In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, Dr. Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria had an opportunity to give a talk at Total Nigeria Oil & Gas.

In her words “This was really important to me, as it was an opportunity to speak to women that work in an industry that I am very familiar with. It is also an industry where less than 15% of senior executives are female. I interpreted the women’s day theme ‘Press for Progress’ as particularly important to Africa as our economies are much smaller than developed countries and our people are much poorer.  It’s particularly important for African women….and men to push for progress. Progresses that will help eliminate poverty and build prosperity“

Female executives are particularly important in Nigeria. A study by Russell and Reynolds found that Nigeria is one of the most difficult places in Africa to find skilled executives. And if we want sustainable economic growth in Nigeria; we need to raise an army of skilled executives that are able to build & structure the companies essential for our economic future.


Women in Nigeria face a myriad of cultural & religious barriers when trying to move up in the workplace.  Developing executive presence, influence, negotiation skills, management skills & emotional intelligence are often as important as technical skills in the oil industry as employees become more senior.

She ended with a rallying call to all female executives who are changing the narrative of the African woman in the workplace:

‘ May we see them, May we be them, May we raise them ‘

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. It is in honour of the movement for women’s rights. The very first time it was observed was in New York in 1909, on the 28th of February. It was thereafter suggested at the 1910 that ‘International Women’s Conference’ become an ‘International Women’s Day’. After women gained the right to vote in political elections in the then Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.

About Flying Doctors Nigeria

The Flying Doctors Nigeria is a member of the British Safety Council that specializes in providing medical solutions such as air ambulance and medical evacuation, ground ambulance procurement and leasing, remote medical services such a medical staffing, online company clinic set-up, site clinic management, occupational health, medical evacuation insurance and other health consultancy services for the oil & gas industry as well as other corporate, military and non-governmental organizations.

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