The Handmaidens Women in Leadership Forum with a vision to enlighten and empower women positively impact the society held its Women in Leadership Series (WiLS) 2019 edition on June 25th, 2019 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Chief Convener of WiLS, Dr. (Mrs.) Siju Iluyomade, founding partner in the law firm Iluyomade & Co., brought the initiative to life from her mission of empowering women to fulfill their destinies in Christ.
This year’s edition with the theme, “Leading Women- Building Legacies”, had Dr. Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, a hematology oncologist and director of the University of Chicago Hospital’s Cancer Risk Clinic, as the keynote speaker alongside other distinguished panelists and speakers.
Also in attendance as special guest of honors are the Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo Olu; Ogun State First Lady,Mrs Bamidele Abiodun;Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Wife of the Speaker ,House Representative ,Mrs. Salamu Gbajabiamila.
Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu (rtd) was also in attendance as she opened the program with a short prayer.
With a vision to building a network for women to leverage on and grooming up-and-coming ladies, the conference holds yearly and has never lacked for a massive audience. Comprising a wide range of personalities from media personalities to top bank executives, over 4,000 people were in attendance at this year event.
The convener in her opening speech, urged women to maximize their talent, strengths and skills to do what matters now as time waits for no one. She also said legacies are built when we monitor our impact on others. Furthermore, lasting legacies are built when poor or maleficent behaviors and attitudes that dilute impact are done away with.
Speaking as to the choice of Keynote Speaker and topic, Dr. Iluyomade who is a lawyer by profession, said, “Poor health is one of the obstacles standing against a woman’s career, particularly the ravaging disease called cancer. Taking care of our health enables us maximize our full potential in all we take on.”
Also speaking on the evolution of the initiative, Dr. Iluyomade was thankful that an initiative that was birthed several years ago is still standing to see its 21st edition this year.
With focus on building lasting legacies, over 10 presentations were delivered by the accomplished panelists – Bolanle Austen Peters, Founder- Terra Kulture; TY Bello, accomplished photographer; Kofo Akinkugbe, founder and CEO- SecureID; Prof. Sade Ogunsola, Deputy Vice Chancellor- UNILAG; Prof. Enase Okonedo, Dean- Lagos Business School; Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Editor-in-Chief – Today’s Woman, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe- Founder and CEO- Zapphaire Events; Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro, Award winning Entrepreneur and Cecilia Akintomide- Independent Non-Executive Director at First Bank.
According to the convener, Dr. (Mrs.) Siju Iluyomade who is of the believe that women enjoy each other’s company and draw strength from each other which was what informed her decision to start the Handmaidens, years ago as a vehicle to empower women to fulfill their destinies in Christ.