Stakeholders seek improved gender inclusion in workplaces

Stakeholders seek improved gender inclusion in workplaces

By Philip Yatai
Stakeholders have advocated for increased awareness and support toward adequate gender representation in workplaces and to bridge the gap in women representation in the management position.

The stakeholders further stressed the need for concerted efforts to foster an inclusive working environment that recognises the rights of everyone irrespective of gender.

The stakeholders made the call at the 2023 Maiden Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Women Commission (PWC) conference, on Thursday in Abuja.

The conference had the theme, “Entrenching Equitable Opportunities for Women Towards Inclusiveness, Innovation and Excellence”.

Prof.

Zainab Gobir, the Executive Director, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, maintained that career women shoulder more responsibilities at work, homes and in the larger society.

Gobir expressed confidence that Nigeria would be a better place if women were given more opportunities to thrive.

“My advice to women is not give up but continue to strive for the better; support each other, learn, innovate, and always lend their voice on matters that concern them.

“For those of us in leadership positions, continue to do well so that we can pave the way for others,” he said.

Similarly, National Chairperson, PENGASSAN PWC, Mrs Ada Mbanaso, said that the government had made concerted efforts toward creating adequate leadership spaces for women.

Mbanaso added that the National Assembly had promised women a minimum of 30 per cent inclusiveness, but said that more needs to be done.

“I don’t think we have gotten to where we want to be; there is still a lot more to be done.

“I believe that if more women come on board, there will be a better Nigeria and business environment for everyone.

“This is because women are good managers and when responsibilities are handed over to them, they take it very seriously and deliver on it.

”she said
Mbanaso added that NUPRC management had done well since the inception of its PWC and commended the management for its support.

She called on the management to encourage more women, particularly in the areas of training, capacity building and leadership roles, insisting that such a move would enable them to grow with skills and be adequately prepared for managerial roles.

Also speaking, Mrs Rukaiya El-Rufai, Special Adviser on National Economic Council and Climate Change to President Bola Tinubu, said that an inclusive working environment improves values and productivity.

According to her, people’s strength lies in their differences which breeds innovative solutions and excellence.

The NUPRC Branch PWC Chairperson, Mrs Omobale Bello, said that the PWC conference would inspire women towards greater achievements in their chosen careers.

Bello noted the challenge of women representation in workplaces and prayed for more representation of women at the top.

She explained that the objective of the conference was to raise awareness toward gender representation in management positions and to bring people’s attention to the gender stereotypes in workplaces.

“We also hope that we will be able to inspire people to contribute to societal development by investing in girl child education,” she said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, said that the conference was apt, adding that it would help to bridge the competency gap between women and men.

Komolafe, who was represented by Dr Kelechi Ofoegbu, a senior official in NUPENG, stressed the need for equal opportunities for women across all aspects of human endeavour.

“As a commission, we are determined to debunk the myth and challenge societal norms that impede women progress in the workplaces by creating an environment that is free from bias and prejudices,” he said.

Also, NUPRC PENGASSAN Branch Chairman, Mr Okey Anya, said the conference would help to mobilise support for women to aspire for top positions in any establishment.

Edited by Polycarp Auta

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