The Acting Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University Prof. Mrs. Olubunmi Ajayi has charged women in science to look towards reducing the gender gap and identify the qualitative factors that deter women from pursuing career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Acting Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Samuel Oladiipo Kolawole, gave the charge while declaring open a workshop organized by the organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World
Prof. Mrs. Olubunmi Ajayi stated that there was a great need to strengthen the institutional frame work of the organisation to promote women participation in science, research, training and networking opportunities as provided for in the platform.
She pointed out that our generic society in Africa, where women, as main care givers to the children, husbands and the elderly, they face numerous challenges while pursuing their careers due to socio-cultural factors including religious and cultural fundamentalism and bias towards women. Notwithstanding, she encouraged women to find solace in the words of the first African woman Astronaut, Mae Jemison that “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity or your curiosity. It is your place in the world, it is your life. Go and do all you care with it and make it the life you want to live”.
In her welcome address the President of the organisation, Prof. Mrs. Adekemi O. Oluyege said that the present executive, which was inaugurated on Thursday 16th February, 2017 and since then has been able to hold two workshops meant to add value to its members.
She went further that the organisation, a programme unit of UNESCO, is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists in the developed and developing world, with the objective of strengthening their roles in the development process as well as promoting women representation in scientific and technological leadership.
While delivering her lecture on the theme: “Mentorship and networking for Students and Lecturers”, the guest lecturer, Prof. Akintayo Cecilia Olufunke identified the roles of the mentor to include taking responsibility and directing the mentee. She also went further to say that the form of mentoring include male mentor and male mentee, Male mentor and female mentee, female mentor and male mentee and female mentor and female mentee. Stating that the ultimate goal of the mentor, who is expected to be more experienced than the mentee is to establish the mentee as an independent researcher.
Also, Prof. Joshua Kayode who spoke on “Networking” said the term networking refers to the act or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts. He stated that the reasons for networking include building relationship and rapport with another person and establishing / nurturing long term mutually beneficial relationship with people of like minds.
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