Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Expert Seeks Gender Inclusion Policies In Energy, Mineral Resources Sector

 

By Martha Agas

An Expert in the Geosciences Sector, Dr Hannatu Wozah, has called for gender inclusion policies in the Nigeria’s energy and mineral resources sector.

Wozah made the call in a paper she presented at the 59th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) in Jos, on Wednesday.

The paper was titled: “The Woman, Her Nation, Her Space: Circumventing the Energy and Mineral Resources Sector.”

Wozah, who is from the Department of Geology, University of Jos, said that there was a need to develop and implement diversity and inclusion policies.

These policies, she said, should promote respect, fairness and equal opportunity to foster a culture of belonging, rather than focusing solely on gender.

She said that promoting gender equality and inclusion in the Nigerian energy and mineral resources sector required a multi-faceted approach that addressed systemic barriers and promoted a culture of inclusivity.

“Develop and implement diversity and inclusion policies that promote respect, fairness and equal opportunity that will foster a culture of belonging,” she said.

Wozah noted that inclusivity was critical for skills development in the energy and minerals sector, and urged implementation of mentorship and sponsorship programmes to provide guidance, support, and networking opportunities for women in the sector.

According to the expert, providing a gender-friendly policy to work-life balance is also crucial in facilitating the growth of women in the sector.

“Flexible work arrangements such as flexible hours, parental leave policies to support work-life can help attract and retain women in the industry.

” Also, promoting participation and leadership by women in decision-making at all levels by encouraging and supporting women to pursue leadership roles in the industry,” she said.

Wozah added that intentional recruitment efforts to increase the representation of women, along with advocacy and awareness on the importance of women’s participation in the energy and mineral resources industry could help drive change at a systemic level.

She noted that women’s contributions to nation-building had often been overlooked or undervalued due to historical gender biases and stereotypes that had downgraded their voices and roles in various facets of society.

The geo-scientist, however, said that initiatives to empower women in the industry could help create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, profiting from the talents and perspectives of individuals.

“Promoting gender equality in the Nigerian energy and mineral resources industry will drive sustainable development and economic growth,” she said. .

Wozah urged young female geo-scientists to seek mentorship from women who had contributed to the energy and mineral resources industry, who could serve as inspiration and role models to them.

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