PICTURES TAKEN AT THE EVENT

 

GMD’s SPEECH AT THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE GROUP CEO OF UAC OF NIGERIA PLC, MR ABDUL BELLO AT THE COMPANY’S 2018 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION THEMED “MANAGING YOUR CAREER AND HOME FRONT” HELD AT THE GOLDEN TULIP FESTAC, LAGOS ON THURSDAY, 8TH MARCH 2018.

I am pleased to welcome you all to Golden Tulip Festac to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. At this event you will reflect on the global theme for this year – #PressForProgress and learn from the stories of great women around you, who have achieved career success, while playing key roles in their families. And I will then request that you join me in the task of delivering a more caring gender balanced organization through advice, resolve and support for others. Back to International Women’s Day, a short history for us all:

  • The day was first observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States to promote equal rights for women and women’s suffrage
  • Date moved to March 8 in 1913 and celebrated on that day since then
  • United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March 1975.

Why is International Women’s Day still observed?

  • 2017 Global Gender Gap report indicates that on current trends, overall gender gap will be closed in 100 years
  • Progress is being made in closing the very wide political gender gap
  • There is a widening in economic and health gender gaps.

Economic gap will take 217 years to close!

At UAC, we recognise that diversity, including gender diversity – men and women of different backgrounds and experiences helps creativity and promotes innovative ideas for growth. We know that women excel in soft skills needed for business leadership and productivity. In addition, research has shown that women account for 85% of consumer purchases and would therefore bring valuable consumer insight to the table. That is why today we have a female Executive Director Corporate Services, Chief Financial Officer, Head Risk and Compliance, Head Human Resources and others heading our subsidiaries. We need to do more than the 31% of UAC Management staff that are female to deliver our strategic agenda and we know that a peaceful and supportive home environment significantly impacts all-round productivity. So UAC has a maternity leave policy, which has now being modified to permit annual leave in the same year. We grant paternity leave to male employees to enable them support their spouses after childbirth. We have a crèche at CAP and are making arrangements to support staff located outside Ikeja.

We are minded to avoid transfers of married female employees outside their cities of residence. Our Continuous Learning Framework will include topics like Assertiveness, Responsible Parenting, Diet and Health, Grooming etc. And I advised all employees in my 2nd January email that UAC will improve the quality of its engagement with stakeholders. I am open to conversations on what more we, as individuals and UAC should do to help career and home front growth for our women colleagues. Commit to #PressForProgress to create a better working world. But start from home and the workplace of UAC.

Thank you for listening and I wish you an interesting day.

Abdul Bello Thursday, 8 March 2018

“I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to cause many ripples” – Mother Teresa