As part of its continued efforts to contribute into the attainment of SDGs in Nigeria, Ove Arup and Partners Nigeria Limited (Arup Nigeria) has consistently demonstrates its commitment to every activities that aligns with its business goals. Whether it is to promote gender equality or sustainable infrastructures, Arup, as it is tradition in other countries plays huge roles. it was therefore no difference in this year as it marked International Women Day 2021 as it organized virtual Mentoring Event for Women in Build industry.
The event, which featured mentors and ‘mentees’ from various disciplines, was aimed at inspiring young female built environment professionals and ensuring that more women are intentionally equipped to achieve this year’s IWD theme- Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
The disciplines featured include, but not limited to; Engineering, Architecture, Land surveying and Geoinformatics, Urban Planning, Human Resources and Sustainability.
During the event, the APWEN President – Funmilola Ojelade and the WIE Chair – Engr. (Mrs) Yetunde Holloway (ably represented by Engr Joan Nweke – Managing Director of JoTech Engineering Services LTD) charged participants / mentees to define themselves and their goals, to illuminate their achievements and invest in their professional successes.
The mentees were asked to adopt a growth-oriented mindset and to endeavour not to fall into the trap of stereotypical ideals from the society or external sources. The structure of the mentoring was such that five breakout rooms were employed vis a vis;
• Engineering (Civil, Mechanical, & Electrical engineering)
• Architecture, Urban Planning & Real Estate/Business
• Building, Quantity Surveying, Land Surveying
• Environmental and Social Sustainability
• Human Resources Managers / Support Staff
To make the most of the breakout sessions, career/ leadership coaches (Toyin Lasaki – Head, Human Resources of Knight Frank; Nkem Offonabo – CEO, The Harmonised Life Academy- THLA; Omolara Yeku – Head, Human Resources of Food Division at Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc) advised mentees to have/keep an open and growth-oriented mindset and to make themselves mentor-worthy. As the breakouts were to be interactive sessions, the mentees were encouraged to be comfortable and feel free in asking questions and contributing to the discussions.
The major take-home points from the various sessions include;
• One has to learn to speak the language of their firm and be able to highlight the business case for any suggestions.
• It is important to note that challenges are of/in the mind; there is no limit to what one can achieve when you put your mind to it and give no excuses.
• One should strive to add value to their profession and the company/firm they work for; to be an indispensable asset in your company is a major goal.
• Professional and educational development, as well as confidence in one’s potentials and abilities are very important.
• It is also key to Improve one’s social and professional networks.
The hope of everyone is that the connections borne out of the event would yield great female leaders for the industry and by extension, be a strong contributor to creating an enabled world.
Earlier in the month, the Arup Lagos office had participated in the media campaign challenge themed #ChooseToChallenge, by striking the suggested pose to show their commitment to engendering gender equality.
In addition, the office participated in an Arup Inter-office Discourse on Intersectionality and had its staff attend webinars – on Career Challenges and Circular Economy – organized by their region umbrella office.
The Discourse enabled women from diverse cultural backgrounds and at different stages in the career ladder to interact and discuss themes like women supporting other women and barriers which have to be broken to be a strong leader, while the webinars essentially spotlit women in advanced positions in their careers and had them talk about challenges faced and overcome, as well as technical details of their careers.
Arup Nigeria staff pledging to #ChooseToChallenge