Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Nuggest From WIMBIZ 2017 Annual Lecture By Nimi Akinkugbe

The 2017 WIMBIZ Annual Lecture themed Bold Steps in the Face of Uncertainty”which held on Tuesday, March 7 challenge women to push the envelope and chart new territories in line with our objective to empower women to achieve their potential and become meaningful contributors to economic development. The Lecture by Mo'Abudu was delivered on the eve of the International Women’s Day, in efforts to align with this year’s theme, “Be Bold for Change”. 

Here are some nuggets from Mo Abudu's Lecture compiled by Nimi Akinkugbe 

Who are you? What is your Unique Selling Proposition? (Mo’s is persistence and consistency). What are your strengths and weaknesses? Build on your strengths but give some attention to your weaknesses. You can take steps to correct some of your shortcomings.

It is your responsibility to seek and find your God given purpose. You are more likely to excel if you do what you are made to do. 

You can't achieve your dream by staying put in your room. You do have to venture out to meet people and be connected. 

Believe in your dream no matter how big or scary it is. Write your ideas down. There will be “Dream Makers” and "Dream Killers.” Don't get put off by the dream killers; learn from their criticism. If necessary, go back to the drawing board and come back stronger. 

You can't do everything alone. Collaborate with experts that can execute. Build partnerships. Don't be casual about such relationships; trust is critical. Partnerships can and do break up. Legal agreements should clearly address such eventualities, including exit. 

Your team drives your success. Invest in your people and empower them. 

What are you about? How relatable is your business? It is important to make noise about your business. Invest in promoting your brand and let people know what you do. By embracing social media, you can share your story widely.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

‘When the woman starts talking, the men switch off’ - Christine Lagarde on why gender parity is taking so long

Christine Lagarde shared her thoughts on the world’s glacial progress towards gender parity in a Davos session on disrupting the status quo of gender roles

“We have been talking about it for as long as I can remember,” she said, noting that, according to World Economic Forum research, it would take 170 years for the economic gender gap to close, with the rate of progress stalling in the wake of the financial crisis.

The head of the IMF, who was was formerly France’s first female finance minister, then gave some examples to shed light on why parity remains elusive.

“We have to identify our own biases,” she said. “Sometimes you have to identify that when a board member who happens to be a woman takes the floor, guess what, many of the male board members start to withdraw physically, they start to look at their papers, to look at the floor… and you need to disrupt that.”

Lagarde, who once walked out of a job interview when she was told her prospects would be limited as a woman, also said: “When I was Finance Minister, very often the presidents of companies would come and report on their strategies, and when I asked them about their board composition, they would always say - ‘I would love to have a woman on the board, I just can’t find any, and the ones I know are fully booked.’ So I had a bit of paper in my bag with the names of 20 women on it.”
Progress is not easy or straightforward, though. She said that in order for the IMF to reach its gender quotas, in some areas they would have to hire only women for the next five years, which made her uncomfortable. Once they had reached the top, women should support other women: “It’s our responsibility to help others progress along the way.”

In the same session, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the Oscar-winning documentary maker, took aim at the obsession with women and motherhood.

“Women, even if they’re very, very successful, they keep getting asked: how do you juggle family and work? How many male CEOs get asked, how do you juggle being a CEO and having a family? I refuse to answer the question. I am a film-maker. What is a female film-maker?”

Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama’s foreign minister, shared an anecdote on how family roles can be deeply ingrained - even for high-flying women.

“I’ve always been a professional but I’ve always taken care of my family… My daughter needed to go to the doctor. I told her, the appointment is made, Daddy is taking you, and she asked, but will he know what to tell the doctor? And I said, but he’s sitting right next to you... Many times men just don’t take on some roles because we don’t let them.”

Article written by Ceri Parker, Commissioning Editor, Agenda, World Economic Forum