The Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UAC of Nigeria, Mrs. Omolara Elemide, has called on women business leaders to ensure that their competence and capability as entrepreneurs are never in doubt, while making excellence their watchword.
Elemide, who made this known, recently, at the Business Club, Ikeja, Lagos’ monthly luncheon, with the theme, ‘Women in Business: The Challenges,’ said female leaders must remain true to themselves and find a voice to rise above pre-conceived expectations rather than conform themselves to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.
“All business owners face certain challenges in the course of achieving their business goals and objectives, but women particularly often have additional and unique obstacles to overcome which are, to a lesser extent, encountered by their male counterparts,” she said.
She emphasised on this year’s International Women’s Day which focused on innovative ways in which gender equality and women empowerment could be advanced, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
She added: “We must recognise the deliberate and sustained moves by selfless women and the commitment of some international bodies to ensure that issues that affect women beyond the business frontiers continue to share the front burner of discourses globally.”
Elemide, commended women for their strides in business and corporate leadership, saying: “Today, the map of the executive leadership positions has not only changed, but continues to change in Nigeria and beyond with the assumption of prime and elevated positions by women in business.
“The fact that the standards have not fallen with the rise of women executives shows that such women are competitive and possess the requirements for such high offices.
“If we recognise that more women are marching on to claim the high ground in corporate leadership, why have the decibels for canvassing for more women rights and prominence in business not in the low mode by now?
“The answer is simple! That women have made giant gains over the years does not mean that the obstacles and the chasm that sway the balance towards the male folk no longer exist. Truth be told, the gender inequality and equity, have the tendency to escalate without meaningful intervention especially in developing world.”
The acting managing director listed some of the challenges faced by women in business to include gender discrimination and stereotyping, balancing business and family life, fear of failure and inadequate support system, adding that to overcome such challenges in business, they needed to apply their creative abilities and talents to ensuring all-round excellence and competence.