In 2017 there has been a total of 6 sessions of the Women’s Networking Lunch (WNL), bringing together over 420 women from the IOM Kenya, Somalia and Regional offices
convening to discuss topics such as Work/ Life Balance, CV and Interview Skills, Women’s Leadership, Confidence Building Skills, Conflict Resolution Skills and Stress Management.
An initiative of Mark Lewis, Rita Njau of IOM Somalia and other core team members, the WNL has been a phenomenon, with interest from Geneva and other missions around the world. In November, an article for the talent management monthly newsletter highlighted the WNL as a platform where women wanted to interact at a professional level where hierarchy, nationality nor gender would inhibit them.”
The sessions are led by the women members of the WNL coordination team and volunteers who express an interest in helping.
Seven months after its launch, the first ever Women’s Networking Retreat was held Friday December 8 at Nairobi’s Convent Hotel. The event was opened by the Regional Director Jeffrey Labovitz, and Chiefs of Mission Dyane Epstein and Michael Pillinger – IOM Somalia and IOM Kenya, respectively.
The presence of our highest-ranking officers in the East and Horn of Africa region at the retreat was testament to IOM’s commitment to improving gender parity and empowerment in the region. This is an important issue for individuals and the organization as a whole and efforts to improve gender parity will accrue benefits for men and women at IOM.
The day was built around the idea of looking back (at 2017), looking up (where are we as IOM Women today?) and looking forward (what shall we do in 2018?).
It was fun and interactive with participants sharing views and ideas that have propelled the innovative venture forward.