• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Coronation’s WIN initiative to empower more women in Nigerian’s finance, tech space– Pai Gamde

Coronation’s WIN initiative to empower more women in Nigerian’s finance, tech space– Pai Gamde

Nigeria’s financial and technology sectors are booming, but for women, the climb to the top can be a steep one. However in recent years, the landscape of finance and technology sector has seen a transformation, propelled not only by technological advancements but a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion of women.

Historically, the financial and tech industries have been predominantly dominated by male but in recent years, the tide is turning, with more women coming into the space and making significant contributions that have been acknowledged nationwide.

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Big players such as Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson founder of Healthtracka, Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Herconomy, Damilola Olokesusi is the co-founder and CEO of transportation startup, Shuttlers, Tito Ovia of Helium Health, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu of Citibank Nigeria Limited, Tomi Somefun of Unity Bank, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank and many others have opened the doors of possiblities for women to grow in these male-dominated industries.

Coronation Group through its Coronation Women Initiative Network (WIN), is taking steps to further empower women, foster diversity, and create a more inclusive environment where female talents in these industries can flourish.

“I recall a conversation with Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of Coronation Group Limited where he said, without organisation, a woman’s lot is a woman’s lot. If we do not organize then several investments could be wasted. Therefore, Coronation WIN for us is existential,” said Pai Gamde, Chief Talent Officer at Coronation Group and Chairperson of Coronation WIN in a recent interview with Businessday.

During the interview, Gamde, shed light on the challenges women face in these industries.

“In the Nigerian financial and technology sectors, traditional gender stereotypes and biases still persist in the workplace,” Gamde explained, “leading to underrepresentation of women in leadership positions and decision-making roles. There are assumptions about women’s capabilities and suitability for certain roles, particularly in the technical aspects of finance and technology.”

These biases can be insidious. “Sometimes it’s unconscious,” Gamde said, “but it can still have a very real impact. Women may be passed over for promotions or high-profile assignments simply because they aren’t seen as a good fit.”

Beyond bias, there are systemic hurdles women must overcome. “Socioeconomic factors, cultural norms, and systemic barriers can limit women’s access to quality education and training in fields related to finance and technology,” Gamde said. “This creates a pipeline problem, where there simply aren’t enough qualified women coming into the workforce.”

The lack of mentorship and sponsorship opportunities further disadvantages women. “Compared to their male counterparts, women often have a harder time finding mentors and sponsors who can advocate for them and help them navigate their careers,” Gamde explained. “This lack of support can make it difficult for women to advance in their careers.”

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“Addressing these challenges requires proactive measures to promote gender equality, provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and create inclusive workplace policies that support the diverse needs of women in these industries.” – Pai Gamde

Coronation WIN according to Gamde, is a multi-pronged attack on these challenges. The initiative offers a range of programs designed to equip women with the tools and support they need to succeed.

“We offer leadership development programs and mentorship opportunities that connect women with experienced professionals, and networking events that foster collaboration and build a strong support network,” Gamde said.

Coronation WIN goes beyond individual development. It also works to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment within Coronation Group.

“Success will be measured through key performance indicators such as increased representation of women in leadership roles, enhanced career progression opportunities, positive feedback from participants, tangible contributions to women empowerment and at an expanded level, contribution to nation building,”Gamde said.

Collaboration is key

Gamde understands that true change requires a collective effort. The initiative actively seeks allies, not just among women, but also men who champion gender equality.

“Male allies are crucial,” Gamde emphasises. “By advocating for equal opportunities, challenging bias, and actively supporting women’s advancement, they can play a pivotal role in creating a more inclusive workplace culture.”

Looking outward, the initiative seeks to collaborate with external stakeholders like industry associations and educational institutions. By sharing expertise and resources, they hope to amplify their impact and drive meaningful change across the Nigerian financial and tech landscape.

A brighter future

The long-term vision for Coronation WIN is ambitious yet achievable. Gamde envisions the initiative as a catalyst for a future where gender equality is not a goal, but a reality.

“We want to see women empowered to reach their full potential and contribute significantly to the success of not just Coronation Group, but the entire Nigerian financial and technological ecosystem,” she declares.

A call to action

Coronation WIN’s message is one of hope and empowerment. The initiative serves as a beacon for young women aspiring to careers in finance and tech.

Gamde’s advice to them is clear: “Embrace your potential. Seize opportunities for growth and development. Leverage the support and resources available through Coronation WIN. Together, we can break down barriers, shatter stereotypes, and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.”