• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Dr. Ije Jidenma: A woman of substance with passion for human capital development

Dr. Ije Jidenma : A woman of substance with passion for human capital development

She is a resourceful woman who has made productivity and integrity the hallmark of her identity. Ije Jidenma, Founder, Leading Edge Consulting, is an accomplished management consultant and professional who holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Lagos. Her post-graduation experience garnered over a period of more than thirty years traverses academia, hands-on practice and consulting in functional areas such as Learning and Development, Human Resources Management, Organizational Development and Strategic Planning.

A Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management and Institute of Directors where she currently serves on its Governing Council, Dr Jidenma is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School. She worked for local and international organisations such as Industrial Training Fund, Merchant Bank of Africa and Price Waterhouse (now PwC). She has occupied top management and non-executive board roles in corporate and non-for-profit organizations.

Speaking on the theme for 2024 International Women’s Day, she said, ” Women-led businesses have always been known to yield a high return on investment. Data supports investing in women groups, especially corporative societies where each individual in the group is held accountable. Investing in women would definitely add value to female business owners and equip them to function as equal partners in progress. This can be achieved through “mindset” shift and orientation that makes them truly believe that they have limitless possibilities and that there is nothing they set out to do that they cannot accomplish. Access to education and skills acquisition will enable them to build competencies that will help them improve their productivity. Also, access to credit has a multiplier effect on their businesses by helping them scale up and build enduring institutions.”

On Positive Discrimination initiatives, she said, ” I would not fully support positive discrimination and tokenism. However, I would support situations where minimum benchmarks that must be met are clearly and proactively set out. Also, action plans must be mapped out on how to build robust pipelines through well-thought-out capacity-building, mentoring and coaching schemes.

“The implementation of affirmative action in the country has been rather slow. This critical area is important to help address the underrepresentation of the female gender particularly in “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which are needed to lay the necessary foundation for critical thinking, problem-solving and innovation which are greatly needed particularly in the future.

“Considerable progress has been made in the private sector through the application of affirmative action. The banking sector is serving as a lighthouse example. For instance, the regulator sets a minimum percentage of women representation at the senior management and the board level. The glass ceiling is also continuing to get shattered as we increasingly have more and more women in top executive positions such as Chief Executive Officer roles and also in top non-executive roles such as Chairman of the Board.” , she added.

Asked about the impact of social media on the initiatives, she replied that, ” Social media has contributed to its acceleration but we can also apply the use of social media to proactively send useful messages that would channel their youthful energies to more productive ventures.”
The exemplary woman advised the girl child and women, in general, to consistently press on with hard work and perseverance in the face of obstacles. “There are more and more opportunities in this era for motivated women to be pathfinders and pioneers. The future is bright for all those who are prepared to put in the required effort. I also encourage all women to lean into leveraging their critical thinking, relationship building, collaboration and multi-tasking skills as these are all key qualities of great leaders.”