• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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International Women’s Day 2023: Banwo & Ighodalo (“B&I”) #EmbracesEquity

International Women’s Day 2023: Banwo & Ighodalo (“B&I”) #EmbracesEquity

According to the 2021 World Bank data on females in the population of different countries, women makeup almost half of the Nigerian population and must therefore be included in decision-making at the highest levels of society. Today, conversations have morphed from gender equality to gender equity, emphasising the true inclusion of women in all spheres of human endeavour, tech, business, politics, law, sports, medicine, and other professions/vocations.

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A cross-section of B&I Women.

B&I firmly believes in the IWD campaign slogan “Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it is a must-have.” Indeed, B&I, which was founded in 1991 with 2 male partners, currently has 15 partners, with nearly 50% of these partners being women. Beyond representation, the female partners head the Firm’s core practice areas, which cut across Capital Markets, Energy and Natural Resources, Banking and Finance, M&A, Private Equity and Commercial Dispute Resolution. These partners are also involved in decision-making at the highest level of the Firm. Additionally, the Firm has over 50% women among its associates.

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B&I Women #EmbraceEquity. From left: Vanessa Obi, Josephine Oshiafi, Bukola Alada, Seyi Bella, Stella Duru, Olga Okewulonu, Iyioluwa Fagbemi, Kemi Ajayi, and Isabella Ugheighele.

In recognition of the brilliance and strength exhibited by women all over the world, particularly its women, B&I hosted its annual IWD Event, at its offices in Ikoyi, Lagos. The event featured a panel of distinguished female speakers and distinguished guests and also provided an effective platform for conversations around the IWD campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity.

The highlight of B&I’s 2023 IWD Event was the Panel Session, excellently moderated by one of the Firm’s associates, Ms Josephine Oshiafi.

During the Panel discussions, one of the distinguished speakers, Ms Osayi Alile, the CEO of Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, (a grant-making non-profit organisation that provides funding to social sector organisations), highlighted the need for women to focus on being visible and bolder in leadership positions.

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In her contribution, Dr Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, a consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist, and the founder of Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF) focused on the negative impact of gender-based violence, (especially workplace harassment), which gravely affects the effective participation and advancement of women in the workplace. She reminded the audience that “Health is Wealth” and noted that workplace abuse significantly impacts mental and physical wellness, which ultimately, adversely influences the corporate’s bottom line.

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Some of the participants at the B&I IWD Event 2023 comprising female partners and associates of the firm and female representatives of some clients of the firm.

Oler Oladele, the founder of Money Wit Club, (a social enterprise focused on personal finance education and investment skills), encouraged ladies to truly embrace the culture of investing as a means of growing wealth. She enjoined women to deepen their wealth creation capacities as this removes the barriers to achieving true equity in financial freedom.

In keeping with the firm’s brand promise, Ms Stella Duru, (Partner in the Firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Group) and Mrs Seyi Bella (Partner in the Firm’s Corporate, Securities and Finance Team) in their remarks, re-emphasised the firm’s dedication and unwavering commitment to achieving equity for women, as well as ensuring effective mentoring and professional development targeted at training competent and committed B&I women.

Undoubtedly, the B&I 2023 IWD Event was remarkable and memorable for the guests and female members of the Firm as the conversations were deeply relatable, inspiring and transformative.