Ifekwe, Stakeholders explore Opportunities, Risks, and Threats Facing Industry Women
The Executive Director, People and Country Services, Mrs. Evi Ifekwe, has urged women to take advantage of institutions and women network that encourage women to take their place and surmount challenges that they may have.
Ifekwe was speaking as a special guest and panelist on the sub-topic "Global Opportunities, Risks, and Threats Facing Industry Women in the Current Energy Trilemma (Energy Affordability, Accessibility, and Sustainability)," a high point of the NAICE 2023 Women Leadership Program Panel Session of the Society of Petroleum Engineers held at the Eko Hotel and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. The session was themed: “African Energy Market: Leveraging Female Development Opportunities.”
“I don’t think that anything is blocking women. I think that they can rise, and they will do it,” she said, encouraging women to use their gift of intuition, be bold and confident. She said now was the time to invest in women and young people as she expressed the conviction that women can rise and meet expectations in the industry.
Hinting that, for the first time, the company has now achieved gender parity in the employment of engineers, she said companies “should invest in journeys that take us far, invest in people and programmes that take us beyond where we are today.”
“The future belongs to young people. We have to listen to them and support their vision because they are the ones that are going to bring innovation that will support the future of Nigeria,” she said highlighting what the company had achieved with collaborations and sponsoring Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Empower the Teachers (MIT-ETT) Programmes.
She also noted that TotalEnergies has launched a multi-energy strategy with a timeline to end flares in our facilities and urged companies to be intentional about making every new project sustainable.
Also speaking, Petroleum Economist, Professor Yinka Omorogbe said women must rise above limitations and biases, stereotypes, limited access to networks and lack of representation to fill their space. She said women are half the world and an essential part of the development process; essential for growth, poverty reduction and making the world better. She implored women to “go out there and do what you need to do, realise that you belong in that space, and you are not an impostor.”
In her remarks, the moderator and Principal Consultant of Lonadek Global Services, Dr Ibilola Amao commended the ideas posited by the panelist. She noted that those in energy should be conscious of the fact that they were competing for talents with those in the entertainment and tech space. “Then we have to step up our game on innovating what the job would look like in the energy sector. For us to get the best brains in the energy sector, SPE would have to do more, collaborate across networks, associations, institutions to add value to the energy sector.”.
Other members of the panel were Grace Orife of the African Energy Chamber; Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, NNPC Limited, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan; Group Executive Director, Ran Oil, Godrey Ogbechi, and the Chief Operating Officer of Xernergi Limited, Debo Fagbemi.
Also present were the Executive General Manager PTM, Kenechi Esomeju; General Manager TotalEnergies Country Services, Adesua Adewole; DGM External Communication, Dr Charles Ebereonwu and Head Public Relations, Irene Jerry-Iyoha.