Friday 21 June 2024

Network of Black Business & Professional Women hosts discussion on work-life balance for Black Women

By Joy Osiagwu

As a Black woman in Canada, I encounter numerous challenges navigating daily hurdles to balance work and family life. Multi-tasking has become a favorite word in my vocabulary bag. Add racial and gender discrimination to the mix and imagine the life of some Black woman in the Diaspora.

My experience is not peculiar; it is a standard narrative of many Black women outside their countries of descent, a situation that has led a critical mass of women to experience mental health problems. However, the sad reality of the mental health challenge is that often, Black women encounter numerous barriers when seeking culturally sensitive mental health support.

L-R Joy Osiagwu, Shukri Hilowle, Crystal Senjule, Agho Djetore, Ese Djetore, Feruz Dglel Tesfay, Shukria Yusuf Omer, Semirath Fagbemi and Asiya Hiowle

The invitation to attend KUNDI, a networking event with the theme “Work-Life Balance” organized by the Network of Black Business & Professional Women (NB2PW), was a delightful experience. It was an evening to connect with like-minded ladies, exploring an insightful topic at a cozy spot in the heart of the Byward market in Ottawa on June 21. The atmosphere was exquisite, with accompanying refreshments for the engaging meeting. These women were the Crème de la crème of professionals, ranging from global business development and program management experts to lawyers, realtors, business owners, information technology gurus, and broadcast journalists. They shared from the heart- encouraging each other to be intentional about self-care and holistic success. (Kundi in Swahili means “group” or “band”).

Semirath Fagbemi, President of the NB2PW

Semirath Fagbemi is the president of the NB2PW, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women in becoming successful professionals, entrepreneurs, and individuals. While welcoming new members to the cohort, she reiterated the importance of supportive friendship and respect for unique identities.

Above: L-R: Ese Djetore, Agho Djetore, Crystal Senjule, Shukri Hilowle, Feruz Dglel Tesfay, and Shukria Yusuf Omer. Below: L-R: Mayo Adenlolu, Crystal Senjule and Shukri Hilowle.

The discussions were sensible, considering the varying age brackets. Each spoke about a personal approach to work-life balance, generational challenges, and the best approach to cultural expectations when dealing with identity crises and systemic barriers at home and in the workplace.

The camaraderie brought back nostalgic memories of friendships in my country of descent, Nigeria. The bonding spirit was palpable! We connected and inspired each other at the inspirational June edition, the last before the summer holidays. The team hopes to meet on September 20 at 6 pm.

NB2PW, an idea of Elcho Stewart, began as a group of exquisite women in 1995 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was relaunched in Ottawa, Ontario, featuring more engaging programs and events addressing the needs of Black Women. The organization also offers workshops with professional speakers addressing critical issues about Black Women.