WITH the right mix of innovation, business focus, accountability and ambition, women entrepreneurs can spearhead the on-going evolution of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in the 21st century and relegate their male counterparts to the back seat. This bold assertion came from Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, who was the guest speaker at an interactive breakfast meeting tagged Women in ICT organised by Technology Distributions in Lagos last month.
Ekeh made specific reference to global ICT giants IBM, which now has Ginni Rometty, a female as its CEO. He also cited the increasingly pivotal role women in the corporate sector are playing in the global arena and urged the participants to become more ambitious in growing their businesses and targeting bigger ventures.
“Women are naturally more structured, trustworthy, less greedy and more prayerful than men. These innate qualities have strategically endowed women with the basic ingredients for leadership. As entrepreneurs, all you need to do is combine these innate qualities with absolute commitment, capacity for innovation, credibility and sound digital knowledge and very soon, the male folk will be struggling to keep pace with the women in the industry,” Ekeh said.
“ICT is a business of the future, one that you can bequeath to your children and unborn generations. It is an industry of constant innovation, requiring a sound business model and structure. Hence, I encourage you to enhance your knowledge in the digital business and build capacity which will in turn enable you accommodate the short term business shocks and eventually take charge of the digital economy.” Ekeh added.
Urging women to see themselves as equal partners with men, Ekeh urged participants to leverage on the emerging force of E-Commerce and M-Commerce, which has the potential of laying a foundation for women to control the wealth and leadership of nations in the third quarter of the century. While assuring the women ICT entrepreneurs of the utmost support from Technology Distributions in their respective roles as business partners, the Zinox boss cautioned against excessive borrowing and emotional decisions, which he says are two factors capable of negating business success.
The CEO of Technology Distributions Limited, Chioma Ekeh, urged the women entrepreneurs to break out of the outdated stereotypes that have long held them back and take their rightful place in the scheme of things, especially with regard to driving the revolution in the ICT industry.
Noting that women are credible, balanced, emotionally intelligent beings, proven masters of crisis and opportunity management as well as great managers of resources, she challenged the participants to borrow a leaf from Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who has urged women to seek leadership roles and own their success.
“It is no accident that women make up over half of the world’s population. Why then are there so few women occupying positions of authority? It is high time for us to unleash our potential and begin to take charge of things happening around us. There is a growing trend of more women in ICT which is quite encouraging and despite the challenges in the system, we must capitalize on this to lead the revolutions in the industry,” she said.
Technology Distributions, which organised the conference, is one of the largest ICT distribution companies in Africa with over 65 per cent spread of ICT products distribution in West Africa The company also boasts a strong gender-sensitive structure, with over 80 per cent of women occupying managerial positions in the organization.