FITC CEO advocates gender inclusivity to unleash women’s potentials

15 Mar 2016
Financial Nigeria


Dr. Newman called on women to be good ambassadors of the gender. 

L: Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange; Lucy Surhyel Newman, MD/CEO, FITC; Tinuade Awe, Head, Legal and Regulation Division, NSE; Idiat Oluranti Adebule, Deputy Governor, Lagos State; Ope-Wemi Jones, Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank; Abimbola Akeredolu SAN, Former Attorney General, Ogun State at the NSE closing gong ceremony in commemoration of International Women's Day 2016.

Managing Director and CEO of FITC, Dr. Lucy Surhyel Newman, was a panel discussant at the International Women’s Day (IWD) Celebration organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week in Lagos.

The IWD is celebrated on March 8 to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women and also to track progress that has been made over the years.

The theme for the global IWD 2016 was #PledgeForParity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) had predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. But the date was revised farther into the future due to the sluggish progress that was observed. The revised date to achieve global gender parity is now 2133.

The NSE event affirmed the bourse's Sustainability Disclosure Guideline – which has as part of its strategic imperatives, the promotion of a work environment that facilitates diversity. The NSE has also signed on to Women's Empowerment Principles, the joint initiative of the UN Women and the UN Global Compact, which outline steps for empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to building strong economies, establishing more stable and just societies; and achieving internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights.

Dr. Newman, who has been Managing Director and CEO of FITC since May, 2009, spoke on the topic "Unleashing HER full potential – Advance Gender Equality and Empower Women." She said Nigeria has made some efforts to eliminate gender discrimination with the approval of the National Gender Policy by the Federal Executive Council in 2006. However, a 2014 Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) report rated Nigeria as being ‘Very High’ on gender discrimination.  

As part of her recommendations, Dr. Newman said there has to be a willingness by stakeholders to invest in a strong and consistent communication framework for the internalization of the principles of gender parity. She said there is a need to build effective partnerships between public, private, civil society and development partners for the purpose of promoting gender equality principles and practices.

“I believe gender equality and women empowerment go hand-in- hand, in unleashing women’s potential and ultimately positively impacting human development index,” the MD/CEO of FITC said.  

She proposed that public and private institutions should promote transparency by implementing gender diversity KPIs. They should also implement measures to facilitate work-life balance; adapt gender inclusive HR processes to ensure nothing holds women back in their professional development. Dr. Newman called on women to be good ambassadors of the gender. She added that women should be encouraged to be open about their ambitions.  

Dr. Newman has over twenty-nine years of public and private sector industry practice and consulting experience, cutting across development finance, private sector banking, and consulting. She has a Doctorate in Business Administration with specialization in Leadership and Performance, from the University of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. A non-profit organisation owned by the Banker's Committee, FITC provides training, consulting and research services to financial services industry professionals.

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