In a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at dismantling gender barriers within the construction industry and igniting women’s entrepreneurship, Lafarge Africa Plc. has partnered with the Truss Empowerment Foundation to deliver a transformative training program. This pioneering initiative seeks to equip women from low-income communities in Lagos with valuable skills in tiling and block-making, heralding a new era of empowerment and equality in a male-dominated sector.
The comprehensive two-week vocational program unfolded at Nawarudeen High School in Ebute Metta, Lagos, aligning seamlessly with Lafarge Africa’s resolute commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) that champions empowerment, education, and gender parity. This laudable effort reflects the company’s vision to foster gender equality within an industry historically skewed towards men.
At the core of this innovative undertaking is the drive to train at least 25 women from underserved communities in Makoko, Lagos. Through hands-on instruction, the program imparts practical expertise in employing Lafarge’s Supafix products for tiling walls and floors, as well as the essential art of block molding.
Titilope Oguntuga, the Head of Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand at Lafarge Africa Plc., highlighted the significance of this pioneering initiative during the graduation ceremony. Oguntuga emphasized that this effort marks a seminal step in rectifying gender imbalance within the industry and nurturing the growth of women entrepreneurs in the nation.
“In an industry where women’s presence can sometimes be overshadowed, taking these progressive measures is pivotal,” explained Oguntuga. “We are making significant strides in shaping a more sustainable future. This includes redefining perceptions and dispelling the myth that construction work is solely suited for men, thereby inspiring young women to envision a rewarding career path in this field.”
Director Scale and Lead Trainer, S.Q Folarin, lauded Lafarge Africa for catalyzing gender equality in a traditionally male-centric space. Folarin also took the opportunity to commend the trainees for their eagerness and unwavering commitment to learning.
Adediran Clement, the Chairman of the Lagos State Professional Tilers Association (LASPROTAN), extended his congratulations to the graduates while praising the company’s transformative initiative. He went on to acquaint the participants with the principles of the association, urging them to harness the advantages and opportunities bestowed by the association for career advancement.
In a heartfelt representation of the trainees, Omowunmi Alomore expressed gratitude on behalf of her fellow participants. She praised Lafarge Africa Plc. for creating a platform that enables women to break the age-old stereotype, allowing them to engage in activities such as building houses and tiling, which have predominantly been associated with men.
Upon the culmination of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship program, each participant was presented with certificates from Lafarge and inducted into the Tilers Association, symbolizing a meaningful step towards a future characterized by empowerment, equality, and a reshaped industry landscape.