A university lecturer and National President of the Chemical Society of Nigeria, (CSN), Professor Sunday Okeniyi, has harped on the need to encourage the participation of more women in Chemistry to further provide platforms for mentoring of future leaders globally.
Okeniyi stated this at the IUPAC women’s breakfast meeting titled: “Bonding to Create Future Leaders” held at the University of Ilorin on Wednesday, noting that the meeting is also expected to sensitize the girl child on the prospects of a career in Chemistry.
The don further disclosed that the gathering would be presenting a rich and robust body of knowledge, insight and reflection on a thematic consideration of international importance and global relevance.
Represented by the Coordinator for the Women in Chemistry, Kwara State Chapter, Dr. (Mrs.) Modinah Abdulraheem, the CSN boss said: “As I observed in the last two training workshops of women in chemistry, Nigeria, that Women have gathered in circles throughout the ages to support one another, to mark the passing of time, to celebrate births, to care for children, and to work together to vision and bring their dreams to life.
“Ultimately, women have always gathered to cultivate community. In the words of Mel Farrugia, an American Kinesiologist and writer, she said and I quote: “When women gather in sacred circle, in full support of one another, their Oxytocin levels rise.” This struck a deep cord of truth, because I have experienced the deep all- encompassing love of being supported and held by women; my mother, my wife, my sisters and all of you gathered here today.”
Okeniyi further stressed that, “Searching for more information as a chemist, I discovered a study which proved that Oxytocin is released in both men and women as part of our natural stress response. What happens after is what makes the difference…… The presence of Oestrogen in women amplifies Oxytocin flow, whilst the rise of Testosterone in men diminishes Oxytocin levels.
“Oxytocin is known as the “love” hormone, and when it flows through women’s bodies, it reduces stress and boosts love feelings. With its natural rise, Oxytocin encourages bonding amongst women. So the more women gather in friendship for the purpose of enriching lives and making history, the more Oxytocin is released.
“It’s an organic wanting, a beautiful process encouraging togetherness. A practical example in my house is the little gathering of my wife and daughters which produce in return beneficial results. Therefore, when women gather, great things will happen; when women converge, magic unfolds.”
Speaking further, Okeniyi opined that, “the gathering is a process of creating future leaders amongst our dear women chemists globally and to elaborate and recreate what quality future leaders are expected to have and do, including accomplishing great feats in a circumstance that they previously were denied.
His words: “Bonding to create future leaders means accepting and allowing women who are on the outside of the decision-making process bond into it as future leaders.
“This puts a strong emphasis on participation in political structures and formal decision-making and, in the economic sphere, on the ability to obtain an income that enables participation in economic decision-making.
“Therefore, in order to bond together as women and become quality future leaders in our various endeavours, we must as women chemists cultivate and inculcate the following characteristics of a good leader; honesty and integrity, confidence, being able to inspire others, commitment and passion, good communicator, decision making capabilities, accountability, delegation and empowerment, innovation and creativity, empathy, resilience, emotional intelligence, humility and justifying transparency.”
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