Some top entrepreneurs in Lagos on Sunday urged women to continually learn additional skills that would position and prepare them to take up leadership roles in future.
They made the call at the Future Women Conference, organised by the Future Africa Project.
The conference, which had as its theme: “Freedom, Financials and the Future of Gender “, was sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA), among others.
An Executive Member of Women in Management, Business and Public Service, Mrs Binta Max-Gbinije, urged women to increase their skills if they wanted to gain leadership roles.
According to her, 49 per cent of women in Nigeria are underrepresented in the labour market.
“Why we are in this state is because women don’t try to do some of the things that men do; we need to take some steps to be ready for the work.
“For us to take up future positions, we must learn, unlearn and relearn and also jettison some of the things that holds us down from attaining leadership heights.
“We must also be technologically digital and move in the directions which the world is moving, so as to enable us attain heights in our organisations,’’ she said.
Mrs Foluso Gbadamosi, Director of Business Process and Technology, Prime Atlantic, said socialisation was the fundamental reason women felt they were less than the men.
“Socialisation is the fundamental problem when it comes to ascending positions.
“We live in an environment where mothers bring up their daughters to think that they are less than the boys and the boys superior.
“There is nothing wrong if a woman brings up her daughters in the same way she brings up the boys.
“ Sometimes women do this unconsciously maybe, because we have been brought up in a patriarchal society where the men are dominating.
“This has made us behave in a way that the society accepts even when it does not seem right to us,” she said.
A Transformational Stylist with the Ginger Soul Lifestyle Company Limited, Mrs Aminah Gbajabiamila, urged women to take ownership of their lives to enable them grow.
“ A lot of times, women are conditioned to believe that they cannot own their lives and do anything good by themselves unless they lean on the men.
“I think it is time we own our life, be confident and be what we want to be without anybody stopping or dictating it for us.
“Sometimes, incompetency, low self-esteem make women feel bad about who they are as a person, especially when they are about to rise higher,” she said.
Earlier, the Future Project Team Lead, Ms Bukola Adebakin, said the theme of the conference was carefully selected to address issues that affected female empowerment and gender equality.
“Women empowerment should be on everyone’s agenda.
“Businesses, governments and households should do their best to empower women around them so that they can participate and engage more actively in our future,” she said.