The Association of Professional Women Bankers (APWB), the female wing of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held the inaugural edition of its Symposium, recently at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos. Themed “Evolution of leadership in the ‘Now’ of work,” the hybrid event addressed the current disruptions in the talent market and its attendant negative impact on the country’s economy, especially the banking industry.
In her opening remarks, Funke Feyisitan Ladimeji, Chairman of APWB and Executive Director of Coronation Merchant Bank Plc, posited that the symposium is designed to capture the ongoing disruptions in talent markets, and the need for new leadership, to address the NOW of work. She said “Very importantly, we live in a highly connected world. And our solutions for one by one lead to issues elsewhere and an escalation for all. As a result, APWB decided to bring Industry stakeholders together – to rub minds on the topic, to share perspectives, to enhance our common understanding, explore and fashion sustainable solutions to the talent market disruptions.”
Also speaking at the event was the Managing Director/CEO, of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Yemisi Edun mentioned that quality leadership was needed in corporate organisations, adding that if the developing situation was not quickly nipped in the bud, the already disrupted banking industry will be challenged more than other sectors of the economy.
The President/Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Dr Ken Opara who was the Chairman of the event noted that the theme encapsulated the challenge confronting human capital managers in organisations, especially the banking industry.
He said, “As we have noticed in the recent past, the culture of work is being redefined by events after the pandemic, the impact of cross-border migration, the new orientation of Gen Zs and millennials, together with changing economic realities of the day; these are creating new dynamics in the labour market. The value proposition offered by organisations must as such adapt to this changing reality. Today’s workplace is becoming more diverse than ever. Organisations that do not make the effort to attract and engage the changing workforce may risk losing their workers, and in the process, the opportunity for growth is a true reflection of the reality out today.”
The Symposium also featured a panel of seasoned Human Capital experts, who thoroughly dimensioned the multiplicity of factors that explain the talent market disruptions. The session commenced with a reportage on the voice of the millennial and Gen Zs – where three research results which focused on this segment of the workforce, were presented. The research report captured the ideologies of millennials and Gen Zs on Work and the Workplace.
Speaking at the panel, Mr Yemi Faseun, CEO / Founder of YF Talent Partners, commented that the older generation has failed to prepare the millennials for leadership roles which they (millennials) are currently filling, and this explains several leadership failures. He also espoused the cons of the indoctrination by several Corporates, of self-development as a model for employee training. Another panellist, Mrs Temi Dalley, Chief Human Resource Officer, Sterling Bank, stressed the importance of organisational culture, and millennials need to understand the connection between their values and the Organisation’s values. Also on the panel was Mr Joe Olofinsola, Human Capital Consulting Leader, West Africa Deloitte & Touche. He spoke about culture and the importance of a positive environment where distrust is eliminated, from amongst the different generations and levels in the organisation, and where millennials are allowed to ‘own their own space’ such that they can fulfil their potential in the workspace and outside the workspace.
Mrs Funke Amobi, Regional Head, People and Culture Nigeria and West Africa for Standard Bank Group, stated five factors to mediate between workforce behaviour and an organisation’s management. She informed the symposium that leadership has shifted from managing talent to managing Digital talents, and there is a difference. She stated the need for the older generation and leadership, to reorientate themselves as the changes in the NOW of work are here to stay.
To crown the evening, the APWB launched its “APWB Coffee Table Book”, which features women at the pinnacle of leadership in the Banking sector. The initiative was introduced by Ms Chinwe Egwim, the APWB Treasurer, who spoke about the creation and curation of the book and its inspirational value for all Bankers, especially emerging female leaders. The Coffee Table Book features women on the Boards of Banks, the Boards of Banking Regulators, Boards of the top 10 Microfinance Banks and Executives of APWB, while also featuring a wealth of nuggets for a successful career journey.
APWB, through the Symposium, created a rich platform, where the Association collaborated with her key sponsors (Coronation Merchant Bank, FCMB, The Address Homes, UBA and FBNQuest), her partners (including Heritage Bank, Greenwich Merchant Bank, Wema Bank, Mainstreet MFB, NPF MFB) as well as her many stakeholders across the Banking and other sectors, to deliver an impressive, content-rich Symposium. This Symposium is another example of APWB leveraging its platform for impact and making the platform available to Female Bankers to contribute in a myriad of ways, to the Banking and Financial Services industry, and lives across social strata.