NOVA Merchant Bank has pledged to promote gender equality by supporting women who embrace technology.
This commitment was made recently during the 2023 NOVA International Women’s Day (IWD) conference held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos.
The IWD conference is part of the bank’s women empowerment initiative which began in 2020, where women in NOVA converge to discuss gender equality issues and proffer solutions.
This 2023 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.
Chief host and executive director of NOVA Merchant Bank Funke Okoya, who welcomed participants at the conference, 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.”
Mrs Okoya added that NOVA will continue to push for the capacity development of women in Nigeria in tech and drive initiatives that advance women’s cause.
Chief information officer, NOVA Merchant Bank Mabel Irona-Nduka reiterated the bank’s stance on female empowerment, adding, “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, who is the founding partner, Health Cap Africa, said, “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 Adedoyin Odunfa, who spoke on protecting the rights of women and girls in the digital space, said, “50 percent of women online have suffered some form of online violence and harassment from the responses and nuances.” She noted that it is critical 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.”