A workshop driven by the joint collaboration of the public and private sectors, urged women to pursue roles in the procurement profession, and highlighted the capability of women in the traditionally male-dominant field.
The Women in Procurement workshop was held in Honiara on Friday 13th October with an aim to develop women with procurement careers and encourage more women into this field.
Participants from the Government and private sector representatives under the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI), were provided the opportunity – the first of its kind – to hear and learn from senior officials in procurement roles.
Anita Ringi, the Acting Procurement Manager of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), spoke of her experience and how she got into procurement.
Ringi’s current role includes responsibility for “being the point of contact for all MEHRD procurement, planning all MEHRD procurement and with a team of four procurement professionals managing MEHRD procurement operations that in 2017 to date include tenders and contracts to the value of SBD42.5 million with tenders valued at SBD15 million currently underway”.
Her unit also is the Secretariat to the MEHRD Tender Board.
Kevin Ha'aute, Director of Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) commended the workshop and pitched his support to see more women in procurement.
“Procurement is a field that is still developing in the Solomon Islands. Like most countries, there are still more men than women working in the field right now, however this does not mean that women are not capable of performing these roles. They are,” says Mr Ha’aute.
Director, IPAM applauded the opportunity given to enhance the involvement of women in procurement.
He said the workshop is timely as the Solomon Islands Procurement Profession is forming with key officers currently undertaking a procurement and contracting training program.
Karyn Murray, Counsellor from the Australian High Commission spoke at the workshop, highlighting “the workshop as an important step in informing potential procurement professionals of the opportunities available to them, what they need to do to enter the profession and what they need to do to be successful”.
SICCI Advisor Charles Persson says the Chamber strongly supports the program having already taken on board a gender program designed to empower women in the private sector.
“The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is delighted and pleased to congratulate participants in this Women in Procurement workshop.
“Those who joined the workshop have certainly learned something new about procurement, tendering, contract management and being exposed to fresh ideas.
“Further to this, it’s great to see the public and private sectors getting together.”
The Women in Procurement program is a joint initiative by the Solomon Islands Government, and SICCI, with support from the Australian Government through the Solomon Islands Governance Program.
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