A Leading non-profit organization focused on empowering and developing women in the professions and enterprise, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR) has recently concluded its 2021 Annual Leadership and Mentoring Conference themed “Playing Big, Time to take our Place”.

The weeklong conference featured 3-Events over 4 days, held from the 23rd to 27th of November.  The grand finale which held on Saturday, 27th November at the Muson Centre, Onikan had in attendance; The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen CFR who represented the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON; The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Honourable Abike Dabiri Chairperson Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Ms. Comfort Lamptey UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, the Chairperson of Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Bola Adesola who was conferred with the Distinguished WISCAR Award amongst a host of other top dignitaries and key stakeholders.

As part of the activities laid down for the conference, a high level panel discussion took place   women who are Playing BIG in their respective fields. The discourse focused on an uncensored background into the journey of these outstanding women, showcasing how they are achieving extraordinary feats and navigating the highest offices in various industries. Emphasis was laid on the importance of mentorship, role-modelling and exemplars in the journey to playing and staying big. The panelists consisted of the MD/CEO Lotus Bank, Kafilat Araoye; MD Maersk Nigeria, Lara Lana; CEO Iwosan Investment, Fola Laoye; and President/Group CEO of Transcorp, Owen Omogiafo. The panel discussion was moderated by the renowned Channels TV Presenter, Kayode Okikiolu.

Speaking at the conference, the Vice President of the Federal Republic, Professor Yemi Osinbajo represented by the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs; Dame Pauline Tallen CFR said “it is indeed an honour to be at WISCAR 2021 Annual Mentoring and Leadership Conference. I must applaud WISCAR for the incredible role they play in advocating for the constant development of Women. It is time to act, time to play big, it is time for us to stand together and ensure that women and young girls are continuously mentored and aware of the significant roles they play in society”. 

Also speaking at the conference, the distinguished WISCAR Awardee, Bola Adesola said “We cannot over emphasize the need for women to Play Big, rise and take their place, we are born with wings so why do we have to crawl, as women we are grossly under-represented, we shrink and curtail. Big is a relative word and Playing Big is taking your place and determining what success should look like for you. It is about Playing Big and Staying Big.” 

She went on to share the values that have aided her throughout her Journey. In her words, “If you are going to play big and take your place then you must know and have these core values; Purpose, Passion, Planning, Preparation, Positioning and Building Relationships. Failures and setbacks will occur but knowing and remembering one’s purpose helps, it is not a sprint but a marathon. The Price for Success is always greater and that’s what Playing Big is all about.”  

The convener and Founder of WISCAR, Amina Oyagbola also emphasized on a world where women and men are treated equally and a future where women’s rights are treated as human rights. She went on further to say “Women have always played an influential role at work and in their homes but what we have not done so well is making our voices heard by stepping forward to lead and influence policy and decision making which is why this Year’s theme is Playing Big, Time to take Our Place. This year’s conference was aimed at showcasing leading women, playing big in their various fields, from social innovation, to entrepreneurship to corporate world and politics. It is our sincere belief that at the end of this conference we will be inspired to take charge of our careers and destiny, to achieve our aspirations and dreams and be agents of change in our society.”

She expressed her heartfelt appreciation to all participants, the panelists, keynote speakers and well-wishers who in one way or the other contributed to the success of the event.

A key highlight of the Conference, following the successful execution of the pioneering Beijing +25 Intergenerational Mentoring program by UN Women Nigeria and WISCAR, led to the launch of the book “The Sheroes of Beijing” which was debuted at the Grand Finale Conference. The book references the stories of 20 phenomenal women who participated at the 1999, 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. 

The event by WISCAR ended on a high note with several calls to action including support for the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, increased women’s political participation and voter registration. 

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