Notes from The Inspire, For Women Conference 2017

Inspire, for women is a social entrepreneurship initiative, focused on raising women for leadership in politics, business, career, ministry and the family.
The initiative started with a conference on 29th of May 2013, and it has continued in subsequent years on May 1st of each year. This year edition was my first time of attending the conference and I was more than inspired. The speakers at the conference were real, warm, practical, down to earth, full of advice and ready to share.

Just imagine being in the same room with amazing women like Honorable Abike Dabiri Erewa, Mrs. Lanre Dasilva Ajayi and Prof. Isabella Okagbue, for FREE. Yeah, the organizers of the great event did a great job, and did I mention that we were served breakfast too (as a reward for early ‘arrivers’)?

Light breakfast

The rain wanted to hinder many people from attending, but you know the “Nigerian spirit”, we are a very determined people: the hall was full to the brim and some ladies had to stand.

So as to not make this post too long, I’ll just name each speaker and share lessons from their stories.

Professor Isabella Okagbue  (Academic /Career Woman)
Professor Isabella
Professor Isabella

Lessons from her speech:
– Work hard: when starting out in life, have an idea of what your goals are and work hard at achieving them
– Engage with older and wiser people: she that walks with the wise shall be wise
– Marry a partner that will support your goals
– Set high goals: Be ambitious
– Develop confidence in your abilities: don’t hold back, speak up, be vocal
– When in a high position, support your subordinates but be firm with them
– As an employee, it is your job to understand your boss
– Sometimes take risks in life; step out of your comfort zone
– Don’t be afraid to take a step back so as to move forward in life
– You are never too old to learn a new skill or routine
– When you move into a new skill, devote the time and efforts to master it
– In mastering a new role, forget your ego. Don’t feel shy to ask questions.
– Don’t let what is going on in your private life affect your work
– Do not use your children as an excuse to chuck work
– Navigate office politics without being a part of it
– Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself; ask for your entitlements when they are not given, but do it in a professional manner
– Develop good work ethics

Other points she made:
**As a woman, you’ll have to make a decision on work-life balance; you’ll have to prove yourself; remember to give other women and helping hand along the way
**On career – do what you love and love what you do; find aspects of your work that you enjoy
** Don’t just move from being someone’s daughter to being someone’s wife, find time to be you. Discover yourself.

Mrs. Lanre Dasilva Ajayi ( Top Fashion Designer/ Entrepreneur)

Lessons from her speech:
– It is not easy to start a new thing in Nigeria, you really need to believe in yourself and your vision
– Be bold, don’t be a copycat, be you
– You need to make it at home before you can make it abroad

Lanre Dasilva
A quick picture with LDA

– Know your target market; create your niche; know what you are about
– Make sure you always deliver: don’t take more than you can do at a particular time
– Be good at what you do first, then you can be famous
– Be innovative; be confident; be creative; be enthusiastic

Other points she made:
** On social media, have a consistent brand. Don’t use funny names as your username, use your own name. Have a consistent name across your social media platforms.
**When dealing with clients: be patient and develop anger-management skills; be truthful and stay true to yourself.

A cross section of speakers plus participants
Honorable Abike Dabiri Erewa (Career /Professional Politician)

Lessons from her speech:
-Have passion for whatever you do, you don’t know what will be the cause of your major breakthrough
– As long as you are living, be ready to develop yourself
– Never wallow in self-pity… Channel your emotions into something positive
– Have a good heart and a good spirit
– Be quiet enough to listen to that inner voice
– Be curious, take risks – Nothing ventured, nothing gained
– Believe in yourself and be sincere with yourself
– Be kind to people around you, you never know whose help you may need
– Be courageous, hard work pays
– Politics is tough. Don’t play dirty -you’ll play dirty if you are dirty
– More people (women) should go into politics
– Be comfortable in your own skin
– Have a guiding philosophy

Abike Dabiri
Hon. Abike

Other points she made:
** On marriage: be sincere with yourself; God’s guidance is important. Learn to love yourself, then you can love another.
** Let’s support one another as women

This is a summary of my notes from the Inspire, For Women Conference 2017, I really had a great time.

Conferences are a great way of investing in oneself, networking and learning new things. I hope you’ve learned a thing or two from my notes.

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