Don urges women to rise above professional barriers

Surajudeen-Bakinde, stated this while delivering her address titled “Breaking the glass celling: Optimising career opportunities” at the DISCO for Women 2022, a gender initiative programme for women to fulfil their potential, organised by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) on Tuesday.

According to her, glass ceiling occurs when men are predominantly heading public and private sectors with women being majorly excluded, adding that one way to break through the barriers is for women to put themselves in charge, whenever they can.

The keynote speaker, pointed out that, women can break the glass celling by sharing their knowledge with others, be their own advocates as well as strengthen their networks by developing business relationship with the right people.

She opined that women should be servant leaders who put others ahead of themselves and are prepared to sacrifice for the greater good.

“A servant leader has five Cs – characteristics which make her stands out. The characteristics are Care, Clarity of vision, Core values, Commitment to growth and Creating a will to sacrifice.

“These can make glass ceiling shattering easier. The glass ceiling doesn’t have to hold you back from reaching the leadership role you want.

“It can be a challenge to start a business, but becoming your own boss offers unlimited growth. Get help from experts with training, support, marketing and technology, it will allow you to focus on other important aspects of the business.

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“Utilise technology and social media responsibly to manage your time as professionals, and above all, be prayerful,” she said.

Speaking on the rationale behind the programme, Christopher Lawal, the regional head IBEDC for Kwara, explained that “IBEDC deemed it fit that ladies and women within the organisation need to be encouraged and empowered to give their best in different careers.

“Also, opportunities are bond for women to move from one section within the organisation to another as it sooth their development in the job.

“IBEDC is committed to creating a diverse environment and ensuring equal opportunities, fairness of treatment, dignity, work-life balance and eliminate all forms of discrimination in the workplace for all staff and job applicants.”

In her submission, Angela Olanrewaju, head, branding and corporate communication for IBEDC, disclosed that, “In 2015 USAID/IBEDC signed an MOU on engendering utility programmes.

The USAID-Engendering Utilities Programme provides a strong platform to infuse the needed diversity required to recruit, train and empower more women into IBEDC workforce, which will ultimately impact our bottom line and stakeholder value.

“This edition of the DISCO for Women is themed breaking the glass ceiling. It is aimed at creating opportunities for women who have broken the barriers in their careers to help younger women find their way, especially in male dominated professions.”

Olanrewaju, however, advised girl child not to feel relegated or discouraged, adding that “we have a level playing professions gender is no longer an issue. Females should take the charge of every opportunity.

If you feel like going into engineering; the sky is your limit, just make sure you have clear focus of what you want to do and work towards achieving that vision,” Olarenwaju said.

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