IWD 2021: Women charged to rise above limitations, take up leadership roles

As celebration of the international women’s day continues across the globe, C&I Leasing Plc, foremost business service conglomerate has lent its voice to the call for gender inclusion and parity in an increasingly changing world.  

In a webinar organized by the company on Monday, discussions centered around the challenges women face due to societal norms and cultural restrictions which remains pervasive in some climes and limits their participation in the decision-making process.    

Speaking to some of the challenges, Alero Onosode, a human capital expert and leadership coach said there are various misconceptions around the issue of gender equality. She explained that while some believe there are no obvious hindrances to women development, others feel that there are certain roles or activities other genders are better suited for. She said some others wrongly assume that investing in women does not pay off or that women are too emotional for leadership roles because they lack confidence.

Mrs. Onosode urged women to speak their truth while correcting wrong narratives and achieving their full potentials.  

“Women must take a position to articulate and address misconceptions around gender equality because sometimes these come from a place of ignorance. We need to challenge the limitations, mindsets and biases including those that women carry. We need to have conversations around the values that we hold on to. We also need to challenge the cultural and societal expectations along with policies and systems,” she enthused.

“We must be authentic; we must come to our full being…to the entirety of who we are.  At any point in time and at any opportunity that comes our way, we must be the best we can be.”

Also speaking at the webinar, Ibukun Omololu, a gender parity and women development enthusiast said although gender inequality has been a barrier to socio-economic development for a long time, women’s increased representation in leadership positions would yield better outcomes for organizations and societies at large.

“Women have unique leadership skills. We are radar focused, looking at issues from all angles. We get better outcomes in any project or business when there is equal representation and a unique combination of the unique leadership styles of men and women,” she said.

“We are clamoring for women to get to the top because they have contributions to make, and they should make those contributions in achieving business objectives. We need to have women-centric policies in organizations targeted at women with metrics that you can monitor and check for success,” Mrs. Omololu stated.

In his remarks, Andrew Otike-Odibi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of C&I Leasing commended the women in the company for the “passion” they bring to the job. In expressing support, Mr. Otike-Odibi charged women to rise to challenges they are bound to face in today’s dynamic business landscape.  

“C&I women are fierce, fearless, and bold and they bring all that to the table in all that they do with so much passion. As the business landscape transforms rapidly, I charge all the women to continue to step up and take their place in leadership even amidst challenging times as we have seen recently,” he said.

Representing the women of C&I Leasing, Ruth Nwigwe, Head Citracks and Uche Nwachukwu, Head Outsourcing highlighted opportunities for the female gender to break grounds in their chosen fields of interest.  

“The journey is becoming better. We are resting on the shoulders of those who came before us and made sure women can excel in society and the workplace. In Nigeria in recent times, it has been very encouraging and inspiring to see women holding strategic positions in various sectors of the economy so there is no excuse not to soar with all pride,” Mrs. Nwigwe said.

In Ms. Nwachukwu’s words: “C&I women are strategically positioned, with roles to nurture the business to growth and we have also brought a lot of stability to the system while collaborating with our male colleagues to achieve set objectives. “There is really nothing limiting us. We are fierce, we are strong, and nothing is stopping us.”