‘Flying Doctors’ Founder Urges Women To Build Social Capital

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The Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Dr Ola Brown, has called on Nigerian women to build their social capital in their strive to succeed in executive and entrepreneurial positions.

Tweeting yesterday on her experience as a guest speaker at a seminar organised by Total Nigeria Limited in Lagos to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, Brown stated that social capital was crucial to women’s success in their professional and business career. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Press for Progress.

Speaking on the theme, Brown stated that the theme is particularly important to Africa as her economy is smaller than those of most developed continents, adding Africans are poorer than most people
from the developed world. She, therefore, called on African women and men to push for progress to eliminate poverty and build prosperity in Africa.

Brown stated that women are very important in curbing the rate of poverty in Africa, especially in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria needs to urgently progressively move forward based on her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population parameters. “If we want sustainable economic growth in Nigeria, we need to raise an army of skilled executives that are able to build and structure the companies essential for our economic future,” Brown said.

“Women in Nigeria face myriad of cultural and religious barriers when trying to move up in the workplace. Developing executive presence, influence, negotiation skills, management skills and emotional intelligence are often as important as technical skills in the oil industry as employees move up in the ladder.”

On how to build social capital, Brown said women should learn how to network even with men in business and professional environment, even after working hours, noting that most men succeed in their careers because they have learnt the act of networking.

The medical entrepreneur also advised women to volunteer for works,
even aside their domain, in a bid to build up their social capital.

Social capital, which can be seen as friends, families, colleagues, and
general contacts through whom one can receive opportunities to use
one’s financial and human capital, can take the form of structures, institutions, networks and relationships which enable individuals to maintain and develop their human capital in partnership with others,
and to be more productive when working together than in isolation.

Flying Doctors Nigeria is West Africa’s first and leading indigenous air ambulance service organisation, which transports patients across the region in medically equipped aircrafts for quick medical care.
Established about a decade ago, Flying Doctors Nigeria has provided various
medical services to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Brown, who is also a pilot in training, also urged women to avail themselves
for mentoring, adding that mentorship was essential towards women’s
success.

She advised that women should assert themselves in public speaking and
cultivate negotiating skills to build their career. Explaining that the media were not keen at celebrating women’s successes for being great mothers, Brown stated that women need to start changing the paradigm of how the media celebrate women’s successes, even outside the business environment.