Mauritius will host for the first time the Women in Finance and Investment Networking (WIFIN) Summit on the 26th of May. This event will be an opportunity for local women in this sector, as well as the industry key players to network and have an open conversation about the real feel of the field. Afm.media spoke to the President of WIFIN, Dikshita Awotarowa, about the objectives of this Summit and what to expect.
Can you tell us more about the Summit that WIFIN is organising in Mauritius this week?
Yes, of course. It is the first edition of the WIFIN Summit in Mauritius. We already organised 2 in Ghana previously, and another one is planned for the end of the year. This summit is one of the big platforms among other events we organise throughout the year. One of the objectives is to bring visibility to what we do, to our members, and the local experts. We noticed that our members connect better when they see people that are similar to them; for example, in Ghana, when we bring leaders on this platform, the younger members can see what they can be one day and feel inspired.
With these events, we are going closer to the people. This platform is set to bring visibility to women in the finance and investment management industry; a bit like a see her, be her!
Many global platforms usually have fewer women speaking, and most of the time we have the same women speakers. Our approach for this summit is also to give a platform to women leaders who are usually not that visible but who are very competent in their field.
In the end, it’s about bringing visibility for women in this industry and this country, yes, but also a way for members, delegates, and speakers to reach a larger mass and impact younger women. It’s a win-win-win situation!
What is the program for this event?
It is a 1 full-day summit that will be held at the Hennessy Park Hotel. There will be panel discussions, hard talks, networking sessions, open discussions, presentations, keynote addresses, one on one conversations, and so on. We want to hold different sessions targeting different topics.
The biggest theme this year in Mauritius is “Diversity and inclusion”. We are trying to bring in diverse women in diverse sectors to share their knowledge of the industry with a diverse audience, and at the same time try to make all of us inclusive in this group conversation.
We’ve got representatives from banks, finance providers, insurance, entrepreneurs, regulators, ministries, etc. We are bringing every party to the same conversation. It’s a good way to have multiple conversations and look at them from different angles and perspectives.
We are very much looking forward to hearing the insights of those experts participating. I think it is the right time to help this WIFIN Summit, because we are going through so much with the war in Ukraine, the inflation, the Covid, etc. It will be interesting to see what these professionals understand of the current situation and what we are doing to go forward, what are the solutions, and what’s the next step… It is critical for all industry players to have a real feel of the situation locally and globally.
The Summit will also be a networking opportunity. We will have around 50 people present that day, and most of them are delegates of senior-level, C-level executives, etc. Some people will attend virtually also through our live streaming. These foreign delegates and WIFIN members, among others, will be able to send in their questions.
Do you have any objectives or expectations from this Summit in Mauritius?
For WIFIN, the biggest aim is to increase our visibility, encourage networking and bring in opportunities for all parties. It will be a success for us, if by the end of the day, every delegate and participants go home with a feel-good feeling and if they feel motivated; if the speakers feel like they have impacted the industry in a way, or if every industry peer goes home with the knowledge of what the real feel of the industry is and is ready to adapt to change.
What we learned from our other summits is that this event is not a one-off thing. It’s like the first step to achieving the most significant objectives of WIFIN, which is to properly bring in the conversation around equal opportunities, provide opportunities and leave an impact.
What happens after the Summit is also really important. We would like to work with the local industry key players through different projects. For example, in Ghana, we launched a 6-month training programme (the WIFIP Scholars programme) where an industry player comes and trains 10 girls so they can join the job market; this way these players are bringing change, impacting the next generation through this training… We hope to get the same reaction here.
We are looking forward to this first event in Mauritius. The WIFIN Summit will also be an annual thing here, and we are already working towards the next WIFIN Summit in Mauritius…