WILAT Nigeria Emphasizes Need  For  Women To Leverage  Networking Opportunities

By Loveth Anyaegbunam
WILAT Nigeria Emphasizes Need  For  Women To Leverage  Networking Opportunities
Members of Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) during their Founder’s Day Walk on June 12, in Lagos


 Women in Logistics and Transport ( WILAT) has re-emphasized the need for women to leverage  networking opportunities for sustainable gender diversity and inclusion  in this fast-paced digital driven world.

 Speakers at the 14th WiLAT Founder’s day  on Wednesday in Lagos, Nigeria noted this, while urging professional women in different transport and logistics modes to join WILAT Nigeria for opportunities it offers for career growth and success.

 June 12 every year is set aside by WiLAT Nigeria as Founder’s Day during which members engage in fitness walk and encourage keeping fit for work, while appraising the activities of the association.

 WiLAT was founded on June 12, 2010 by Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, who was inspired by a quiet revolt by five women during the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) International  Convention in Malta.  The women had observed that only few women were in attendance and sought for how to increase women participation. Consequently, their observation culminated to a motion which  was adopted by the conference  but charged to go back to their respective countries to activate the initiative. Others went home and did nothing but Hajia Ali-Ibrahim got back to Nigeria and galvanized women into action.

 In her presentation at a reception after the walk, the  pioneer Secretary of the Association ,Mrs.Juliana Saka, said  WiLAT provides mentoring and networking opportunities to members,as it also assist them to get to the peak of their career.

“We cannot quantify the extent we can go in networking in WiLAT, which builds the capacity of its members through seminar, conference and trainings, “she said.

“We assist women to leverage opportunities and compete with their male counterparts. The industry is mainly male dominated. For a man, if you put in 50 per cent effort, they will say you are intelligent but for a woman you need to put in 80 per cent and above to be noticed as being intelligent.  WiLAT prepares its members for leadership roles both nationally, international and regionally. Naturally, we are all leaders from WiLAT.”

 According to her, in 14 years of existence, WILAT has established presence in 38 countries also divided into regions. Today, WILAT is now giving birth to CILT in countries where there are no CILT. WiLAT brought visibility to CILT which has become an institute that globally encourages women to grow professionally because we are the female wing of CILT.”

 The chairperson of WiLAT Nigeria, Khadijat Sheidu-Shabi, in her speech reiterated the role of WILAT in nation building, advising career women to engage themselves in professional activities for growth and leisure to repress or avoid depression arising from  work schedules.  She also advised them to always have a side- hussle to retire into after retirement from civil service to avoid boredom and depression.

A WILAT role model,Chief  Mrs Carol Ufere added her voice:”I want to formally appreciate  the chairperson of WILAT,I also want to appreciate our Founder.Hajia Aisha Ibrahim,the milestones that have been achieved  so far, which also rubbed off on CILT was as a result of her doggedness. She never gave up the fight despite all the obstacles and challenges she encountered in the way of mobilizing women to be part of WILAT.

 Ufere, who is a former General Manager in Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) said, “I want to thank the other members and organizers of today’s walk and WILAT day June 12 which is our Founder’s day, like the chairperson rightly said,If June 12 is not celebrated, it will just disappear from the history of WILAT because the way we are going, the Asian countries almost  hijacked how WILAT started. In fact, it is like rewriting history and it was a lot of stiff opposition from all Nigerian members.

According to her,“I want to commend everyone who has come out today and we plead that all of you continue to participate in WILAT activities. From what the presenter has shown on the board, you can see the numerous benefits that you can gain from being a member of WILAT,and the president has also assured you that even in your offices if you have issues WILAT can come in even if WILAT is unable to do it, they can also drag CILT in for support because we have the caliber of people in CILT and WILAT that can pursue our causes.

 The walk which started from Lagos  Port Complex(LPC) through ENL Consortium , NIMASA Apapa office; Nigerian Shippers Council( NSC)  ended at Confluence  Logistics and Transport  Service Apapa, Lagos office.

 Members from the Maritime, Rail, Aviation, Land and Logistics modes participated in the  founder’s day and fitness Walk.

The event also featured award presentations to deserving members.

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