The Women in Management and Leadership (WIMLEAD) conference
The Women in Management and Leadership (WIMLEAD) conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) was held via Webinar and Zoom meeting platforms and at Management House, Victoria Island, Lagos, from Wednesday, July 20th, to Thursday, July 21st, 2023.
The conference with the theme ‘Building Alliances and Strategic Relationships’ brought together women professionals across different fields of endeavor. In her opening address at the conference, the President and Chairman of the Council of the Institute, Dr. (Mrs.) Christiana Atako, reiterated the need for women to build tactical alliances and relationships that would empower them to compete favorably for apex positions in their careers and businesses. She emphasized that notwithstanding the male dominance and socio-economic challenges Nigeria is facing, Nigerian women continue to prove their mettle and strive to excel in all spheres of life, ranging from the home front to academia, business, the corporate world, the boardroom, and the political space. She further posited that women must be ready to defy the biases and beliefs that there is a limit to where a woman can get to and what she can achieve. This, she said, means that women must be ready to break the glass ceiling, swim against the tide to get to the pinnacle of their careers wherever they choose to compete, and achieve excellent work-life balance. She further stated that women are not asking to be gifted in management and leadership positions, but they demand a level playing field to compete favorably because they possess all it takes to excel at the top.
Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Ogun State Deputy Governor, gave a goodwill message. She encouraged women to actively seek and build collaborations to create positive change and conquer barriers. She stressed that building strategic relationships in business and career is pivotal to propelling women to new heights and opening opportunities for success. She added that an alliance is not just a connection; rather, it is a collaboration rooted in shared goals and values. She encouraged attendees not to forget the fundamental principles of gender equality in their pursuit of building alliances and forging strategic relationships. She stated that women have been known to shatter glass ceilings and overcome countless barriers not synonymous with their gender. For her, achieving gender equality is not just morally imperative; it is economically and socially imperative. It is necessary to unlock the full potential of Nigeria, foster innovation, drive economic growth, and create a more just and prosperous society.
During the two-day conference, a series of inspiring presentations were made by guest speakers who have distinguished themselves positively by inspiring women through excellence.
The topics of their presentations include:
- Building Alliances and Strategic Relationships by Professor Ibiyemi Olatun-Bello, the Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University. She was represented by Prof. Adenike Boyo, the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration.
- Managing Public/Private Partnerships and Alliances by Mrs. Hansatu Adegbite (the Executive Director of WIMBIZ)
- Health Talk: Common Cancers in Women: The Way Forward by Dr. (Mrs.) Foozat O. Bello (Former Director, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Member of Council, NIM)
- Driving Business Growth through Strategic Partnerships (Board Members’ Perspective) by Mrs. Uto Ukpanah (Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria PLC)
- Achieving Growth in a Not-For-Profit Environment by Dr. Khadjat Toyin Musah (Ag Dean, Faculty of Nursing and Applied Health Sciences, University of Abuja)
- Making Your Money Work for You by…
Delegates sponsored by Landmark University attended the conference virtually. This was headed by Professor Charity Aremu, the former Vice Chancellor. Other delegates are Dr. Olayinka Alabi (Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences), Dr. Ake (Head of Department, Political Science, International Relations, and Mass Communication), Dr. Marion Adebiyi (Head of Department, Computer Science), Dr. Olushola Akanmode (Team Lead, SDG 5), Engr. Dr. Olamide Oyewole, Dr. Iwelumor Oluwakemi, Mrs. Victoria Oloyede, Miss Janet Omodunbi, Mrs. Ruth Apata, and Mrs. Susan Bolaji.
Arising from the conference, the following are practical insights and steps that can be taken by women in leadership.
- Developing networking skills and leveraging connections to advance in the workplace. This can be achieved by identifying areas of professional development, finding people with common interests, and working together to achieve set goals.
- Building strong professional alliances to support career growth and mentorship by ensuring inclusivity, collaboration, and communication. Women must amplify their strengths to attract the kind of support they need for growth and development.
- Navigating challenges and biases in male-dominated industries through strategic relationships by proving competence and improving interpersonal skills
- Exploring the role of diversity and inclusivity to foster productive alliances.
- Leveraging technology and social media for networking and relationship building and cultivating effective communication and negotiation skills to build successful alliances.
- Building cross-functional collaborations and partnerships by having organizational values that mutually attract advantageous relationships.
- Overcoming barriers and stereotypes and building alliances across different cultures and backgrounds
- Addressing work-life balance and building support networks for women in management. Explore more hybrid work options to ensure their family life does not suffer in pursuit of a career.
- Deliberately taking time out for regular health checks.
- Investing in social capital. This can translate into funding for projects and goals.
Other important highlights of the conference were the presentation of awards to the deputy governor and facilitators present at the conference and the many networking breaks by the master of ceremonies (Mrs. Louisa Olaniyi), allowing participants to connect with peers and industry professionals.
The conference ended with a closing remark and vote of thanks by the President and Chairman of Council of the Institute, Dr. (Mrs.) Christiana Atako, and the Registrar/Chief Executive, Mrs. Taiwo Olusesi.
From the Landmark University platform, we concluded the conference with a sense of accomplishment because it provided a valuable opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful and lively discussions. These further provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the themes discussed during the conference. We look forward with enthusiasm and anticipation to greater participation and accomplishments for women in leadership.
The following are some of the picture highlights from the conference:
Landmark University Delegates at WIMLEAD/NIM Conference, 2023
The VC and members of SDG 5
Landmark University attendees praying at the end of the conference.