#IWD2023 - Joyce Akpata, Head, Policy and Advocacy, Nigeria

To mark International Women's Day 2023, we have interviewed a few of our female staff members at GAIN. This interview aims to shine a spotlight on the invaluable contributions of women in the workplace and their significant impact on an organisation's success.

Join us as we delve into the experiences, challenges, and triumphs of our female colleagues, and gain insight into their journey towards achieving their goals.

This interview is a tribute to all women who have worked tirelessly to make their mark in their respective industries and inspire future generations of women to do the same.

One stereotype women in the workplace are tired of hearing.

"Women don't support each other"

What inspires you to come to work every day?

The desire to make an impact. Knowing that my job allows me to make a difference in the lives of many people by increasing their access to a healthier diet and a better quality of life.

One quality that every woman must admire about herself.

Authenticity! Be you and do you. 

Joyce smiling and wearing a pink blouse in front of the GAIN banner

My job allows me to make a difference in the lives of many people by increasing their access to a healthier diet and a better quality of life.

Joyce wearing a pink blouse and pointing at the screen

What does equity mean to you?

To me, equity means fairness and fair play. Recognizing that we do not all begin at the same point and that imbalances must be acknowledged and corrected through a continuous process in which we must identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers caused by bias or systemic structures.

Be focused and do the work!

What advice would you give to women starting out their career?

Be focused and do the work! It takes effort to be good at something. It takes extra effort to be exceptionally good at something. Being great at something, on the other hand, requires a great deal of concerted effort. We hear stories of 'overnight successes' and college dropouts who rose to the top, but if you scratch beneath the surface of any individual with a rare talent, you'll find someone who has worked hard to perfect their craft. There are no quick fixes!

Joyce proudly smiling in front of a screen

Women will achieve true equality when _______

we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.

What are some unique strengths that women bring to leadership roles and how can organisations leverage these strengths to drive success?

Women make excellent leaders because we are naturally multitaskers. The ability to respond decisively and quickly to multiple tasks or problems at once is a critical component of successful leadership. Women's innate desire to overcome a challenge motivates us to get things done as creative problem solvers motivated by obstacles. Leaders don't take "no" for an answer.