The group at its 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD) webinar with the global theme, ‘#ChooseToChallenge’ called for a balanced society where roles are assigned based on performance ethos rather than societal bias which limits women.
The discussions centered on why women should be relentless and self-develop to break barriers of gender construct.
Charlotte Essiet, the director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, AOS Orwell said women will do more for themselves if they focus on themselves by being intentional, accountable and paying more attention to their environment.
Essiet who spoke on ‘Self Development: A Panacea for Progression of Female Professionals’ noted that women need to leverage means to self-improve by investing in their personal development through getting the required education, getting a mentor, and sticking to what the mentor is meant for. She also urged women to know how to manage their time effectively, especially as they juggle between family and having a great career.
Temitope Yusuff, an associate director and leader, oil and industry group at PwC Nigeria, speaking on ‘Choose to Challenge’, admitted gender inequality a big issue in the country, but can be addressed if women are accorded due rights.
She said with 40 percent of Nigerian entrepreneurs being women, the highest ratio globally, the country’s gross domestic product, (GDP), according to a McKinsey report, could grow by 23 percent or $229 billion if women participated in the economy to the same extent as men.
‘’The impact of COVID-19 on gender parity in the workplace is disproportionately hurting sectors with more female employment and amplifying gender inequalities,” she said.
“It has also worsened the already unequal burden of unpaid care and domestic work shouldered by women that could force more women out of the workforce, reversing progress towards gender equality and stunting economic growth.’’
Yusuff said a survey of women working in corporate jobs showed that women are considering permanently reducing the amount of time they allocate to their careers or leaving the labour market for good after COVID-19.
On how women can challenge themselves, she wants them to have their own definition of success, express their choices, sharpen their skills to earn respect, challenge self-imposed constraints, and to avoid the fear of being judged and seeking constant approvals.