Ali: Women’s Contribution Beyond Measure

"This was stressed during the Women In Business (WIB) organ­ised International Women’s Day breakfast with an all male panel discussion at the Grand Pacific Ho­tel by WIB President Nur Bano Ali yesterday."
09 Mar 2019 15:20
Ali: Women’s Contribution Beyond Measure
Women turned out in numbers to attend the Women In Business (WIB) organised International Women’s Day breakfastheld at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel on March 8, 2019. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

Women’s contribution to the economy and com­merce is beyond measure as they juggle their many roles to achieve and rise up to ranks.

This was stressed during the Women In Business (WIB) organ­ised International Women’s Day breakfast with an all male panel discussion at the Grand Pacific Ho­tel by WIB President Nur Bano Ali yesterday.

“Today is a day to celebrate wom­en and their many accomplish­ments in whatever occupation they choose to be in, because these ac­complishments are extremely well deserved.”

Ms Ali said: “It is also a day to re­flect on and take stock of women’s progress in society and for us at WIB it is to take stock of their rise in leadership in business and com­merce.

“While we all like to think that women are rising to the top the re­ality is far from that and we need to ask why?

“So there is a lot of talk and very little action to promote women to the highest leadership roles,” she said.

Think equal

She noted that WIB encourages everyone to think equal and there­by equalise the position for women in leadership in commerce and business.

“Men and women need to be bold and think equal.

“Women need to think equal be­cause that is their right and men need to think equal because they have created an uneven situation by ignoring the imbalance for too long to the detriment of organisa­tional success for too long.

“This has to be a collective and collaborative effort to bring about an equal platform for women to thrive,” she said.

The all male panel was made up of the ANZ Fiji Country Head Saud Minam, Fiji National Provi­dent Fund chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi, Lawyer Sharma Dev­anesh and Fijian Holdings Limited Group chief executive officer Nou­zab Fareed

Below are excerpts of the ques­tion and answer session from the WIB event.

Questions: Are you satisfied with leadership in your organisation?

ANZ Fiji Country Head Saud Minam: Yes we can do better, even though they have a lot of managers that need to fill the gaps.

We need to fill the gap straight when the opportunities are there.

Fijian Holdings Limited Group chief executive officer Nouzab Fareed: There is always a room for im­provement.

Lawyer Sharma Devanesh:

We are happy with the number of law firms a lot of things to learn from.

What is your policy on sexiest and sexual harassment?

The panellists responded there is zero-tolerance regarding this.

Fiji National Provident Fund chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi: We should have a platform to address these issues

Mr Fareed: On the spot termina­tion if it’s proven.

What should be done to allow women climb up the ladder?

Mr Fareed: A lot of opportunities are available, but we need to take advantage of it.

We need to be brave, bold and we need to maintain the opportunity. We just need to create it.

Many are reluctant because they don’t want to take advice.

Mr Minam:We need to allow them and give them the opportunity to work where they want.

Westpac Fiji chief executive Kip Hanna– Many organisation need to understand the power of a woman. We as an organisation,we have to address this and provide this in­formation to women where they can be comfortable when they are applying for a job.

We need to give them the assur­ance Yes they can do it.

Yes they can get the job.

Minister for Industry and Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar:

As women we need to create something for us.

We need to be bold, be equal and learn to share information with other women.

And this is how we women can rise.

When I decided to get into poli­tics, there wasn’t any women who came to me and said you are so good and you need to stand for this.

In fact it was a man who encour­age me.

I then saw the network was so good.

When I was campaigning around there were some men who have been supporting me.

For us women, we don’t have a lot of support for each other.

We don’t stand for one another and results speaks for it.

We always look at the privileges the men have created, how about we women create it for ourselves. We need to celebrate every wom­en’s achievement.

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