Women in the port industry in Nigeria would have to relentlessly pursue professionalism to engender equality in the work place, Mrs Funmilayo Olotu, the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex have said.
Olotu spoke at an event organised by the port to commemorate 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD) and to celebrate the contributions of female stakeholders to Nigeria’s premier port also referred to as Apapa port.
According to her, the year’s focus on equity is a call for women to prove their mettle through competence at work not competition.
She acknowledged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as gender friendly organisation where several women have led and still lead as Head of Departments, positively influencing port operations and administration.
“If you are competent, you do not need to struggle to be recognized, acknowledged or given your due place in any of the organisations. What some of us do is that, we expect things to be given to us on a platter of Gold, it is not so.
“We are here today, joining the whole world to celebrate women achievements, educate and raise awareness about equality and call for positive change in advancing women.
“Lobbying for accelerated gender parity is sometimes not by fighting, force or argument. My people usually say that, there are days that you have something to say, but there is no time to say them, and there are days you have time to talk, but there is nothing to say.
“We acknowledge and celebrate their beautiful footprints on the sands of the maritime path in Apapa, even as we identify with other accomplished women all over the globe,” Mrs Olotu stated.
She enjoined women to lobby for gender parity in their various organisations as they crave for and show competency.
Olotu also stressed the need to women to show emotional intelligence at work, forge united front and show unflinching support for one another.
“However tough the provocation may be, sometimes it is better to keep quiet. My people say that, the name you will give to your new born child is inside of you, and until you pronounce it, the child won’t bear the name”.
The Director General, Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike, a special guest at the event also tasked older and more successful women on mentorship and the identification of female prospects with leadership capacities.
She explained that women who fit the caps need to be consciously identified and encouraged, adding that every woman essentially needs to approach the table with a mind that is open to learning.
“You have to keep learning on the job. Always work with mindset of making a success out of your work, learn the work-life balance, and ensure that all aspects are done brilliantly “, she advised.
Chimezie-Azubike also appreciated women at the Nigerian Ports Authority for their significant contributions to the growth of the maritime sector.