Nigeria

AWB to launch global safety initiative in workplace

The African Women on Board (AWB) has concluded all arrangements to lead Nigerian public and private organisations to launch Global Safety in the Workplace Initiative.

The event is billed to take place on Friday, November 26, 2021, at The Wings Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos, where AWB will host stakeholders and also unveil the organisation’s new Global Safety in the Workplace Initiative.

Staged in partnership with the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Association of Company Secretaries and Legal Advisers (ACSLA), and leading Law firms and private sector organisations, the event will feature a number of high-profile speakers from the worlds of business, law and politics.

Some of the speakers include: Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa – DVC UNILAG; H.E. Amb. Mary Beth Leonard – US Ambassador to Nigeria; Dr Ernest Ndukwe – chairman, MTN Nigeria, and Mr Asue Ighodalo – chairman, NESG, amongst others.

Commenting, Nkiru Balonwu, founder and co-chair of African Women on Board, said “We are delighted to welcome such a distinguished line-up of stakeholders from the Nigerian public and private sectors to speak at this important event. Most adults spend most of their waking lives at work, but for women, in particular, these environments all too often become challenging ones. Issues such as bullying, sexual harassment, emotional and financial abuse, and broader inequality have not gone away.”

Introducing the initiative, Dr Balonwu said: “Our new Safety in the Workplace Initiative has been specifically designed to facilitate real systems change from the ground up, reshaping traditional working environments to become places that accommodate growth and encourage women to realise their full potential. It’s important also to note that while this is a Nigeria-led initiative, the issue of workplace violence against women remains prominent around the world and must be tackled in a joined-up way across society.”

For her part, Ms Yinka Edu of Udoma Udoma and Bello Osagie (UUBO) commended the timing of the initiative, which she said her organisation is pleased to support.

Ms Edu added: “It is significant that AWB is leading the response to Gender-Based Violence during the Commemoration of the 2021 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which has the important theme, End Femicide.”

Also, Mr Rotimi Olusola of Guinness Nigeria PLC/ACSLA said, “I see a strong entry point for catalysing and creating a safe workplace for women to ascend, unhindered by Gender-Based Violence, to the peak of their professions through systems change supported by Company Secretaries and HR professionals.”

AWB chairperson, Prof Chioma Agomo, added, “I am quite convinced that we are going in the right direction together with the right partners, using a replicable strategy to create safer workplaces globally – educational institutions, Law firms, professional bodies and the private sector.”

According to the organisers, some keynotes and panel discussions will include: Gender Equity and the Future of Work, to be presented by H.E. Amb. Mary Beth Leonard; Laying the Foundation: Educational Institutions and Safety in the World of Work by Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa; Safety in Educational Institutions: Taking the Lead, Learnings from the Faculty of Law UniLag by Prof. Ige Bolodekun; Safety in the (Legal) Workplace: A View from Ghana by Diana Asonaba Dapaah and Safety in the [Legal] Workplace: Learnings from the IBA by Sara Carnegie.

Others are: “Safety in the (Legal) Workplace: The Role of Educational Institutions & Professional Bodies in Laying the Foundation” by Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa (UniLag); Chinyere Okorocha (Jackson, Etti & Edu, NBA Women Forum); Yemi Candide-Johnson (Strachan Partners) and Prof. Chioma Agomo (African Women on Board) and “Reimagining Work: Young Lawyers as Catalysts for Change/Change Agents” to be delivered by Oyinkansola Fawehinmi (Digital Music Commerce and Exchange Ltd); Edidiong Umoh (Law Student, UniLag); Ifeoma Solanke (Strachan Partners) and Adedunmade Onibokun (Legalnaija/Adedunmade Onibokun & Co).

AWB, a Nigerian-founded global non-profit organisation is dedicated to advancing the cause of African and diaspora women around the world.

The organisation’s new programme, Safety in the (Legal) Workplace, has been designed to facilitate systems change directly on the ground.

The legal sector has been selected as the starting point for the launch as it represents both a challenge and an opportunity for change.

Also, as part of this, a dedicated Gender Equity Certification programme will be unveiled – providing assessments, recommendations and trainings, to help organisations and HR/employment practitioners implement safer working environments.

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