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IBEDC, USAID Commit To Gender Equality, Career Empowerment For Women

IBEDC, USAID Commit To Gender Equality, Career Empowerment For Women

The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has gone into partnership with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) to promote gender equality as well as women empowerment for career development.

It stated this as the 2022 DISCO for Women Conference with the theme, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” held in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to the firm, DISCO means Discussing Issues Surrounding Career Opportunities for Women. The Chief Executive Officer, IBEDC, Mr. Kingsley Achife, said for a long period, the power industry has been seen as the domain of the male gender, hence terminologies such as linesmen, and draftsmen among others.

Achife, an engineer, represented by the Chief Business Transformation and Strategy Officer, Mr. Iranola Ayodeji, said the company had changed the narrative by being the first Disco to adopt more gender-friendly nomenclatures such as line worker and hope other Discos will follow suit.  “It is in view of this that IBEDC partnered with USAID to push the engendering agenda across the power sector in Nigeria and beyond.

“IBEDC have even formed a team of employees, nicknamed Manbassadors, trained by USAID to engage the male and female gender from all walks of life to embrace the concept of gender equality and yours truly has been appointed as the MenEngage Champion. Furthermore, IBEDC has plans to improve the gender mix for female employees to at least 20 per cent in the short term and then scale up as time goes by,” Achiefe said

He noted that statistics had shown that, on average, women in leadership roles perform better than their male counterparts in strategic decision-making. Also, Executive Director, EZ 37 Solution Limited and guest speaker, Mrs. Patricia Akinlotan, said the conference was about women’s equality and empowering women to rise above the limitations placed on themselves.

“Everything starts with you and if you remove the glass ceiling on your mind, you would have cleared all obstacles.

Akinlotan, a member of the Board, International Coaching Federation, Nigeria Chapter, urged the government to prioritise education for women “because if you educate a woman you train a generation”.

14-year-old Aline Shahimi, a gender equality advocate, in her contribution, said: “Change starts from the house. If you want to equate a society, where men and women are valued equally, then you must start from the home.”


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