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Sahara Group celebrates International Women’s Day by Honoring Exceptional Female Leaders

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On this International Women’s Day, Sahara Group celebrates its amazons across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Sahara Group is Making A Difference through its unwavering commitment to promoting an equitable and inclusive work culture.

“That’s why we are MAD!” – Sahara Group

Meet some Sahara amazons and their take on this year’s theme; Embrace Equity.

Q– Where do you see the global energy transition journey in the near future? – Moroti Adedoyin-Adeyinka, Executive Director, Sahara Group

Response – As we journey through this transition, women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and at various stages in their careers must be equipped with the skills and competencies required to give them the same access to opportunities as their counterparts around the world, male and female alike.

For true equality, we must recognize that starting points vary, and as such must be fixed according to the specifics of each region, ethnic group or gender. Only then can we truly begin to discuss equality. In other words, equity must precede equality. This is the future we want to see.

Q– What informs or influences your leadership style? – Folake Soetan, CEO, Ikeja Electric

Response – The biggest influence on my leadership style is people. Leading a mix of Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials, I quickly learned that no single approach fits all. By adapting my leadership style to their unique characteristics, I am ultimately getting the best out of my team.

Q -What is the single most important thing you believe the world should be paying attention to right now and why? – Ejiro Gray, Director of Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group.

Response – The world is replete with issues begging for attention, and so to select the single most important thing to pay attention to, would be to underestimate the interdependencies of the myriad issues. For instance, one cannot speak to the issue of the sustainability of people and the planet earth without considering the sustainability of the world economy and by extension businesses. In the same vein, one cannot speak to the issue of energy transition without considering energy security.

Energy security on the other hand is also significantly impacted by issues such as poverty, as well as war and conflict in global demand and supply markets.

Consequently, the only bucket that attempts to encapsulate all the issues is that which holds the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Suffice it to say that we have 7 years to go till the SDG target milestone, and while we have made significant progress in some areas, we are still a long way off in others.

To focus on the SDGs would therefore be tantamount to focusing on some of the most pressing issues, globally, which will invariably determine whether or not we still have a world to call “home”, in the next 30 to 50 years, and if we do, what that world will look and feel like.

Q– How do you manage and maintain your relationships with people of diverse backgrounds? – Ivie Imasogie-Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group.

Response – In Sahara, we are ever mindful of the need to ensure both genders are given equal opportunity to join the organisation and thrive once onboarded. Some of the practices adopted to achieve this balance include:

  1. Focusing on diversity during our Recruitment process
  2. Building an inclusive company culture – the focus here is to ensure an enabling environment where every employee feels they belong, are accepted, and have a voice.
  3. Ensuring no disparities in compensation & our promotion processes-we remain committed to fair, equitable and transparent processes.
  4. Fielding the best candidate for new roles regardless of gender

Sahara has and will continue to operate a system where any employee can aspire and become whatever they choose to become regardless of their gender.

It’s an ongoing journey with the ultimate objective of having a diverse, inclusive organisation and culture that fosters high employee engagement, creativity, innovation and sharing of unique ideas and perspectives-an organisation where all voices are allowed to be heard.

Q – How is So Energy leading the commitment to making the world’s energy cleaner? – Yvette Selormey, Country Manager, SO Ghana.

Response – Several factors influence policy thinking on our contribution to cleaner energy, SO Energy being a retailer in the petroleum downstream sector limits us to seeking out alliances with suppliers who embrace meaningful mitigation action and transparent implementation.

By so doing, we contribute towards supporting climate finance and committing to cleaner energy.

Jadesola Onilenla, Sahara Group;

“Equity means creating an inclusive world. We need to see gender equity as a must-have for every society. So true inclusion and belonging require equitable actions on our part.”

Victoria Loko, Sahara Power Group;

“The theme #EmbraceEquity promotes social inclusion. It means recognizing that people have different circumstances and therefore aims to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of all groups in society. Thereby giving everyone what they need to succeed.”

Chweeyin Tan, Sahara Group, Singapore; Women are like tea bags. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Appreciate women as they share both happy and sad moments with you. Women can multitask. They can be mothers, daughters, and someone behind a successful man. Happy International Woman’s Day!

Emilomo Arorote, WAGL;

“Embracing equity requires an acknowledgement of the diverse or unique traits, talents and innate giftings of individuals. Therefore, creating an inclusive environment where equity thrives, will entail a uniform or level playing field for assessing individuals across the board alongside bespoke support systems to maximize individual potential. That common denominator ought to be merit.”

Carine Albertini, Sahara Group, Geneva”

“Equity ensures everyone has access to the same treatment, opportunities, and advancement, whoever you are and wherever you are coming from. In some part of the world inclusion, equitable educational ecosystem, fairness, and justice is still a challenge. Acts are better than words! Our willingness to achieve the best, and collaborating with others to defend common values shall contribute to more Equity.”

Ada Obi-Okoye, Asharami Energy;

“Embracing equity will ensure we recognize that everyone is from different backgrounds, upbringings, and levels of exposure. We can Embrace equity even in the workplace by ensuring we create a culture of inclusivity that ensures that every individual has the resources they require to thrive and become successful in the workplace irrespective of their differences.”

Carole Trazie, Sahara Group;

“In this post-covid World, choosing to challenge the status quo of women’s education worldwide is even more urgent and critical and should be part of our “embrace equity” desire. I am extremely grateful for the amazing education I received from my teachers and family while believing that we should wonder why so many gaps still exist especially for girls today. As shared by the UN, 2/3 of the 774 million illiterate adults in the world are women.

The proportion of illiterate women has not changed for twenty years. Of the 123 million illiterate young people in the world, 76 million of them are women. These gender disparities still persist and have hardly changed over time.

Speaking loudly about it ourselves, and taking action to fight this reality will help our own families and communities for the current and next generations. I also strongly believe that it will also help reinforce the sustainability of our companies by bringing more skills, values and integrity to the table to make a difference with more women at high levels of responsibility with the strong support of our favoured allies: men.”

Tolani Okuwobi, Sahara Energy International PTE, Singapore;

“The importance of equity cannot be overemphasized – as it lays the foundation for bolstering gender inclusion and forging harmony and unity. Collectively, we can all participate in creating a more inclusive environment and help drive success for all. We must all #EmbraceEquity.

Let’s all embrace equity as we continue to make a difference responsibly.”

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