We’re All Equal In Capacity, Ability— Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Tells Women At WISCAR Annual Conference

As part of efforts to inspire and motivate women to tell their stories and aspire for greatness and a successful future;Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), a non-profit organizationfocused on empowering and developing professional women in diverse careers, has successfully organized its 11thAnnual Leadership and Mentoring conference. The event took place on the 24th of November 2018 at the Muson Center, Victoria Island Lagos and was centered on the theme: ‘Enriching lives by telling our own stories”

This year’s conference had as the Keynote Speaker and Distinguished WISCAR Award Recipient,former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. President Johnson-Sirleaf gave an inspiring and enlightening keynote address based on the theme of the conference: Enriching lives by telling her own stories. She emphasized the importance of role modelling and mentorship by successful women leaders as a gift to the next generation in nation building.

President Johnson Sirleaf stated:“We need to recognize that we are all equal in capacity and ability, whether male or female.When we have equity and equal opportunities, our economy will grow stronger; our society will progress, and our people will be inspired to work to achieve full potential.”

Accepting the Distinguished WISCAR Award President Johnson Sirleaf added “There are still barriers against women that we need to pull down, we must allow the courage of our convictions, passion of our causesand our collective strengths as women to inspire us to be politically involved and to birth more female political leaders. Male and female need to join hands to cause a difference and create a better tomorrow for the next generation”.

The convener of the conference,Founder and Chairperson of WISCAR, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola during her addressstated“this year’s theme fully echoes WISCAR’s exemplarity model; WISCAR has always prized the voices of confirmed successful women as catalysts for the growth and progress of up and coming mentees, treading in the footpaths of those who have gone before us. When they share their stories, they teach the community how to love, how to forgive, how to be fair and just, how to influence policies and how to strive to do better than today”. She stated that“Even though progress has been made, women continue to face discrimination on various fronts; society must therefore continue to fight for socio-economic development and for enduring social harmony”. Mrs. Oyagbola congratulated the outgoing mentees and welcomed the incoming 2019 cohort.

The Conference also witnessed a panel discussion moderated by Tunji Lardner focused on the topic “Custodians of our own Legacy; the Power of Role-Modelling and Mentorship in shaping our stories”. The panel, which was made up of Ambassador NoziphoJanuary Bardill International Diplomat, Corporate Relations Specialist and Chair, Nelson Mandela University Council; HadizaBala Usman Public Administrator and MD NPA; Aishah Ahmad Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Polly Alakija Artist, Author and Chair Lagos State Council of Arts and Culture; and KofoAkinkugbe Real Sector Entrepreneur and CEO Secure ID Group, stressed the need for Nigerian women to rewrite the narrative by telling their success stories and mentoring other young women to follow the path of success.

Other highlights of the event included a presentation by Ifeoma Fafunwa entitled “Our stories as an Inspiration to the next generation”, followed by a spoken word performance from her critically acclaimed play ‘Hearword’. The Governor of Lagos State represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs Dr. Mrs Lola Akande, the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Alhaji Alhassan Conteh and Chief Obafemi Olopade Businessman and Industrialist shared goodwill messages. The outgoing WISCARStream 9 mentees were awarded WISCAR certificateswhile the incoming stream 10 mentees were recognized.

WISCAR was founded to mitigate the under-representation of women in the upper reaches of both corporate and government institution and has made significant progress having successfully graduated over 300 young professional women who have undertaken the purpose built and intensive 12month structured WIN with WISCAR mentoring Programme.In addition, WISCAR has helped to develop thousands of young and aspiring women and men through its high-quality training programs, seminars & events put together by the WISCAR School of Excellence, which provides structured competency based development for personal mastery and overall workplace effectiveness.