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16/03/2016 News

Total E&P Nigeria Celebrates Female Staff at International Women’s Day

As the world marked the Internal Women’s Day on 8 March 2016, Total in Nigeria has joined the rest of the world in celebrating its female staff, who it noted have made remarkable contributions to the growth and development of the affiliate.

The atmosphere was convivial and animated with a touch of corporate femininity as female staff in Lagos and Port Harcourt Districts turned out en masse to mark the day. The theme for this year’s event was Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”

The event was also a showpiece of diversity and solidarity with the men turning up to encourage the women. It depicted partnership, collaboration and team work.

 “We commend the Total Women’s Initiative for Communication and Exchange (TWICE) and re-iterate that “there has been a very conscious effort by the Group to encourage and get women to top management positions”, said Mr. Ahmadu-Kida Musa, Deputy Managing Director of the Deep Water District at the Lagos event. He acknowledged the leadership role of women in the company.

 “You know you women rule the world… you don’t know?” the question resonated through the hall and made the ladies cheer in excitement.

Mr. Musa noted that while the target to get a 25% female representation at the management cadre had not been met, he stressed that it can only be attained by hard work, commitment, merit and beating the men at it.

 “Women need to get out of the heart syndrome – it is not feelings and emotions. Do not let your emotions becloud the judgment you make at work nor the impression it makes you have of people at the work place. Believe in yourself and know that you can do it, do not put a platform over your head,” he added..

In a presentation on “Stepping it up for Gender Equality” the EGM, Administration, Deep Water District, Ms. Chinyere Uche explained gender equality as women having the opportunities in life as men in three domains: in capabilities and the right to develop themselves; access to resources and opportunities and ability to influence and contribute to outcomes.

“In discussing gender equality, we recognise that we are different. We bring things you don’t bring; you bring things we don’t bring but we definitely have to come together and work together,” she said.

The Guest speaker, Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi defined health as a state of physical, mental, psychological and spiritual well-being in the absence of disease. Mrs. Ogunyemi advised the ladies to go beyond nurturing others and nurture themselves as well. “Breast cancer is number two killer but remains the number one cancer afflicting women and we have increased number of cancer cases in Nigeria. Unfortunately, about 70% of Nigerian women do not have medical check-ups” she revealed, adding that “Regular medical check-ups, healthy eating habits, regular exercise routine should become a practice to stay fit and healthy.”

In Port Harcourt District, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Nicolas Brunet, who was represented by the Executive Director Port Harcourt District, Mr. Victor Bandele said: “On this auspicious occasion, I must congratulate you as you are very important in the scheme of things. Your contributions to the growth of the company are well recognised and appreciated.”

He also noted that the company was not averse to the elevation of women to positions of authority with some occupying very strategic positions and expressed the hope that in the next 5 – 10 years, “we will have more women in positions of authority.”

In her presentation “Stepping Up for Gender Equality,” Deputy General Manager Government Relations Mrs. Sonye Allanah, said women have come of age to be given their rightful place in the scheme of things by being treated equally as their male counterpart.

Mrs. Allanah stated that the call for equality should not be perceived as a fight with the men but was aimed at dispelling prejudices and stereotypes that women are not productive and cannot contribute to the growth of the society.   

Also speaking, the Guest speaker, Dr. Sandra Ofori advised female employees to have the right life balance, saying that lack of the work- life balance will lead to stress which could lead to health challenges and eventually impact negatively on the job leading to low productivity.

The International Women’s Day is used to reflect on progress made, call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

This year’s theme was chosen to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new sustainable development which is hinged on achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls; and ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

International Women's Day (IWD) first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century in North America and Europe. The earliest Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in New York, and was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. The day was originally called International Working Women’s Day.