SOFIELD’S APPOINTMENT CONTESTED
At FHL annual general meeting
The noticeable lack of women in top executive level once again became a key message by the Women in Business President, Nur Bano Ali. Ms Ali highlighted this while speaking during the WIB annual general meeting yesterday at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. She acknowledged the number of females in the middle executive level was increasing, however, there are concerns in the top executive level. Ms Ali emphasised the need to grow womenowned businesses to help them become larger organisations. She stressed the WIB continues to provide various platforms for women in business and commerce to come together for skills enhancement and exchange. “This is done through events such as the speed networking and regular luncheons and breakfast sessions,” she said.
“Women work at all levels of society regardless of their occupation so they are a very important resource to have and work with.
“They are wide visioned and are able to take on a wider responsibility therefore as leaders.
“Fiji still needs a lot of work to fully embrace and indeed comprehend the need to include women at the highest levels of decision making. “We are not just asking for women to be included, but rather what we are saying is to not exclude women from decision making is a loss to Fiji.”
Ms Ali said Fiji is still quite behind with the uptake on including women in top teams. “We believe that by now this should be a very obvious thing to do. We still hear from various sectors excuses that it is hard to find relevantly qualified women to fill certain positions,” she said. “However, in taking heed of that, we continue to provide the upskilling so as to boost the confidence in women to take up positions when offered.” In today’s world, Ms Ali added having women on all policy and decision making bodies is not an option but it is indeed a requirement. “These are not the dark ages and we all must recognise this and ensure this and all of us together must act to enlighten anyone and everyone to recognise this,” she said. Ms Ali added at the executive board, they are focused on working on their two main objectives. This includes promoting women to the highest levels of business and executive and upskilling the emerging women in business. “This is for those who cannot access resources and skills and thereby create a smarter pool of talented women in the commerce of Fiji,” she said.
Ms Ali said it will be worth their while to take stock of the numbers of women in leadership and top positions in commerce and on corporate boards. She said they will monitor the rate at which this is changing. “What we also need to do is celebrate women a lot more. For instance if Hillary Clinton wins, and she will, we will celebrate the first female President of the US,” she added. “Our executives continue to lobby at various levels for women’s inclusion, prominence and participation in statutory and corporate boards as directors.”
They also have a full calendar of events for the remaining months of the year.
We are not just asking for women to be included, but rather what we are saying is to not exclude women from decision making is a loss to Fiji
Nur Bano Ali
Women in Business President
Members of Women in Business at the Annual General Meeting at Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.