UNICEF launched its annual International Day of the Girl campaign, allowing young women to assert their power as change-makers. This month, we talked with Transformation Consultant, Ruth Oshuntola, to learn more about the campaign and how it can shape and improve the lives of young women worldwide.
What is your role at Myrtle Consulting and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am a Transformation Consultant at Myrtle. As cliché as it sounds, one of the things I enjoy most about working at Myrtle is the culture: we’re a close-knit community. It makes for a very collaborative environment where we learn and grow from and with each other. We really live the RESPECT values our company embodies.
On October 11th, UNICEF launched its annual campaign for girls, International Day of the Girl, to amplify their voices. Why do you think it is important to recognize this day and provide young women with this platform?
This day is about understanding and recognizing the unique challenges girls face all over the world. By celebrating this day, we promote the empowerment of young girls.
We live in a world where we still don’t have equality with our male counterparts in many aspects. So, it is important that girls from as early of an age as possible understand that they are important; this day tells them that it’s the norm and expectation that their voices be heard.
How can this campaign make a difference? How would having access to a campaign like this have impacted you growing up?
The campaign works to teach everyone that equality is important. This year’s theme is “My voice, our equal future.” With 1.1 billion girls in the world today, it is necessary for girls and other groups to recognize the impact they can have on our society worldwide. The campaign advocates for education and the need for girls to achieve their potential, but most importantly, the knowledge that they are deserving of this.
It would have given me more confidence in my thoughts and abilities, as well as the knowledge that my voice is important wherever I may be.
As you mentioned, part of the campaign focuses on education. From your perspective, why is education key for young women?
Growing up in my household, education was very important. Our parents told us that degrees were mandatory, and as such, I have a bachelor’s degree and two masters. Education gets your foot in many doors, and it can be the launching pad for your career. This is especially true for girls. Education doesn’t just give them knowledge on particular subjects, but it teaches girls how to think critically and see life through different lenses. Having access to education and the ability to learn new skills is highly important. Historically, we’ve come a long way, but there’s still so much that needs to be done to ensure every girl has equal access to education.
How have you helped to “raise” or promote young women?
As a young adult leader in my church, I am continually mentoring young women, helping them understand who they are and suggesting resources that can help them fulfill their dreams and aspirations. It’s a rewarding position to be in, as I get to witness young women who were shy or very quiet blossom into bolder and more confident versions of themselves who are ready to take on the world.
You also participate in WOMEN at Myrtle Consulting. What does that mean to you and why is it important?
As a WOMEN (Women of Myrtle Empowerment Network) board member, I participate in addressing the unique challenges we face as women in consulting. Our activities as a board also promote and celebrate our diversity, and it’s a space in which we can empower each other.
What advice would you offer to young women facing gender equality or social issues?
My main advice would be that ‘You Matter.’ It’s so easy to feel small or ignored in a society that still values men in so many ways, from cultural expectations to gender wage gaps. Young women must constantly assert themselves and that can only happen if they remember that, as an individual, they matter. I hope that then they can boldly stand up on matters that arise that are linked to their gender.
Ruth Oshuntola is a Transformation Consultant with seven years’ experience, including experience working in the Chemicals and the Oil and Gas industry. Ruth Oshuntola has been part of projects in Organizational Design and Implementation, Production, Maintenance and Management Operating Systems. She is also involved with the Digital Transformation – Community of Practice and enjoys helping to identify digital solutions to improve operational efficiency. For Ruth, working closely and engaging with clients to transform operations is the most rewarding part of the role. Ruth obtained her bachelor’s and Master of Chemistry degrees from Loughborough University, UK and obtained an MBA from Texas A&M University.