Covenant News

Mathematics Department Commemorates Women in Mathematics Day

A clarion call for more female research fellows in education has been made by an erudite female mathematics scholar, Professor Olubunmi Abidemi Fadipe-Joseph, at Covenant University, during the International Day of Women in Mathematics celebration where she was a Keynote Speaker.

Professor Olubunmi Abidemi Fadipe-Joseph, an appointed ambassador of the International Mathematics Union Committee for Women in Mathematics representing Nigeria, made this call while delivering a presentation on the theme, ‘Women and Career in Mathematics.’ In her presentation, she emphasized the omnipresence and importance of mathematics, the need for more female researchers, and the differences between pure and applied mathematics.

She discussed various barriers women face in the field, including stereotypes, lack of role models, work-life balance challenges, and gender discrimination. She shared her personal journey, highlighting her achievements as the first female to graduate with first-class honors from the University of Ibadan and her commitment to mentoring the next generation of female mathematicians.

Professor Fadipe-Joseph also discussed the role of technology in supporting women in mathematics, highlighting the opportunities for remote work and online collaborations. She emphasized the importance of determination, positive thinking, and mentorship for career development in mathematics. She encouraged women to actively participate in professional organizations, network, and take advantage of opportunities for growth and development in the field.

In his welcome remarks, the Head of Department, Mathematics, Dr. Olasunbo Agboola, encouraged the students and other participants to learn from the speakers' insights and apply them in their academic and professional lives to maximize their prospects as Mathematicians. He also appreciated the Guest Speakers and participants, while commending the invaluable support of the Covenant University Management, without which the event would not have been possible.

Making her presentation at the event, one of the Guest Speakers, Professor Deborah O. Makinde, spoke on the sub-theme, ‘Balancing Family and Career.’ She addressed the challenges women face in balancing professional and personal responsibilities; such as societal expectations, lack of flexible work options, and gender role stereotypes. She provided practical advice on setting boundaries, prioritizing tasks, effective time management, and leveraging support networks.

Professor Makinde stressed the importance of using technology and family support to manage household responsibilities efficiently. She encouraged women to seek out role models, join online communities, and take advantage of institutional policies that support work-life balance.

While wrapping up her presentation, Professor Makinde highlighted that only three universities in Nigeria have celebrated Women in Mathematics Day, with Covenant University being the third. She urged participants to join the Nigeria Women in Mathematics Association and stay engaged in the community.

Earlier in her opening remarks, a senior faculty of the Department of Mathematics, Covenant University, who anchored the event, Dr. Grace O. Alao, opened the conversation by emphasizing on the significance of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), a prestigious event organized every four years by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) that gathers mathematicians worldwide to discuss advancements and celebrate achievements in the field. She also highlighted the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics (WM2), a satellite event of the ICM, which provides a platform for women mathematicians to share research, network, and discuss issues related to gender equity in mathematics.

Dr. Alao, noted that Women in Mathematics Day, celebrated internally within the mathematical community, was established on May 12, 2018, in honor of Professor Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal. She briefly spoke about Mirzakhani's contributions and legacy, underscoring the importance of celebrating women in mathematics.

The event concluded with an interactive question-and-answer session, where participants engaged with the speakers on various topics related to women in mathematics.

Overall, the celebration of the International Day of Women in Mathematics at Covenant University was a resounding success, providing valuable insights and inspiration for all Participants.

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