By Victoria Onehi
Lafarge Africa Plc., in collaboration with Truss Empowerment Foundation has trained women
from low-income communities in Lagos in tiling and block Making.
A statement by Lafarge disclosed that the two-week intensive vocational training programme which was held at Nawarudeen High School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, is in line with the objective of Lafarge Africa’s initiative to empower, educate and increase gender equality in a male dominated sector.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony recently,Head, Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand, Lafarge Africa Plc., Titilope Oguntuga noted that the initiative was first of its kind and part of the company’s efforts to address the gender imbalance in the industry and further drive women entrepreneurship and development in the country.
“In a sector in which women can sometimes be under-represented, taking these steps is critical,” explains Oguntuga. “We are making significant strides in building a more sustainable future for all. That includes changing the narrative and fighting the myth that construction work is more appropriate for men, so that young women can aspire for a career in the industry,” she stressed.
Director Scale, Lead Trainer, Alh. S.Q Folarin while commending Lafarge Africa for promoting gender equality in a male dominated space also took time to praise the trainees for their willingness and determination to learn.
“I just want to use this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the team at Lafarge for putting this initiative together. The joy of Lafarge and the joy of a trainer is for you to see your trainees ready to learn; two things impress a trainer and they are interest and determination. I will give this to the Lafarge team for this awesome opportunity for the female tilers/block makers, as this of course will promote gender equality in a male dominated space.”
The Chairman, Lagos State Professional Tilers Association (LASPROTAN) IMr. Adediran Segun Clement,while congratulating the graduands welcomed them into a field dominated by men.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow trainees, Omowunmi O. Alomore, appreciated the building solutions company for the opportunity to be part of the programme. “We want to say a very big thank you to Lafarge Africa Plc, the Truss Empowerment Foundation for their full support to enable women to do what men have been doing for ages i.e. building houses and tiling houses.” she said.
At the end of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship training, the participants were issued certificates from Lafarge and inducted into the Tilers Association.
Further to the celebration of the 2022 sustainability week’ with the theme ‘Accelerating Collaboration for Sustained Impact’, the building solutions company also launched a carbon compensation programme that will enable all employees of the company to contribute to positive environmental footprints.
The programme called One2Tree meaning One Trip Equals One Tree is coined from the first words of trip and tree and ‘ee’ to come to the final outcome – also sounding like ‘123’- is inspired by the idea that, for carbon emissions made during air travels, which is mostly conspicuously displayed on flight tickets, there must be a compensation intervention.
According to Titilope Oguntuga, the initiative is targeted towards every employee who makes an official flight, both local and international in the pilot phase while those who make personal flight in the advanced phase will also be encouraged to make disclosures that will enable them to contribute to compensating the planet.
“It is a credible way for employees irrespective of their function, to get involved in ‘Building Progress for People and the Planet’, making individual contributions to the overall purpose of the organization, while entrenching a sense of responsibility for Nature,” she said.