Women can win big in general elections – Aisha Ahmad, WIMBIZ boss

The Women in Management, Business and Public Service group (WIMBIZ) has selected Aishah Ahmad, CFA as its new chairperson.

Aishah gave her acceptance speech at their 14th annual conference closing ceremony and stated her delight and happiness at being selected.

“It is with a great sense of humility, excitement and some trepidation that I accept this honor and brand new responsibility.”

She revealed that her emergence as Chairperson is a true depiction of the struggles of the group.

“The story of why I am standing here, as WIMBIZ Chairperson, is very much the story of WIMBIZ and to my mind captures the true essence of our organization. For me WIMBIZ is an outlet to channel my energies, express my creativity and give back in an area I personally care about – inspiring and empowering others. Over the years, I have been challenged, leveraged my skills, and through the example and inspiration of other high achieving women, strengthened my resolve to dream bigger than I ever thought possible.”

She went further to explain how WIMBIZ  as an organisation is achieveing its goals as well as aspirations.

“It is a great time to be a woman. Gender inequality has become a mainstream topic globally; private, public and non-governmental organizations are increasingly taking the initiative to pursue gender diversity. Businesses also progressively recognize womens’ potential as economic powerhouses and profitable customer segments. As women, we have also recorded many milestones, increasing our representation in executive management and board level – It was gratifying to see three amazing women emerge as Chairpersons of some of the largest banks in sub-Saharan Africa – (please feel free to applause!) – and we appear set to record – in our lifetimes – the first female leader of the so called free-world. Clearly, we have come a long way from the days when we weren’t allowed to vote!

“However, even though we have claimed three top seats in the board room, there are still too few of us around the table. And whilst the other Aisha – Mama Taraba has shown us that we indeed have the potential to win big in gubernatorial elections we are poorly represented in politics & public service. Only 16% of the recent cabinet ministerial positions are held by women, 4% in the House of Representatives and 7% in the senate. Notwithstanding, we congratulate the 6 women appointed to the federal executive council, including Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Honourable Minister of Finance and incidentally my co-debater at last year’s (2014) WIMBIZ Annual conference – we argued that nice girls get the corner office and even though there is no victor and vanquished at the debates, I think we made a very good case! We also recognize our own Mrs. Omobola Johnson, former minister of Communications Technology for her contributions to the previous administration” she added.

Aishah extended her thanks and gratitude to the members of the group who has given a lot to the group while acknowledging the council who put their faith in her “At WIMBIZ it is very much a team effort. Thus, I must acknowledge the executive council who shape the execution of the WIMBIZ mission; the WIMBIZ secretariat, led by a dynamic Executive Director, Mosun Layode; who operationalize and make it all happen. I also appreciate everyone who has been part of the organizing, fundraising, speaking, moderating at WIMBIZ. All of you who have contributed over the years donating your skills and time. You played your part share in the glory of what WIMBIZ is today.

“I especially would like to congratulate the outgoing Chairperson of the WIMBIZ Executive Council, Osayi Alile for a successful tenure, and being the first Chairperson of the ‘next generation’. No transition is without its challenges and the grace with which you handled your role at this critical moment in the history of WIMBIZ shall be applauded for years to come. As we all do now.

“So, the future awaits us… and as we approach our 15th year as an organization, we are keenly aware of all that is yet to be accomplished. There are simply too few women steering the ship at the national level, and we surely cannot thrive with less than half of our nation’s skills and human resource left behind. Thus, we must enhance women’s leadership, empowering them with the skills required to step up and stand out. Strengthening the pipeline of eligible women at board level remains a top priority, as well as increasing the participation of women in all aspects of political and public life. We shall also readily leverage technology & big data to engage our growing multinational audience and position WIMBIZ as the key repository of research concerning women. Most importantly, we must also ensure that WIMBIZ continues to provide a platform for every woman to get involved and give back to other women – in whatever way she chooses. After-all, we are ever so powerful when we walk together on this journey than when we go it alone!”

She finished her speech with a promise for the future “I am deeply honored to steer us on this next phase in our history and with the assurances of your support, look forward to a fruitful and exciting tenure.”



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