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FMN Women Network holds annual conference, sets the pace for building capacity for gender inclusion and career development

#FeatureByFMN: The Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), a leading player within the FMNCG industry and the owner of the iconic brand Golden Penny continues to commit to driving gender parity and inclusivity within the organization and across the country.

L- R: HR Business Partner, FMN, Olushola Odeyinde; CEO, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe; Chairperson, FMN Women Network, Olasubomi Sofowora; Chairman, FMN Board of Directors, Mr. John G. Coumantaros; Founder / CEO Reelfruits, Affiong Williams; Head Sales B2C, FMN, Ademola Adeoye; and the Executive Director, Coronation Merchant Bank, Mrs Funke Ladimeji at the FMN Women Network’s Annual Conference 2022 held at Eko Hotel, Lagos. .
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The FMNWN women’s Conference was a virtual and in-person hybrid event, themed “Evolve- Innovate – Emerge: Building Capacity for Success – a call for the emergence of transformed women that are courageous enough to take leadership within and outside the organization.

The hybrid conference brought together key organizational stakeholders and industry captains across varied sectors such as the FMN Chairman Board of Directors, Mr. John G. Coumantaros; The GMD/CEO, Mr. Boye Olusanya, who delivered his insightful address virtually, Dr. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, who delivered the opening remarks, Funke Ladimeji, the Executive Director, Coronation Merchant Bank, Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One, Bola Adeeko, Director Special Projects, FMN and other distinguished guests and speakers.

The goal of this year's FMNWN women's conference was to create a platform to enlighten FMN Women on available opportunities and resources whilst inspiring them on strategies to attain sustainable success in their personal and professional endeavors.

During the one-day conference, the chairman of FMN’s Board of Directors, John G. Coumantaros, who was the originator of the Network and was also in attendance commended the various programs initiated by the FMNWN’s management to promote gender diversity, and inclusion, and build sustainable and progressive initiatives that drive gender inclusivity in the country.

Mr. Coumantaros highlighted FMN’s commitment to developing the capacities of women both within and outside the organization through transformative changes that are more inclusive and allow for gender parity.

Speaking on FMNWN’s key initiatives, Mr. Coumantaros said: “I wish to applaud the Network and its management for the invaluable initiatives taken from inception till date in the cause of creating the envisaged future.

He went on to note that “the FMN Women Network has also continued to broaden its participation in the Nigeria2Equal gender program under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Through this proactive partnership, we are directly reducing gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship in the private sector.

"Also, the establishment of the wellness club by the network is yet another initiative worth commending as women within the organization are afforded the platform to engage with one another and tackle work-life balance”.

Speaking on the FMNWN initiatives and strides taken by FMN on gender diversity, Group Managing Director Boye Olusanya said “Sincerely, I commend the Network and its management team for the transformative initiatives taken over the years to ensure that our organization remains at the forefront of driving gender parity and inclusivity. We have seen the number of women at the management level grow by 26%, and through the Network’s quarterly mentorship program, we have seen more women take leadership and drive change across the organization.

Also commenting on the expected outcome of the conference, the Chairperson, FMN Women Network, Olasubomi Sofowora stated “This is the first time we as a network is gathering physically since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to go virtual.

"Like the rest of the world, we are adjusting to the rapidly evolving realities that ensued with the pandemic. I am proud to report that, over the past few years, the Network has instituted and coordinated mentorship programs for over 100 women across the organization and at all levels, to inspire them and guide them as they chart the path upwards in their careers.

"We have spearheaded an effort to place women’s wellness at the heart of managing gender-related challenges in the workplace and currently in the process of setting up a creche” She further thanked the board, sponsors, and management for their unflinching support.

This year’s conference had in attendance a cross-section of panelists which includes Funke Ladimeji, the Executive Director, Coronation Merchant Bank; Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO, Sterling One Foundation; Affiong Williams, CEO, Reelfruits; and Ademola Adeoye, FMN, Head of Sales, B2C. The Panel session was moderated by the FMN HR Business Partner, Olushola Odeyinde.

Through the conference and feedback from various key resource persons and leading industry players, the FMN Women were charged to take meaningful and transformative actions across their areas of influence and not to yield to fear or self-doubt.

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