By Ahmed Rahma
An agenda has been set for the female marketing professionals in Nigeria, who intend to advance their careers.
This outline was set at the prestigious Women in Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards (WIMCA) held on November 13, 2020.
The special edition themed Generation equality; imperatives of gender inclusion for the growth of brands and marketing communications had various experts and leaders in the Nigerian marketing communication industry as participant and resource persons who dissected the subject of the occasion.
“The theme of the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration commemorated every March has always informed the theme of WIMCA and this year was no different,” the convener of WIMCA 2020, Mr Joshua Ajayi, explained while welcoming participants to the event.
He revealed that this year’s WIMCA topic was to explore how women can navigate through the tough terrain to shatter the glass ceilings to attain their potential professionally, especially in the Industrial Management Consulting (IMC) industry.
“As usual, women continue to encounter challenges when it comes to advancing in the workplace—and in many facets of society.
“Some of these challenges include Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), the issue of equal remuneration or equal pay, a bias which is an issue women continue to deal with at the place of work, and advocacy, among others,” he explained further.
The Group Managing Director of GDM, Mr Victor Afolabi, who was the keynote speaker of the conference, admonished brand custodians and marketers to always ensure that women are always made the fore focus of marketing strategies as they are economically empowered to make purchase decisions.
“According to research, globally, women control over $20 trillion of the total consumer spend as they wield an influence of over 80 per cent in buying decisions.
“They spend more time than men daily, making economic decisions for their families — from consumer goods to services. These women hold crucial purchasing power. In fact, 50% of products marketed to men are purchased by women,” he noted.
The event also featured two highly interactive panel discussions which had some of the best minds in the industry as panellists.
The first, which was geared towards providing a mentorship platform for young and prospective professionals as well as igniting the potential in women towards attaining enviable heights in marketing and management, was titled Leveraging Data Science for Effective Engagement of Female Consumers.
The session had the event keynote speaker joined by Director of Marketing and Communications, SSA, Mastercard (virtual presence), Ifeoma Dozie, the Executive Director of Marketing, Hs Media Group, Dr Tola Elatuyi, and the Founder/CEO of Kucheza Gaming, Bukola Akingbade as the session moderator.
“Data analytics helps marketers in understanding what happened in the past. It helps you understand the ‘why, what, when, where and how’ of consumers actions in the past.
“With this information, you are better informed and know where the gaps are and of course where the opportunities are. Data science, on the other hand, is predictive data.
“Meaning it is a kind of data that tells you if a customer bought this item, they are likely to purchase this other item. With data science which is predictive, marketers are able to think of product management and innovation.
“It shapes the way the brand thinks, the way we are communicating and the way we are packaging products even to the way we put our products on the shelves,” Dr Elatuyi mentioned while explaining the relationship between data analytics and data science in relations to marketing.
On her part, Ifeoma Dozie decried the dearth of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially cybersecurity and artificial intelligence during her response to the moderator’s question on the place of digital in marketing to women and how Mastercard is engaging the female consumers in this digital age.
She, however, added that, “MasterCard is cultivating young tech enthusiasts as parts of our signature platform called Girls for Tech.
“This is a fun and engaging curriculum built around global science and mathematics. And we have made a commitment to reach 1 million girls globally by 2025 with this programme.
“Our second step is at the product stage, by creating the right solution. We asked ourselves, “are our products and services meeting the actual needs of women? Do we have insights that can help us incorporate women’s experiences into the design and innovation process?
“As a payment technology leader with global insights, we have invested significantly in understanding women’s financial priorities and mapping out these priorities across different stages.
“So, we are committed to designing and developing a world with both women and men in mind; because creating a better world for women creates limitless opportunities and possibilities for us all.”
At the second session moderated by the Customer Marketing & Commercial Manager of Coca-Cola Company, Pheobe Dami-Asolo, Ayodele Otujinrin of Godrej Consumer Products Limited who spoke on the theme Each For Equal: Navigating Through Tough Terrains, explained that beyond the workplace, there are internal factors from the family as well as the society that make it hard for women to go far professionally.
She advised that for women to advance in their careers, they need to be more aspirational beyond the need to get married and raise a family.
“We need to rise up to battle out our challenges. Women need to be more aspirational. Personally, my upbringing was different as the daughter of a single mother. Like Kamala Harris who says she eats ‘No’ for breakfast, I have had to find my way competing with every other person on an equal pedestal.” She further advised women to better themselves by going for training among other things.”
Gebeya Targets Chunk of $1.5trn Freelancer Economy Industry
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Though the global freelancer economy industry is estimated to worth $1.5 trillion, Africa only controls 1.4 per cent and according to data, North America accounts for over half of the total freelancers in the world, about 78 million, with $486 million going to tech freelancers.
But this is about to change as a pan-African source for freelance professional talent, Gebeya, is target a fair chunk of the pie.
In 2020, the company raised a $2 million seed investment co-led by Partech and Orange Ventures and followed by Consonance Investment Managers, to set up the machine for scale, fully automated and digitized.
On Monday, June 14, 2021, the firm announced the launch of its revamped marketplace, the first of its kind in terms of reach in Africa. Prior to investment, Gebeya operated mostly a manual non-scalable marketplace model.
As experts project, freelancers will constitute 80 per cent of the workforce by 2030 andGebeya’s vision is to unlock the power of the skilled workforce on the continent and increase the number of innovative startups leading the helm of digital transformation.
The Gebeya Marketplace boasts of an intelligent matching algorithm that considers location, language, and budget, an automated matching for a seamless experience on a single dashboard and the ability to create a profile and request talent at no cost.
Also, the platform has an option to hire individual talent with specialized skills or build a core team, a dedicated Account Representative, a smooth handling of administrative and finance processes, and an access to a diverse pool, ready to work remotely.
Visitors to the Gebeya Marketplace are matched with freelancers from a carefully curated pool, trusted by multinational telecommunications companies like Orange, as well as e-commerce startups such as Limestart, and logistics startup Paps.
“It’s time for businesses to leverage the sharp skills and fresh perspective that freelancers infuse into a permanent workforce,” said Amadou Daffe, CEO and Co-founder of Gebeya.
“Africa doesn’t have a talent deficiency, it has a matching problem and that is what Gebeya is seeking to address through the deployment of a true Pan-African freelance marketplace,” he added.
“Freelancers are part of a smart, agile hiring strategy. We plan to expand our pool of skilled freelance talent to 15,000 within the next 3 years,” noted Amadou.
Since its inception, Gebeya has played an integral role in aggressively moving the needle forward, bringing Africa’s competitiveness to the forefront of the global digital and technical landscape. New features on the platform will connect businesses with talent in minutes.
Demand for African talent on the Gebeya platform is Pan-African, from East to West Africa – and reaches as far as the EU and the US, as its quality and calibre is comparable to freelancers in those markets. Clients are only matched with talents who have successfully passed vetting, testing, and an interview. Freelance talents possess experience in exploding sectors like fintech, healtech, agritech, and logistics & supply chains, meaning individual entrepreneurs, startups, and large enterprises alike will benefit.
Nigerian Oil Workers Threaten to Shut Down Chevron
By Adedapo Adesanya
Some oil workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to disrupt oil field operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The Nigerian oil workers, through its joint executive union, NUPENGASSAN, threatened this action following the refusal of the company to meet its 14-day ultimatum issued to address their demands.
In a letter addressed to the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Chevron Nigeria Limited, the aggrieved employees alleged the energy firm of inhumane treatment of three of their members.
“The inhuman treatment meted out to the affected Nigerian workers is antithetical to all applicable laws of the federal government of Nigeria as well as other international laws that guide employment and the protection of the rights of workers.
“As a union, we are greatly disturbed by your disregard for due process the termination of the Nigerian workers,” a part of the letter read.
The union also raised dust over what it described as the unlawful disengagement of Bukola Sola Adebawo, James Ukachukwu and John Ayeni.
The group noted that the firing of the three workers attached to IESL, Candid Oil and Expameadow was influenced by Chevron, which it claimed adopted new labour policies that were detrimental to contract labour workers and in contravention of labour laws, as well as in disregard of the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
And as a result, the Joint Executive Committee of NUPENGASSAN in Chevron issued a 14-day notice, demanding that the termination of the Nigerian workers be rescinded, warning that it would take all steps deemed necessary to protect the rights of the Nigerian workers.
But after the 14 days’ notice expired, Chevron and the contract companies refused to meet the demands of the union.
The group said the 10 major issues raised in their letter dated January 21, 2021, have remained unresolved despite several meetings and the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“Our findings revealed that the management has tactfully perfected the plans to casualize the contracts, moving present IEME maintenance labour contract personnel to a service contract on reduced pay which will be determined by the new service contractors.
“All personnel on the IEME maintenance labour contract will be forced to go home, and the new companies will provide new employees for the service contracts,” the unions said, adding that the company was also determined to short-change staff who were compelled to work from home in the payment of compensation for ergonomic tools.
“CNL through her labour contract companies has directed labour contract personnel working from home to provide receipts for ergonomic chairs and tables for them to compensate with N70,000.
“The ergonomic chair costs $1,250 in the market; therefore, we are demanding unconditionally N150,000 flat payments to all affected labour contract personnel working from home as compensation for ergonomic tools required to work safely at home,” the oil workers’ group said.
The union said that what it found most troubling was the surreptitious move to casualise the labour force, adding that – “it has come to the notice of NUPENGASSAN JEC that management plans to change all the manpower contract (Labour Contracts) to service contracts as it is presently happening to – IEME, Xepameado, and Ykish contracts. The contractors that supply manpower to Chevron are being categorized as service contract while the jobs remain as labour jobs.”
“The plan to change all jobs to casual jobs is against the FML&E guidelines. It is only a contractor that supplies manpower and tools to the organization that can be categorized as a service contract! The JEC is demanding that all manpower contracts should be changed to a labour contract with immediate effect.”
In its latest letter, the union threatened to shut down Chevron oilfield operations without further notice if the company fails to take necessary steps.
Buhari Appoints Ilelah as NBC Director-General
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A veteran broadcaster, Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, has been appointed as the substantive Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Mr Ilelah was selected for the job by President Muhammadu Buhari, a statement issued on Friday by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the media aide to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.
It was disclosed in the statement that the appointment of the new head of the broadcasting industry regulatory agency is for five years in the first instance.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, a veteran broadcaster, as the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
“The Minister of Information and Culture, [Mr] Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.
“He said Mr Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance,” the statement said.
Mr Ilelah is replacing Mr Armstrong Idachaba, who has occupied the position in an acting capacity for a while.
Mr Idachaba was recently in the eye of the storm when he directed all broadcast stations in the country to deactivate their Twitter accounts following the suspension of the social platform in the country by the federal government.
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