On Tuesday 14th February 2023, Landmark University Female Faculty and Student Scientists converged to commemorate this year’s International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)’s Global Women Breakfast with a webinar themed, “Breaking Barriers in Science”. 

Declaring the event open and giving her remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charity Aremu noted that barriers which could be glass ceilings, challenges and preventable issues capable of halting achievement or goals are breakable. The competitive factors according to the Vice-Chancellor could be in form of family distraction, emotional barriers, job expectations and the barrier to catching up in building capacity in terms of creating a niche and acquiring relevant skills. Professor Aremu enjoined women to consistently build their knowledge base by being resilient and to meet up with the demands of the current expectation. VUCA is real, so we need to build our capacity anywhere we are as women in science”. 

Speaking to Landmark University’s GWB theme “Breaking Barriers in Science: Developing Effective Mentor-Mentee Relationships”, Professor Charity Aremu encouraged participants to have a strong mentorship base, “You don’t get up early when you want to fly alone. Having a mentor is a shortcut to a successful career”, she stated. “Science is an everyday thing, the world keeps evolving and anything that evolves is science,” the Vice-Chancellor added. 

In his presentation, Dean School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Babatunde Adebesin who is also a faculty in the department of Physical Science noted that while coaching is geared towards a prize, mentoring is towards the prize. According to him, mentoring is a form of arrangement that allows sharing in a receptive manner, knowledge, skills and experiences which could be in form of correction, teaching and motivation. Professor Adebesin who shared the mentoring expectations of Landmark University as the provision of instructions, inspirational seeds, emotional support and serving as a role model, noted that mentorship in academics is highly recommended. He added that a good mentoring scheme must be well structured, strategically planned, target gaining of skill, knowledge and experience, and have measurable indices and milestone setting among others. He further identified networking, reverse (mentor, mentee learning from each other), trans: distance learning, peer: (mutually beneficial from peer) and others as some of the mentoring models that could be implored. 

In his speech, delivered by Dr Adejumoke Inyibor, the President of the Chemical Society of Nigeria, Professor Moses Nkem Chendo said the Global Women Breakfast is an event born out of the desire to establish an active network of people of all genders to overcome the barriers to gender equality in science. He listed self-confidence, dedication, hard work, flexible work timings, women-friendly management policies, fair proposal and mentorship as some panacea to the challenges facing women in science. Professor Chendo then congratulated women in science most especially women in chemistry for participating in this year’s Global Women Breakfast. 

The Head of the Department of Physical Sciences, Dr Stephen Ikubanni stated that the essence of the programme is to breach the gender gap in science. According to him, the number of females in science is low compared to their male counterparts, while this is a global phenomenon he expressed optimism that the gap will be drastically reduced.

Another highlight of the GWB 2023 programme was the panel discussion session titled “Breaking Barriers in Science: Developing Effective Mentor-Mentee Relation”, where the panellists were opportune to share their experiences to encourage young female scientists on career, family, social expectations, publishing etc. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charity Aremu giving her remarks and declaring the event open.

Dean of the College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Professor Adebiyi giving his remarks

Professor Babatunde Adebesin during his presentation 

The Panelists L-R: DSPS, Professor Babatunde Adebesin; HOD Computer Science, Dr Marion Adebiyi and DCPAS, Professor Ariyo Adebiyi. 

HOD Physical Sciences, Dr Stephen Ikubanni giving his remarks

The Vice-Chancellor with the Industrial Chemistry women faculty 

The Vice-Chancellor, DSPS and DCPAS in a group photograph with some of the participants