The African Leadership Development Centre (ALDC), Covenant University successfully held her Career and Professional Women Conference (CPWC) in Covenant University between May 15th - 16th, 2018 in the ALDC building’s main auditorium. The conference, tailor-made for women in Academia, Business, Industry and Ministry, was themed “Beyond the Glass Ceiling”.

The participants at this 2-day conference were greatly empowered and enabled to interrogate and dismantle the shackles of the status-quo, going on to reconstruct new identities by becoming adequately equipped and situated to scale new heights in their respective fields of endeavour.

The goal of the Career and Professional Women Conference (CPWC) was to highlight and stir up solutions to gender parity issues within the context of the Nigerian and African societies thereby sparking off conversations that will bridge the gender gap across different sectors of the society.

THE CONFERENCE IN BRIEF

The Conference kicked off with an Opening Ceremony, with Welcome remarks from the Director, ALDC, Professor Mrs. Aize Obayan with the Principal Officers of Covenant University in attendance, namely the Vice-Chancellor, Professor A.A.A. Atayero, the Registrar, Dr Olumuyiwa Oludayo, the Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies, Professor Samuel Wara, the Dean, College of Leadership Development Studies, Professor Amos Alao and the Director, Centre for Learning Resources, Dr Jerome Idiegbeyan-Ose.

 

Professor Obayan pointed out that a major objective of the conference, among others, was to enhance the participation of women in reconstructing the trajectory of career and professional women. Professor A.A.A. Atayero then brought greetings and goodwill from the Chancellor, Covenant University, Dr David Oyedepo. He also noted the need for women to rise above sociocultural stereotypes as a key justifications for the conference. Thereafter, he declared the Conference open on behalf of the Chancellor.

 

Shortly after this was the Keynote Address, delivered by Mrs. Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi, captioned “Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Strategies for Success”. Mrs. Aboderin x-rayed the representation of women in key leadership positions across the globe and then went on to delineate her thirty strategies for success, some of which include “sitting at the table”, “supporting other women”, “seeking stretch assignments” and “never wasting a mistake”. She then encouraged women to invest in training themselves as well as their employees in order to secure the competitive advantage.

 

Her highly impactful delivery was followed by a Lead presentation delivered by Professor Comfort Ekpo, on “Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Drivers for Development”. She narrated her own background experience as a growing female child, whose father broke the then status quo of seeing girl-child education as secondary, and supported her through school. Three new concepts were also brought into the discourse to better situate the complexities within the broad theme, gender disparity, namely, the Glass Escalator, Gender Cliff and the Glass Cliff Hanger. She concluded by affirming that despite the challenges of breaking through the glass ceiling, once a woman succeeds, every other impediment gives way.

 

The second and final day of the CPWC 2018 began with some remarks from Professor Aize Obayan, Director, ALDC. She insisted that beyond being in the room, it is imperative to sit at the table, noting that it is only those at the table that contribute to the discussions and resolutions.  

Thereafter, the first presentation came up, by Ms. Gbemisola Ogunrinde, titled “Career Women and Career Demands: Keeping it all Together”. She admonished the participants to incorporate joy enhancing practices into their lifestyle such as listening to inspiring music, lending a helping hand and treating others the way you would like to be treated.

The first Lead paper for the day, captioned “Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Inspirational Steps for Advancement”, was delivered by Ms. Kemi Onabanjo. She observed that there is a real business case for having more women in leadership. She went ahead to use the success stories of several inspirational and influential female role models to buttress the reality of women rising to the challenge, including Sherly Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Plc, among others.

The final Lead paper for the Conference was then delivered by Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, on the topic “Beyond the Glass Ceiling: You are the Pathway”. She drew a rather divergent view of the glass ceiling concept, noting that there may be a glass ceiling out there but it might be insignificant until one pays attention to it, insisting that we miss it when we focus on the glass ceiling. For her, building competence and capacity is the crux of the gender issue. She concluded by challenging women to begin the change at their own little space. She reiterated that when talking about glass ceiling and pathways, we as individuals are the pathway.

Thereafter, a Plenary session was held with Professor Olubanke Ogunlana, Dr Tayo George, Dr Edith Maduagwu, Dr Ada Peter and Mrs Mercy Agumadu as panelists, while moderation was done by Ms. Kemi Onabanjo.

The conference came to a close thereafter, and wrapped up with a Closing Ceremony. Key takeaways for participants, by way of Conference Resolutions include a greater and more deliberate input into Networking, building Support Groups, Mentorship, Capacity building and Continuing gender parity conversations.

 

CPWC 2018 PHOTO STORY

Day One


Day Two