Stakeholders at theWomen In Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards (WIMCA) have urged female marketing and communications professionals to be deliberate in pressing for progress to the highest position of leadership in their careers. With glass ceiling and several data showing that only few women are able to make it to the boardroom in Nigeria and globally.
The assertion was made at Muson Centre, Lagos where the crème la crème in the marketing and communications industry gathered to celebrate women at the second edition of WIMCA, an initiative of frontline brands and marketing publication, Brand Communicator Magazine with the theme “The Press for Progress”.
Data show that few women make it to the top in the corporate world. On the global scene, women currently hold 4.6% of CEO roles of Fortune500 companies (according to the current ratings) i.e. there are only 23 women that are CEOs in these companies.
This indicates a decline as against 4.8% of 2014 ratings.
In Nigeria, Industry analyst reveals that only 4 out of the top 20 Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) member agencies have women at the helm. Other sub-sectors of the industry cutting across both agency and clients’ side have very few women at the helm.
With these trends, the organisers of the conference and awards said it is imperative to change these narratives in the interest of building a better society.
“In our industry too for instance, only three out of the top advertising agencies in Nigeria have women at the helms of affairs. The ten major Media Independent agencies on the other hand do not have any woman at the helm. Other subsectors of the industry cutting across both agency and clients’ divide also have very few active women at the helms.
“This obvious lacuna of women in key positions among other challenges gave birth to WIMCA four years ago. WIMCA was therefore designed to identify the current trends in marketing communications while addressing the career challenges of female marketing executives” the Convener of the event and Publisher of Brand Communicator, Joshua Ajayi, disclosed.
The Managing Director, Entod Marketing, Iquo Ukoh, and one of the keynote Speakers in the session tagged “Engaging Female Consumers in the digital Age” at WIMCA said “Consumers are no longer just king, that are equally Queens” while the digital space offer brands the opportunity to reach their target market.
She urged marketer to understand the digital space and provide tailored made messages to specific audience on a social media platform because the right engagement will lead to Return on Investment (RoI) and not the numbers of likes on the social media pages.
She explained further that technological disruption is already here and more will be invented in the nearest future but how best it used by women will define how best the gender will rise to the top.
Similarly, the CEO/Chief Creative Officer, X3M, Steve Babaeko, and one of the panelists said, “The new media today, is going to be the old media in another two years, but one thing that will remain with us is storytelling and sharing of that human experience, if we understand that as marketers we are going to be fine”
The Marketing Director, Unilever Nigeria PLC., Nsima Ogedi-Alakwe, on her own part called for proper consumer understanding before embarking on a digital campaign. “You cannot engage a consumer that you do not know and beyond the product benefit, to emotion know your customers, Lagos is not Nigeria.”
Group Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Interswitch, Cherry Eromosele, said consumers trust of e-commerce and online businesses is growing, this growing trend open up a lot of opportunities for brands and their businesses considering that women constitute the large churn of consumers, engagement should strategic in order to increase sales.
How WIMCA Has Bridge The Gap
The event had over seven hundred Female professionals who networked and shared ideas on ways to better the female population despite the fact that they constitute the larger percent of the country’s population.
WIMCA offered the exchange of new ideas, trends and proffering solutions to issues affecting female professionals. Women who attended the event said they were inspired and would aspire to do greater things and also press to excel in their career path.
“Have never been inspired like this, with the quality of Keynote speakers and panelists, am ready to take on challenges and press for progress to the boardroom,” an enthusiast delegate, Okoro Joy stated.
The WIMCA has further shown the need for the female population to be active and dedicated as it also raised the importance of women to organizational growth and the country at large.
According to the organisers of WIMCA, the event is to recognize and encourage excellence and at the same time reward outstanding women in marketing communications industry and corporate organizations. In all, 10 outstanding women and 4 corporate organizations were rewarded for their contributions to the growth of their various industries and the country at large.
The award winner in the individuals categories are: Nkiru Olumide Ojo as the Female Marketing Professional of the year (Banking); Rosemary Akpo, Female Marketing Professional of the year (FMCG); Bunmi Oke, Female Creative Advertising Personality of the year; Sinmisola Obisesan-Hughes, Female Creative Director of the Year; Nkechi Alli-Balogun, Female Public Relations Personality of the Year; Chizor Malize, Female Branding Personality of the Year.
In addition, Maureen Umanah won Female Out-of-home Advertising Professional of the Year; Tolulope Medebem, Female Experiential Marketing Professional of the Year; Ada Adheke, Female Media Independent Professional of the year; and Bola Thomas, Life-Time Achievement Awards.
For the corporate organization category, the fours are PZ Cussons which emerged Dish Washing product of the year (Morning Fresh), Felix King Foundation, Female- Centric Foundation of the Year; PZ Cussons Company, Cool World-Female-Centric Home Appliance brand of the Year; Access Bank Plc, Female Friendly Bank of the Year (The W Initiative); Natures Gentle Touch Hair, Hair Care Product of the Year; Nestle Nigeria Plc, Seasoning Brand of the Year (Maggi).