November, 2019, Lagos, Nigeria: To further affirm its commitment and dedication towards inspiring and empowering women for a successful future and a better nation, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), a non-profit organization focused on empowering and developing professional women in diverse careers, has successfully organized its 2019 Annual Leadership and Mentoring Conference. The special evening event took place on November 23, 2019, at the MUSON Center, and was centered around the theme: ‘I DO NOT WALK ALONE’.
This year’s conference had as the Keynote Speaker and 2019 Distinguished WISCAR Award Recipient, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Amina J. Mohammed OFR, who gave a powerful and inspiring address based on the conference theme: I DO NOT WALK ALONE. She emphasized the importance of sisterhood, solidarity and community. The of value of family, friendship, mentors, community, partnerships and a strong support network to achieve your career goals and be successful.
She said, “Women’s forward and meaningful participation makes economies more dynamic, peace agreements more durable, governance and inclusive societies much more resilient. A girl’s education contributes to remaking our world from the economy to the environment and society at large. Women must be included in all spheres. Let me also point out that the United Nations is committed to leading by example and I am proud to say that WISCAR’s mission is ours.” She also urged participants to be ethical. “stick to what is right and do the right thing always”.
The convener of the conference, Founder and Chairperson of WISCAR, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola during her address said: “Women and men need to work in unison for collaborative growth and success in our nation. The old adage says that if you want to move fast, move alone but if you want to go far, you need to move with people. This year’s theme fully echoes the power of collectivity, the power of networking, the power of social gatherings and communities, the power of not walking alone.“.
She went on to say, “we want to keep encouraging each other to walk together and cross bridges and challenges that hinder our progress and inclusion across sectors”. Mrs. Oyagbola also congratulated the 30 outgoing mentees from the WIN with WISCAR Mentoring program and welcomed the incoming 2020 stream of mentees.
A high powered panel discussion at the conference took place that was moderated by Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Newspaper. The panel discussed, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling; The Power of Networks, Community and Partnerships.” The panel featured Chief Sharon Ikeazor, Hon. Minister of State for Environment, Hon. ToluAkande-Sadipe, Member of Reps/Policy Influencer, Funmi Omo, CEO African Alliance; Cecilia Akintomide, Director FBN Holdings and Comfort Lamptey UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS. The discussants explored the avenues through which women can stand together to achieve results across industries and influence bold change.
Other notable personalities in attendance included The Governor of LASG, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, ably represented by Ajibola Poonle, Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Establishment, training, and pensions, who formally opened the 2019 Conference. Goodwill messages were delivered by Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria – H.E Catriona Laing who was represented the Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson and Mr. Kayode Pitan, MD/CEO Bank of Industry, ably represented by Mr. Leo Kange, ED BOI.
The evening with WISCAR’ included a presentation by Ugoma Adegoke, titled, ‘The Power of Many versus The Power of One’, followed by a dramatic and powerful theatre performance called, ‘Wait’ by Bikiya Graham-Douglas.
WISCAR is a not for profit organisation founded in 2008 to help address the need for women to be better represented, empowered and developed as professionals in the workplace. WISCAR is focused on Goal 5 of the SDGs- gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls The aim is to achieve 50:50 representations in both the public and private sectors for national growth and development.WISCAR has successfully graduated over 300 young professional women from its rigorous 12month structured WIN with WISCAR mentoring Programme. It has also developed and impacted thousands (8000+)young and aspiring women and men through its various programs.
Some of the sponsors of this year’s conference include Pacific Holdings, First Bank, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, First City Monument Bank, MTN, UBA, Stanbic IBTC Bank, FBN Quest Merchant Bank, MAINONE, IHS Towers, IO Furniture, DKK Media,Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, Hill+KnowltonStrategies, UN Women, Oyagbola Chambers, Lagoon Hospitals amongst others.