Ryan Holmes CEO at Hootsuite

At my company, year after year we score high in our employee satisfaction surveys. Yet, despite these results, we still see a sizeable chunk of annual staff turnover. 

This has always bothered me. If people love the company, why are they leaving? In part, it’s simply a sign of the times. Millennials change jobs more frequently: an average of once every 2.5 years during the first decade out of college. That’s double the rate of their Gen X predecessors. 

But I wanted to better understand the actual reasons why this happens. So over the past year, we spoke to a range of employees in an effort to find out. In doing so, I realized it wasn’t about compensation (or, at least, just about compensation). Nor was it problems with bosses or coworkers. Many people were leaving because they wanted to try something new. They wanted to be challenged with a different role and different set of responsibilities.

We were losing A players, in other words, because they were bored. Personal development is far more than just a buzzword to Millennials. In fact, 65% of Millennials say that personal development is the most important factor on the job, according to a UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School study. And this doesn’t mean just leveling up an existing skill set. It means being able to explore and internalize different skills entirely: to learn something new. 

I can relate. As a career entrepreneur, I know the allure of moving from one venture to another, gaining new knowledge with each pivot. But that same dynamic doesn’t always work within a company, where people are hired for discrete roles and expected to excel within clear boundaries. If one of our developers decides he or she is bored with coding and wants to pursue a love of blogging for a living instead, for example, that person probably needs to find a new place to work. 

Or maybe not. 

A lesson from Google’s bungee program
The more I thought about this, the more I realized a pretty universal hiring truth. Great employees are great employees. It’s not the particular skill set that sets them apart, as much as their intrinsic attitude, focus and dedication. And all of these things can transfer readily from role to role. So why not give these exceptional employees a chance to try out new positions within the company, rather than risk losing them altogether? 

Luckily, I had Google to turn to for some inspiration. For some time, Google has operated a unique “bungee program,” which empowers employees to plunge into an entirely different department for a brief period. After learning about the program from my HR team, I wondered if we could flesh out a more robust version of this—with clear rules and guidelines—in our own company. 

The goal was straightforward: to keep good employees in the company. The mechanics proved a bit tricky, though. Which employees would be eligible? What about the hole left when they leave their current roles? How do we ensure that real learning is going on and this isn’t just a waste of everyone’s time? 

We ultimately settled on some ground rules for a "stretch program" of our own. First, participants need to be performing at or above expectations already, based on performance reviews—success in one role is a powerful predictor of success elsewhere, after all—and to have been with the company for at least a year. Assignments to other divisions are capped at three months, giving participants up to a full quarter to test the waters.

To avoid disruption, "stretch" employees spend roughly one day a week on their adopted team during this 90-day period and the remaining time in their official role. Their existing manager needs to sign off on the move and be okay with the reduction in job duties. And importantly, participants are required to draft "learning plans" in advance and get approval from both their current and rotational manager.

At the conclusion of the trial, if the new role is truly working for everyone—and if the new manager has a need and the resources to bring on a new staffer—then that employee can make the jump full-time, once his or her old role has been backfilled. If things don’t work out, no harm done—they're free to return full-time to the original role or try on a new assignment.

How we’re beta-testing our new “stretch program”
Here at Hootsuite, this program is still in pilot stage. We kicked it off earlier this summer with roughly a half-dozen participants, but we’re already seeing some positive results.

A leading salesperson originally focused on large, enterprise-level companies has stretched over to an assignment in our product management group. He's now working alongside our VP of operations to come up with ways of standardizing the life cycle for our products. He spends about 10 hours a week in this role and will wrap up his rotation at the end of September.

A social-media marketing specialist with experience using Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools has jumped over to our corporate development team. He’s taking that tactical, hands-on knowledge of social media and is now evaluating how to incorporate newly acquired products into our larger business strategy. He dedicates about 15 hours a week to this rotation, which concludes in September.

Whether these individuals end up transitioning full-time to their new roles or deciding to return to their home teams, the program still represents a win-win in many respects. Employees who participate get a chance to try out a new calling, without ever leaving the company (which is a whole lot easier than hunting down a new job … only to find out it wasn’t what you were looking for). They build a professional network that extends beyond their team and add a new skill to their toolkit. In the best-case scenario, they actually find a brand new career. 

The benefits flow the other way, too. Hootsuite gets to retain smart, passionate employees who want to grow and evolve. Corporate silos are broken down and employees gain insight—and empathy—into other areas of the business. If you’ve never worked in sales, for instance, you might emerge with newfound appreciation for the hustlers who keep revenue coming in the door.

Ultimately, the desire to learn and evolve isn’t just a Millennial virtue—it’s pretty universal. Giving employees a chance to truly grow—without having to pull up stakes and leave the company—is a common-sense tactic to attract and keep great talent.

Friday, 9 September 2016

My WIMBIZ Story by Foluso Gbadamosi

My name is Foluso Gbadamosi and I absolutely love WIMBIZ. My most impactful experience with WIMBIZ was in 2015 when I took the Women on Boards program that lasted for 3 months in collaboration with the IE Business School, Madrid. I had recently been appointed to the Board of Industrial & General Insurance Company and heard about this leadership development course specifically tailored for women like myself. The course balanced all aspects of being a board member including skills like personal-branding and communication skills. It fit very well into my schedule because it was a mixture of online and face-to-face classes both in Lagos and Madrid. After taking that course, I got more involved with WIMBIZ, becoming an Associate member. I have since taken more courses and attended several events.

WIMBIZ has impacted several aspects of my professional life. Outside of my 9-5 job, I juggle several other passions that WIMBIZ has helped me realize and improve upon. I co-founded and sit on the board of a technology company called 8191 Solutions which caters to SMEs, a passion brought alive through some of my WIMBIZ interactions. I also co-founded a non-profit organization called Serving with Love, which has been in existence for about 3 years and has now been properly structured, also motivated by my WIMBIZ interactions. Finally, managing all the several hats I wear has been made easier due to learning from several WIMBIZ mentors. 

Being a part of such an amazing organization with so many excellent resources has been of great benefit to me. I have been inspired to be my best self, improving my skills through the training I have received. I have also learnt that I am an ambassador not just for myself but for other women as well. I have had the opportunity to network and meet with many amazing women who have become a part of my daily life.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Wellness with Arinola- How to make Lasting Lifestyle Changes!

We usually attempt to all the changes required in one quick swoop and this can be quite overwhelming. You get discouraged and say ha! I am not seeing any results! It has been said time and again that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

So when it comes to this albatross of Lifestyle Changes, let's do it one step at a time! When you conquer one and have mastered it, then choose another one ,once you master that, chose yet another one .....And these will become your new normal! They all become second nature to you and the amazing energy, vitality, radiant skin, productivity, emotional stability and better health you enjoy will spur you on . Just take baby steps, one step at a time and you would find Lifestyle Changes are achievable.
Remember, Life is all about Choices!!
I wish you Optimum Health and Well-Being!!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

More Than Half of Women Fear Their Gender Will Hurt Their Career by Zlata Rodionova

More than half of female students believe gender may hold them back in their career, a study has found. Only 42 per cent of women are confident that their gender will have no influence on their pay and their career progression, compared to more than 70 per cent of men, according to the first national Think Future Study from KPMG and the 30% Club, a group of chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance through voluntary action.
The study launched by Cambridge undergraduate Helena Eccles in November has polled over 20,000 students at 21 universities. It found that more than 70 per cent of young women are confident in their own abilities but doubtful that a traditional career path will enable them to progress their careers as far as they want.
The findings also highlight the issue of “gendered” sectors, which continues to restrict talent pools in certain industries.
Nearly half of female students felt that a sector’s reputation for gender equality would influence their decision about working in it. While only 27 per cent of male students considered gender equality as a requirement for working in an industry.
Financial services was the 4th most popular sector choice for men and only the 12th most popular choice for women, according to Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club.
Melanie Richards, vice chairman of KPMG UK and a member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, said it is “concerning” that women are considerably less optimistic than men about their future career prospects.

“As business leaders we need to play an active role to promote gender parity, bust these myths and recast the image we are projecting to attract the best talent, regardless of their gender. Within our own firm this includes setting targets to recruit, promote and bring through female talent,” Richards said.
“We know better commercial performance comes from the innovation that happens between different people, and we want to recruit graduates from a wider range of backgrounds and disciplines. Having a more diverse workforce gives us a better array of viewpoints on client matters and challenge around our actions,” she added.
Finding a job they enjoy, having time to spend with family and friends and being intellectually fulfilled were the top three priorities for job satisfaction when it came to entering the working world for both male and female students, according to the study.