`Most women will need men’s support, mentoring to succeed’

Prof. Pat Utomi,
Some Nigerians on Monday called on men to support, mentor and  empower  women in all endeavours to drive economic, social and political development.

The citizens made the call at the 43rd Leader Without Title Tribute Colloquium organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) in Lagos.

The colloquium was organised in honour of Mrs Joanna Maduka, Nigeria’s first female registered engineer, and Mrs Olutoyin Olakunrin,  first female chartered accountant in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had the theme: “Women Arise: A Tribute to Women in Nation Building”.

Mrs Uwa Osa-Oboh, Head, Corporate Development, African Capital Alliance, urged men to see  women from the perspective of  the value they could create and not  gender.

“The real world is about men and women. If the men feel that women cannot do certain things, the men should mentor the women and help them to learn and be able to harness their talents and potential.

“We need to really embrace gender equity because industrial revolution and economic productivity have no bias for gender,” she said.

Dr Ifeyinwa Nwakwesi, Founder, Healthy Living Services, said that every woman would need  emotional support to attain greatness.

“Wealth or money in the pocket motivates men while love and care motivate women.

“Lack of emotional support and mentoring  from men, especially husbands and colleagues, has hindered advancement of many women in Nigeria.

“The men have a lot of roles to play to make women to arise and be successful in every sphere of life,” she said.

Mrs Chizor Malize, a Council Member of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), said that most per cent of successful women in the world had strong support and mentoring from men.

Malize said that such mentoring  was crucial as it could  make women to push for progress.

“That mentoring from men, that support system makes a woman a great wife, a successful career woman and a positive contributor in the society.

She said that there was the need to move away from the usual women-to-women mentoring and allow the men to also mentor women to break the stereotypes that had kept women down.

“The men should help to break stereotypes in the society by providing this support to the women – their wives, sisters, female colleagues and women around them.

“I also urge our women to lend themselves to the support and mentoring so that we can be focused, be known for something and create positive changes,” Malize said.

Dr Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, urged governments, the private sector and well-meaning individual to invest in women to promote  equality, development and peace.

According to him, empowering and mentoring women can change the society positively.

“There is the need for us to invest in our women. If you invest in a woman, she will begin to think about the good of the children and the society to make the world a better place.

“But if you invest in men, he will begin to think about investing in assets,” he said.

In his remarks, Prof. Pat Utomi, Founder, CVL, said that any society not utilising the talents of half of its population would not progress.

Utomi said that there was the need for collaborative efforts to ensure that more women in Nigeria would become educated and acquire skills that would make them to stand out in their professions and enterprises.

He said the event celebrated Maduka and Olakunrin for making their marks in fields formerly dominated by men.

“Even without titles, these women made impacts in the society; they have values and characters that the younger generation can emulate,” he said.

NAN reports that CVL is a non-profit organisation established in March, 2004, to equip the younger generation with values and leadership skills that can make them effective and value-driven leaders. (NAN)
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