Ikechi, Babaeko, Ugbe Urge Women to Break Cultural Barriers, Attain Potential
Women have been advised to rise up, get the support system and challenge the cultural barriers limiting them in a bid to achieve their full potential at work and in the society.
This was the submission at the first Women in Advertising and Communication Annual Cocktail organised by the Committee on Women in Advertising of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) which took place on Thursday 25th October, 2018 at The Regent Luxury Suites, GRA, Ikeja.
The event themed: “Growing Female Chief Executives” was witnessed by top executives in the PR/ Advertising industry who also charged women to organise themselves and fight against cultural barriers.
Speaking during the opening remarks, the Chairman, Committee on Women in Advertising, Mrs. Tope Jemerigbe said cultural barrier is a global phenomenon and not peculiar to the advertising industry alone.
“This is not exclusive to the Advertising industry. That is why we have our partners from the media, Women in PR, Event management; it’s more about women in advertising and communication. This is so that we can take more pragmatic steps asides from seminars in the past”, Jemerigbe said.
She encouraged women to be confident, conquer fear and overcome those barriers stopping them from achieving their goals, adding that there should be a balance between managing family and work.
“Don’t place family above work and don’t place work above family, they are both important” she said.
The Vice President of AAAN, and CEO, X3M Ideas, Mr. Steve Babaeko during an interview with the press, frowned at the way the culture is positioned to limit the abilities of women in the society.
Speaking on how he champions women’s right in the industry, Babaeko said, “I am a strong believer of women right, if you empower women, there is no limit to what they can do.
He further explained that X3M Ideas’ South African operation is run by a woman and she is delivering fantastically well. “As I am talking to you, she is between Botswana and Mozambique, I am proud of her.”
According to Babaeko, “women right isn’t about tokenism. Women who are qualified shouldn’t have cultural barrier stopping them from achieving their potentials. There are some capable women in our country, why should we stop them? He queried. “This is because we have a society where males dominate, women should rise to the fullest potential they have. It’s time to take what is best in our culture.”
The president, AAAN and MD, DDB Lagos, Ikechi Odigbo also affirmed the role and contribution of women in the industry as he said DDB Worldwide as a company is gender compliant with favourable policies to make best of talents rise to their deserved position.
“The CEO of DDB Worldwide is a very dynamic lady Wendy Clark who has been providing very inspiring leadership since she came on board. We have a greater workforce of women within the ranks of DDB Lagos. These are women known for their dynamism and they are very engaging. They are also loyal, faithful and committed to the work. We see them as assets.
“We realise that we need to be conscious of the nuances which may be embedded culturally where we are not fully sensitive to their unique demands in the workplace. We do not determine elevations, appointment, performance based on gender. We look at the value every member of the team brings to the table and we celebrate them for their performance both male and female.”
In his own contribution, John Ugbe, Managing Director, Multichoice Nigeria, said policies at work need to be reviewed so as to put women in the right position.
”There is a need for organisations to review the workplace policies on women. Importantly, we need our best talents and often times, these best talents are women. So, we don’t want to put the wrong policies in place to drive these talents away from us. We need to put the best policies in place to allow the women with the best of talents shine,” Ugbe said.
He, however, advised women to be hardworking, believe in themselves and be hardworking because position isn’t just about gender.
Earlier in her contribution, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, MD, LadyBird said though there are cultural problems, the passion and achievement should drive women to break the barriers.
She also lamented on lack of proper delivery system of women in the workplace “women should have a good sense of delivery and not unnecessary excuses at work, there are ways you present yourself to your superiors and they will accept your point of view”
Present at the event includes, Mrs.Angela Emuwa, Chairman, Punch Nigeria; Nnenna Onyewuchi, Director of Strategy for Yellow Brick Road; Tola Obi, the Chief Operating Officer of CentreSpreadGrey amongst others.