Distinguished ladies and men who care about them congregated in Lagos recently to discuss how to break life and business limitations.
The iWOW (Inspired Women of Worth), in its 7th year, held its annual Global Possibilities Summit 2017, a transformational 2-day business and life event aimed at inspiring, encouraging and equipping women to break every kind of limitation, environmental, economic, societal, cultural, political or corporate.
The event, which held from March 31-April 1 in Lagos, had the theme ‘No Glass Ceiling’, a traditional expression referring to corporate challenges for women rising to top leadership, but which at this event was expanded to include any identifiable barrier that restricts people from achieving their highest potential.
Deliberations began on the first day of the Global Possibilities Summit, which held at the Wheatbaker Hotel, with the Executive Business Mastermind based on the GO MEGA business growth series, designed and facilitated by Udo Okonjo, Founder, iWOW and CEO at Fine and Country West Africa.
The theme of the mastery session was, ‘Creating your Own Economy’ and Udo encouraged the women to build their own ‘houses’, (a metaphor for businesses or indispensability factor for those in paid employment) to eliminate the fear of ceilings.
She also enjoined the guests to focus and dominate a sector or market segment before diversifying and getting distracted by multiple opportunities.
Chizor Malize, CEO, Brandzone Consulting, shared lessons on ‘Building a Stand Out brand’ by building meaningful personal brands that stand for something significant, while Oke Maduewesi, CEO, Zaron Cosmetics, contributed her business perspective and case study drawing on the lessons of affordability, accessibility and quality, which have helped her grow her brand both locally and across Africa in a tough economy.
The guests also brainstormed lessons on defying the glass ceiling for business owners, shared specially for the summit by Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairwoman of First Bank Plc.
THE BIG Conversation…
The evening town hall meeting was themed, ‘The Big Conversation: Age, Culture, Environment, Finances . . . is there a Glass Ceiling? It was an evening of Knowledge, Entertainment, Empowerment and Transformation.
The conversation kicked off with a powerful line-up of speakers- which included Dr. Myma Belo- Osagie Oje of the founding partners of Udo Udoma & Belo Osagie, a leading Law firm; Tara Fela-Durotoye CEO of House of Tara; Bisi Lamikanra Senior Partner at KPMG; Ego Boyo, a pioneer in the Entertainment industry and Lanre Olusola, an acclaimed life coach.
Following the debate by the panel, Aig Imokhuede, Chairman of Coronation Capital and President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, spoke on the Corporate Glass Ceiling, ‘A Myth or Reality’, with a charge that women ought to think more politically while acting strategically. He stated that there are clear ceilings but they are surmountable with all parties including men joining forces to eliminate them in the work place.
Dr. Tony Rapu, Senior Pastor of This Present House and Chairman of Freedom Foundation also addressed the cultural and religious perspective on the ceilings that women face, admonishing women to let their voices be heard collectively for bolder impact.
Saturday was the high point of the Global Possibilities Summit with two plenary sessions and a GPS round table discussion.
Mrs. Mosun Belo- Olusoga, Chairman, Access Bank Plc., Ms. Evelyn Oputu, former MD of Bank of Industry, both role models for many corporate women, and Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, who took the keynote addresses set the tone for the morning session.
Peter Obi touched on the need for women to actively participate in politics. He charged women to get involved and be co-creators of the future they want for their children. He proposed that women should actively engage themselves in building public wealth.
Mrs. Belo Olusoga, encouraged women to define success for themselves, and be clear what their personal values are, while adopting diligence, excellence and commitment as workplace values to put them on top.
Evelyn Oputu, advised women to discover and define themselves and their own terms of success, while playing like men with courage, and yet winning like women with style and emotional intelligence.
The GPS Roundtable, which focused on Creating your Own Silver Spoon, had Chude Jideonwu, of Red Media, Osayi Alile, Development Consultant, and Stephanie Obi a New Media coach for people who want to amplify their messages or services.
The insightful Roundtable session preceded the second plenary session, which was anchored by The Catalyst, Lanre Olusola and Patrick Nwakogo, Country Director and CEO at Dale Carnegie Nigeria.
Patrick Nwakogo’s session dealt with Effective Communication and Influence, showing guests how to build great relationships at work through increasing our influence quotient, while using communication as a platform.
Lanre rounded off the summit sessions on the topic of “Your Wealth Files”, addressing very profoundly and in a practical manner how to break free from limiting beliefs which ultimately affect our financial mind-sets and lifestyles. He talked about a lack of emotional mastery being a source of stress and most illnesses.
This year’s GPS ended on a profound note, with the Possibilities in Action Award given to a woman who has taken her personal challenges and ceilings and created a pathway for others to benefit. The award went to Hauwa, who runs She Writes Woman, an online and support group mental health platform to raising awareness, increasing acceptance and helping people with mental illness.
With approximately 250 mostly women and Nigerians top business leaders, speakers, trainers and coaches providing inspiration and practical guidance, the summit achieved its mission of igniting personal transformation and business growth for those in attendance according to GPS 2017 Summit Co Chairs, Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha, Partner at Etti, Edu, Jackson & Co and Hajara Pitan, MD of Ted Armour/Owambe Candles.
IWOW is a Leadership and business network for purposeful women who are committed to doing a world of good. It was launched in Johannesburg in 2010 by Udo Okonjo along with women from 8 countries. It has hosted multiple international conferences and is committed to reaching as many women as possible with its uniquely crafted and curated message of Purpose, Power and Unlimited Possibilities for all women and families.