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Ani-Mumuney, Oke, Access Bank, Others Shine At WIMCA 2021

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L-R: Joshua Ajayi, Convener, WIMCA; Folake Ani-Mumuney and Bunmi Oke, both Lifetime Achievement Awardees and Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Dentsu, Sub-Sahara Africa, Dawn Rowlands and Keynote Speaker at WIMCA 2021.

In line with its culture of recognizing and rewarding deserving brands and female professionals in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) industry who have distinguished themselves in exemplary leadership, professionalism and contribution to the sector, the prestigious Women in Marketing Communications Conference and Awards (WIMCA), has conferred awards on deserving individuals, brands and organisations in a recent ceremony held at the MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos.

Speaking on the rationale for the awards, Convener of WIMCA and CEO of Awesome Communications, Publishers of Brand Communicator Magazine, Mr. Joshua Ajayi explained that since its inception in 2014, WIMCA has always been at the forefront of championing female inclusion in the IMC industry, promoting thought-leadership, rewarding and recognizing women who blazing the trail in their respective corners.

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“WIMCA which is now in its fifth edition is the foremost platform that promotes the IMC female professional in this continent. It is with heartwarming joy that we see more and more women in this industry smashing the class-ceiling and reaching professional zeniths like never before,” he said.

Access Bank Sustainability Team lead by Mrs Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability (middle) receiving an award on behalf of the Bank.

Olubunmi Oke, CEO of LadyBird Limited who is a former President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (AAAN) and Pioneer Executive Director of 141 Worldwide (now NITRO 121) was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for her many contributions to the IMC industry. Similarly, consummate marketing communications professional, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Chairman, Board of Directors of FBN Insurance also received the WIMCA Lifetime Achievement Award. The amiable Folake who also leads the marketing and communications function of FBN Holdings globally was also awarded for her contributions to the IMC sector over the years.

Access Bank’s sustainability Amazon, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan who is Head of Sustainability for the Bank and Chima Afe, Group Head, Retail Marketing and Analytics for Access Bank were also recognized and awarded for their contributions in their various spaces. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank also bagged an award for the CEO of the year at WIMCA

Other individual awardees include Caroline Oghuma, Executive Head, MultiChoice Nigeria; Ayodele Otunjinrin, Head of Marketing, Godrej West Africa; Bridget Oyefeso, Head Marketing and Comms., Stanbic Bank; Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Interswitch; Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, NBC and Tolulope Adedeji, Marketing Director, Ab ‘In’ Bev, among others.

Aside from individuals, deserving brands and organisations also had different recognitions for their contributions in marketing to women, and impacting women to leadership is concerned. These brands and organisations include Access Bank, Mediafuse Dentsu International, Darling Hair, Knorr, FirstBank, LAPO Microfinance Bank, Molped, Mamador, Morning Fresh and Sunlight detergent.

Earlier at the event, experts in the business of brands and marketing communications in Africa sat at two brainstorming sessions to chart a new course for businesses targeting female consumers, on how best to reach and engage them in these challenging times. They also proffered solutions on how the female gender can maintain a work-life integration in their quest to smash the glass ceiling that seem to prevent them from reaching their peak in their different fields.

These two issues were the key talking points at this year’s Women in Marketing & Communications Conference/ Awards (WIMCA) The theme for this year’s conference “Women in Leadership: Building a strong Professional PIE (Performance, Image, and Exposure)” was crafted in line with this year’s theme of the International Women Day (IWD) “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

Tolu Medebem, CEO Aster Marketing (Second left) receiving an award at WIMCA.

The event which is in its fifth edition is always powered by Brand Communicator, a leading Brands and marketing publication in Nigeria. In his welcome, the convener of WIMCA and publisher of Brand Communicator, Joshua Ajayi said, “women have also been acknowledged as some of the most effective leaders during the pandemic, even when they remain woefully under-represented at all levels of decision-making worldwide.”

He added that forum research shows that the ‘role model effect’ is helping to close the gender gap to the pre-pandemic period. Hence, WIMCA is helping to connect women to women through mentorship, empowering women, and celebrating them, adding that soon the platform will be pan-African.

In her presentation, the keynote speaker, CEO of Dentsu, Sub-Sahara Africa, Dawn Rowlands spoke on “Engaging Female Consumers in Challenging Times” explained that the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges have forced many businesses to evolve and look for better ways to connect with their consumers.

She explained that because of the pandemic, most women have had to work from home, combining multiple roles from work and taking care of their family, stating that brands who understand this reality would have to look for suitable means to engage them. She urged brands to allocate a large churn of their budget to reach and empower them.

She added that women will be the greatest activists for change, and brands need to be on the lookout for ways to deliberately engage them. She urged brands to acclimatize now in a world that virtual is setting the standard, in a bid to be able to compete in a marketing terrain that some brands have been able to evolve deploying technology and becoming also health-conscious.

The panelists who spoke in the session attested to the power of storytelling in engaging women and also revealed how their brands have keyed into trends to further arrest the attention of women. The panelists are Ayodele Otujinrin, Head of Marketing, West Africa, Godrej; Iquo Ukoh, Managing Director, Entod Marketing; Ilyas Kazeem, Group Marketing Director, Eat ‘N’ Go Africa; and Charity Ilevbare, Category Lead (Life Care), Seven-Up Bottling Company and Bukola Shobowale, Business Director, Insight Publicis.

In the second segment , Victor Afolabi, GCEO, GDM Group who spoke on the sub-theme “Maximising work-life integration in the new norm and creating a personal brand beyond smashing the glass ceiling” said the world is faced with a ‘double disruption scenario, with automation and COVID-19, according to the World Economic Forum.

He stressed that “To progress past the glass ceiling in the workplace and into senior management positions as a woman, you must be intentional about who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. You must have extreme value in yourself that is, having a brand that elicits demand.”

 Other speakers who equally shared insight during the session are Steve Babaeko, CEO, X3M Ideas; Adebola Williams, GM Marketing, UAC FOODS; Mr. Adebola Williams, Group CEO, Red For Africa; Funmilayo Falola, Head, Marketing Communications & Investor Relations, Wema Bank; and Tokunboh George Taylor, Managing Director, Hills+Knowlton Strategies.

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