L-R Amanda Obidike (Strategy Lead and Executive Director of STEMi Makers Africa), Alice Seddon (Country Consular Coordinator of U.S Consulate General; Lagos), Dr. Afolabi Ibukun (Data Scientist and Lecturer at Covenant University, Otta), Anthonia Agbonifo (Executive Director of Food Concepts, Plc.), Jennifer Woods (Commercial Attaché, U.S Consulate General, Lagos), Charlotte Essiet (Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, AOS Orwell, Limited). Photo: STEMi Makers Africa

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2020 (Each for Equal), the STEMi Makers Africa in collaboration with the U.S Consulate General, Lagos and MainOne Communications organized the inaugural “i-be-lady-o” Summit last week.

The “I-be-Lady-o” Workshop program is an expression of STEMi Makers Africa and the STEMi Women initiative to raise young girls and women participation in STEM, learning outcomes and retention in STEM careers.

This project is an outgrowth of the organization where they offer an extensive range of career and personal development talk, enlightening discussions and inspire conversations from trailblazing Advocates in Science and Technology who are speaking out to challenge the status quo.

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The program was held at the U.S Consulate General, Walter Carrington, Victoria Island, Lagos. Amanda Obidike, the Strategy Lead of STEMi Makers Africa shared that the “i-be-lady-o” Summit is meant to correct the negative perceptions that females develop in STEM fields and to improve focus by motivating women to explore typically male-dominated fields.

She said “reducing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education areas could help reduce the skills gap, increase employment and productivity of women and reduce occupational segregation. Ultimately this would foster economic growth via both higher productivity and increased labour market activity”.

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Alice Seddon, the Country Consular Coordinator of the U.S Consulate General, Lagos gave a Keynote address encouraging participants to celebrate themselves as women who are breaking the barriers and participating in STEM. She said whether at home or abroad, promoting women in the STEM fields is a priority of the U.S Government.

The Summit brought together a variety of influential women in STEM, offering the participants an opportunity for valuable networking and mentorship.

The program had Engineer Charlotte Essiet, the Director Corporate and Regulatory Affairs of AOS Orwell Oil and Gas Limited; Dr. Ibukun Afolabi, Senior Lecturer in Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Otta; Engineer J.O Maduka, the First Female COREN Engineer in Nigeria; Yewande Thorpe, a Senior Associate in Marketing and Communications, Africa Finance Corporation; Mojolaoluwa Aderemi Makinde, Head of Brand and Reputations for Google, Sub-Saharan Africa; Tinuola Ipadeola, Head of Corporate Services and Development, MainOne Communications; Ugo Okafor, an Architect, Design Director, and Prototype Engineer; Anthonia Agbonifo, the Executive Director of Food Concepts Plc and Chicken Republic.

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