Caption: From left, the Managing Director/CEO NOVA Merchant Bank, Nath Ude; Managing Director/CEO, Digital Jewels Africa, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa; Founding partner, Healthcare Capital Africa (Healthcap), Dr Ola Brown; and Executive Director, NOVA Merchant Bank, Mrs. Funke Okoya, during the 2023 NOVA International Women’s Day (IWD) conference held at the Bank’s headquarters in Lagos last week.
As part of promoting gender equality, the management of NOVA Merchant Bank says it will support women embracing technology skills, especially in an ever-evolving world.
Mrs. Funke Okoya, Executive Director of the bank, made the commitment during this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) conference held recently in Lagos, as part of its women empowerment initiative which began in 2020, where women in NOVA converge to discuss gender equality issues and proffer solutions.
The event featured prominent women who have distinguished themselves in their industries by leveraging technology and innovative solutions to drive value in Nigeria and Africa in line with the global theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality.”
Welcoming participants, Mrs. Okoya said “given the country’s transition to cashless policy, NOVA believes that women can play a significant role in providing innovative ideas to capitalise on the benefits of this disruption by leveraging innovation and technology.”
NOVA, she assured, will continue to promote capacity development for women in the Nigerian tech space, while driving initiatives that advance women’s cause.
Also speaking at the confab, the Chief Information Officer, NOVA Merchant Bank, Mrs. Mabel Irona-Nduka, reiterated the bank’s stance on female empowerment, stressing that “NOVA will continue to lead the many voices committed to women empowerment by making deliberate efforts to close the gender gap in traditionally male dominated roles like information Technology and most especially, at leadership levels.”
Guest Speaker at the event, Dr. Ola Brown, the Founding Partner, Health Cap Africa noted that “having tech savvy women in leadership roles means making more profits, especially in a hyper-competitive industry such as banking where we must leverage and utilize all legitimate and innovative alternatives to optimize profit irrespective of gender, and this is where embracing equity is important.”
Brown emphasised the need for women to believe in themselves as competent enough to advocate for quotas in all areas, including technology, politics, and their careers.
In her own submission, the Managing Director/CEO, Digital Jewels Africa, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa who spoke on protecting the rights of women and girls in the digital space added that “50% of women online have suffered some form of online violence and harassment from the responses and nuances.”
It is critical, she continued, “to teach women and girls digital skills and how to deal with online violence, and also put policies in place to protect women’s rights in the digital space.”