The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria has successfully held its maiden International Women’s Day Roundtable Meeting themed “Boardroom Readiness: Enlightening and Equipping Women.”
The event was held on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lekki, in celebration of International Women’s Day, and recorded an impressive turnout of women from different walks of life. The event was a hybrid of both virtual and physical participants.
Championing the discussions were distinguished women in the corporate governance space; for example, the event’s Keynote Speaker was Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR, mni, Chairman Access Bank Plc. Likewise, the Special Guest of the event was Sir Egbert Imomoh, Chairman, Investment One Financial Service Limited, as well as the various Panelists, Mrs. Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, CEO, Future Software Resources Limited, Mrs. Bimbola Wright, Executive Director Wright & Co. Limited, Mrs. Audrey Joe- Ezigbo, Co-Founder, Falcon Corporation Limited, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, Board Chairperson, The Boardroom Africa, Mrs, Zelda Akindele, Partner TEMPLARS. While, Mrs. Ese Nkadi, Head- Governance, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, anchored the sessions.
While speaking with the Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria, Mrs. Chioma Mordi, she stated that the event was held in honour of women to increase awareness on gender issues and proffer solutions that will spur the Nigeria business community to action. She added that the Society is committed to narrowing the global and local gender gap.
“We continue to advocate for inclusion and diversity in Nigeria by a collaborative approach to accelerate change within the Society and among our members, partners, and other stakeholders.”
In keeping with the theme, Dr. Awosika, while delivering her keynote address, stated:
“*In today’s world, Organizations that are led by inclusive leadership teams make effective decisions that deliver a better result. Although Boardroom diversity is increasing across the globe, women on boards are still underrepresented, and the progress is slow. This narrative can be changed. For women to take their place in the African private and public sector sustainably and irreversibly, we must have the courage to start at the top to drive gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
She also added that people’s mindsets need to change regarding gender issues and emphasized the need to select board members based on their intellectual qualities and attributes and not by their gender.
While considerable progress has been made in recent years on gender inclusivity and increasing the representation of women in the boardroom, a stark divide still exists at the top of the corporate pyramid.
Women’s representation in decision-making positions is far from being satisfactory. Much remains to be done to increase the number of women in boardrooms, occupying strategic and decision-making positions. Studies have shown that Organizations with women holding at least 30% of leadership roles are 40% more likely to have sustained profitable growth.
In conclusion, Dr. Awosika reiterated the need to be deliberate about making women hold key leadership positions in any field. She stated that “Women are a huge catalyst to effectively drive transformational economic growth now and in the future.”
Participants left the event highly inspired and informed.
According to Mrs. Mordi, the Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria will continue to host the International Women’s Roundtable Meeting in the coming years.The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria remains the foremost institution committed to developing and promoting corporate governance best practices and aims to be the recognized reference point both nationally and internationally in matters relating to Corporate Governance.