• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Gender and social inclusion awareness are important for every organization

Mrs Funmi Ogbue is a leading executive in the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry, with thirty years of industry experience and a growing list of accomplishments. Funmi is currently the Managing Director of Zigma Limited – an organization she co-founded. Zigma provides Engineering, Procurement & Construction Management (EPCM) Services and has acquired a marginal field upstream asset in Nigeria. Prior to Zigma, Funmi held leadership roles such as the Human Resources Director, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, British American Tobacco Ghana and Nigeria, and the Head of Change Management and Diversity & Inclusiveness Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company. She also worked in Nexen (formerly known as Canadian Occidental Petroleum), and Abacan Resources.

Funmi has demonstrated the importance of female leadership in a country where 50% of the population is women and largely underemployed. She is the Co-Founder, President and member of the Board of Trustees of the Women in Energy Network (WIEN), an association established to provide a platform for Women that work across the Energy Sector value chain; to network and build confidence and links to progress in their careers or businesses. She is also a member of the Prestigious Women’s Business Organization (WPO), a membership she earned as a testament to her incredible success in business. She is a member of the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD), a professional body in Nigeria with a mandate to cater for and represent Directors in their individual capacities across the various sectors of the economy. And a certified member of WEConnect International. Funmi was honoured to be voted as the woman in Oil and Gas of the year by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Nigeria’s organised conference the Nigerian International Energy Summit in 2022 listed by NIPRO as one of the Global Top 40 under 40 female professionals in 2008. Other honours include Trek Africa’s Humanitarian Personality of the Year, and the African Female Impact Leadership Award. Funmi holds an M.Sc. in Organizational Change & Development from the University of Manchester, and a B.Sc. in Sociology from the University of Lagos.

Measures Put in Place to Maintain High Level of Professionalism

Professionalism in Zigma is on the institutional/corporate where we benchmark our services to world-class standards. We partner with the very best institutions and service providers in all we do to ensure our clients receive best-in-classic. Additionally, on the personnel side, we try to enforce the implementation of processes so there is consistent output and also we try to encourage staff to live up to our core values of which Professionalism is one of them. We try to enforce that all staff must belong to a profession and aspire to attain the highest level of professional qualifications in that profession.

Harsh Economic Environment

We have always ensured to be operationally flexible in ways that permit us to scan the business environment and adapt to changes. So we diversified our service offerings in line with current realities and switched financing sources to the use of low-cost intervention funds. We also found it necessary and important to take our leadership team through a One-year business transformation programme with Sanford Business School. I believe this has equipped the team with the requisite knowledge to face the unending challenges in the business world.

Women At Different Leadership Positions

This conversation is almost as old as time itself, yet it’s as though we have not had enough of it. In the private sector, gender and social inclusion is accorded relevance. Look at the banking industry for instance, out of the 21 commercial banks in Nigeria, 6 have women as either MDs or CEOs, that’s about 28% growth from 0% not too long ago. A recent study by the Global Energy Index revealed that in the oil and gas industry, gender diversity and inclusion decrease with seniority, with only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions. The women you would even see in leadership positions are mostly in the non-technical fields, this implies that women’s interests may be excluded from certain decisions in technical areas.

In the public sector, the advocacy has been 35% women inclusion, we are not there yet but we are getting there. President Buhari appointed Senator Margaret Okadigbo as the chairman of NNPC Limited and just recently, he appointed Lauretta Onochie as the substantive chairman of the NDDC. These are commendable steps. There are several women who successfully chair boards of big corporates in both the public and private sectors in Nigeria, so it’s no longer a question of who is giving or not giving power to women. Women have now decided to take the power and sit at the table of decisions and leadership for the economy, education, health, politics, energy, and every sector. It is true we live in a patriarchal society and this is true not just in Nigeria but in many countries around the world, however, we cannot also deny the fact that men are supporting women to succeed. It is obvious that today’s men are not afraid of being led by women, so we may soon be seeing an end to the era of women’s marginalization in leadership and decision-making in Nigeria. Gender and Social Inclusion awareness are important for every organization that wants to succeed and remain competitive in today’s world. At Zigma, we advocate for transformative gender awareness where we seek to transform gender relations to promote equality and achieve smart objectives.

Greatest Passion

Hard work and consistency. I believe that the reward of hard work is even more work. I believe in the principle of “Eat that frog”. Get the work done, do it well and deliver value. I read books, listen to Podcasts, learn from people who have done it before and succeeded, and then pray and trust God for grace to succeed.