Women’s skills, capabilities, value critical for company’s success – Accenture

The firm celebrated the International Women’s Day in Lagos.

The skills and capabilities women offer various multi-nationals and indigenous companies cannot be over emphasised and should be recognised and nurtured, Accenture, a multinational management, consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, has said.

The organisation, which ranks as one of the world’s largest consulting firm measured by revenue, said it is interested in growing the numbers of women leaders around the globe and demonstrating commitment to the potential and the possibility for advancement, particularly in market-facing leadership positions.

“The skills, capabilities and value that women bring to the table are critical to a company’s success,”the firm said in a documentary commemorating the 2013 International Women’s Day, adding that as an organisation, it is obligated to offer women leadership opportunities so it can attract, retain and ultimately, advance them.

“Through skills development, we help women aspire to get to the next level, building their confidence to take that step and provide a roadmap for successful careers and for positioning themselves in the right roles,” it said.

Organisations have continued to give women opportunities to prove their skills and capabilities. Women have continued to rise in their career paths globally, filling positions which, years ago were not deemed fit for women such as Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Vice Presidents of organisations, Managing Directors, Country Managers, Heads of Departments, Ministers and a host of others.

According to the firm, a woman’s ability to define and achieve her goals and to evolve them over time creates the opportunity to pursue and integrate career, personal interests and responsibilities.

“We strive to help our women access the global network to develop their plans, evolve them appropriately during different life stages, have confidence to ask for the next role and take risks along the way,” the firm said.

The organisation said it has a range of initiatives, from succession planning to customize training, that help identify and advance its women leaders and arm them with the right skills for the right work with the right clients in the right locations.

“Our leaders and executives are personally committed to participating and sharing their experiences at our annual global International Women’s Day events (for the ninth consecutive year) which focus on building skills and offering practical information that women can apply to their work and personal lives,” it said.

The Nigerian arm of ‘Accenture’s International Women’s Day’ celebration, the organisation’s annual recognition of the United Nations designated event, took place in Lagos on Friday and saw women gather from all works of life to share their experiences with the younger generation on the challenges they encountered on their career pathway and how they were able to overcome them.

Guest speakers at the event were Awuneba Ajumogobia, a Non-Executive Director of UAC of Nigeria Plc. since July 22, 2009, who served as an Audit Manager of Deloitte and has 21 years’ experience in External Audit, Accounting & Finance and Marketing; Yvonne Ike, an internationally-acclaimed investment banker credited with pioneering a number of ground breaking transactions in West Africa region and presently the CEO West Africa, Renaissance Group (Investment Banking) and; Funmi Ogunlesi, an Executive Director and Africa Public Sector Head for Citi Transaction Services at Citibank.

Mrs. Ogunlesi, who was the Managing Director of Citibank Gabon from 2002 to 2007, urged women to constantly learn and improve in their career path in line with fast changing technology.

“This is important because this fast changing technology can render what you knew five years ago redundant. You have to learn new skills. I know it is tough with the kids and there is the time constraint factor but we all have to work towards that. Push that boundary of your knowledge,” she said.

She said that of more concern is the emergence of the younger generation coming into the work force with ‘rocket science’ knowledge and speed. Hence the older generation, she said, would have to demonstrate their competence and experience by being constantly in touch with developments and innovations.

“Be feminine, but focus. Think strategically about your career. Women are more resilient. We can embrace and do more things than we think we can. Always look out for opportunities,” Mrs. Ogunlesi advised.

Women were also urged to be engaged in careers and job descriptions that bring them fulfillment and to hold on to integrity, in whatever capacity they may be called to fill.

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