Message from the ED

Mrs Furo Giami, Executive Director CELD

Equipping ‘’More Women’’ to be Active Participants in Critical Sectors of Emerging Economies in 2019

The journey for women in 2018 recorded some challenges albeit, with rays of hope. Though progress in gender diversity and other related issues seemed to have stalled in 2018, it is not due to a lack of commitment from women themselves. According to ’Women in the Workplace 2018’ , a study conducted by McKinsey in partnership with LeanIn.Org, “Women are doing their part. For more than 30 years, they’ve been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men. They’re asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men. And contrary to conventional wisdom, they are staying in the workforce at the same rate as men.”

Hence, the year 2018 will go down memory lane as a ground breaking year for women, especially women in critical sectors of the economy like STEM. There has been significant growth in the number of women and the number of girls who are audacious enough to hope to change the world through STEM. It was a year that witnessed a global display of the power of female pacesetters in science and innovation; with Professor Donna Strickland becoming the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 55 years, and Professor Frances Arnold sharing the joint honors in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, as the first American woman and fifth woman ever to win the award. It was also a year of visibility for Women in STEM, as Dr Jess Wade, who was apparently moved by the fact that only 17% of the biographies are of women on English-speaking Wikipedia, created more than 300 Wikipedia pages to ensure that women in science get the recognition they deserve.

Also, in the political space, a myriad of notable gains and breakthroughs were recorded for women.  In Saudi Arabia, women were allowed to drive for the first time; Ethiopia elected its first female president Sahle-Work Zewde in addition to appointing Meaza Ashenafi as its first female Supreme Court president, making it the third country in Africa – after Rwanda and Seychelles – to have a cabinet split equally between men and women; and the United States of America electing a total of 112 women in congress — the most number of diversity of women to serve at once in history.

Therefore, building and riding on these amazing successes for women, we at the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development, are audaciously optimistic that the Year 2019 will usher the world into an era of ‘’more women’’ in critical sectors of major economies . We are therefore excited to declare our Year 2019 theme as- Equipping ‘’More Women’’ to be active participants in critical sectors of Emerging Economies.

Owing to the growing importance of emerging nations in the global economy and our organization’s core mission being centered on developing the capacity of women in Emerging Economies; pursuing this theme of equipping more women in critical sectors of these economies may be key to driving the required innovation and fuelling their competitiveness in the years ahead.

Therefore for critical sectors such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Health, Politics, Education, etc., which are key sources of growth and crucial to the growth of any economy; we have designed a line-up of programs that aim to inspire and get ‘’more women’’ into roles of leadership and active participation-women equipped with the requisite skills needed to unlock the transformational change we want to see in our societies as we strive to build a safer, more equal and prosperous world.

I therefore warmly welcome diverse collaborations from industries, government and individuals, as we join hands to equip ‘’More Women” in 2019


Warm Regards,
Mrs. Furo Giami
Executive Director
Centre for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD)