Shaping the future and developing winning strategies for women, in the long run, was the focus for Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) during the 2-day WIMBIZ 18th Annual Conference on November 7th and 8th at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The 2-day conference themed “Shaping the Future: Strategizing to Win” provided an opportunity for frank discussion, deliberation and debate on the future for women in their various sectors, and how they build and sustain a successful career. The conference also helped equip women with winning strategies to shape the future and provided practical solutions to several common issues affecting women professionally and personally.
The gathering, which takes place in November every year, and is the flagship event of WIMBIZ. This year, for the first time, attracted what some estimate to be more than 2,000 attendees over the two-day period.
In her welcome address to delegates, Chairperson, Executive Council, WIMBIZ, Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi explained that the rationale behind the theme for this year’s conference is to point to the inherent ability that is latent within each person to make something of their future. “We all have the capacity to be proactive in shaping the outcome of our lives” she added.
Aboderin-Talabi furthermore urged women to set their goals for the conference and be mindful of how these can be achieved.
The event was chaired by former Chief Judge, Federal High Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Rose Ukeje, OFR. Justice Ukeje commended WIMBIZ for putting together the conference and their consistency over the past 18 years with empowering and inspiring women.
Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, First Lady, Ekiti State who delivered the keynote address on Day 1 of the conference, urged women to be the change they want to see in others. She implored women to shield and support one another, rise and set their sights on all the great things women can accomplish together.
Giving the keynote address on Day 2 was Fred Swaniker, Founder and CEO, Africa Leadership University. Swaniker charged women to be more confident in themselves and their abilities.
The conference, which started with a networking breakfast for professionals across different sectors, also featured seven plenaries; six breakout sessions and was Live Streamed across the world.
The various sessions helped delegates learn how to develop winning strategies to secure their seat at the table; collaborate to win; navigate the old boys club; understand consumer behaviour for their business; reach the vast number who are not on the internet; overcome trauma; silence shame; rise above the imposter syndrome; mitigate unbeneficial financial surprises in retirement years; negotiate a fair contract which accurately reflects their worth,
and much more.
Recognizing and rewarding hard work and potential was one of the highlights of the conference with several different awards presented to deserving women. The 2019 Female Achievers’ Award recognized trailblazing women in the civil service who have contributed to the growth and sustainability of the public sector. The recipients this year were Engr. Ebele Okeke, OON, CFR, Chairman/CEO Chantaly Engineering Services and Amal Inyingiala Pepple, CFR, Board Member, SunTrust Bank Nigeria Ltd.
The winners of the WIMBIZ Impact Investment Competition, sponsored by ACT Foundation, were also announced at the conference. The 2019 Impact Investment Grant recipients were: Augustina Emele, CEO Chais Initiative; Adeike Ogunsade, CEO Crowncare Couture; and Peggy Ovat, CEO Peggies Kitchen.
During the closing ceremony of the 2019 WIMBIZ Annual Conference, outgoing Chairman of the WIMBIZ Board of Trustees, Funmi Roberts handed over the baton of leadership, after her three-year tenure, to Ifeyinwa Ighodalo, Founder/CEO, DO.II Designs Limited. Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi handed over the baton of leadership of the WIMBIZ Executive Council as Chairperson after her two-year tenure to Ngover Ihyembe-Nwankwo, Head Coverage, Rand Merchant Bank, Nigeria.