In alignment with the company’s core philosophy of ‘Kyosei’, meaning living and working together for the common good, Canon (Canon-CNA.com) will continue its ‘Women in Sales’ programme for the second year in a row, in its endeavor to empower young women; The initiative reinforces Canon’s commitment to gender-equality, emphasizing an enhanced need for female representation in sales through its year-long programme, centering internship and mentorship opportunities for young women in Central and North Africa.
Canon Central and North Africa announced the second-year continuation of its ‘Women in Sales’ programme, aligned to address the growing need for women representation in sales management by empowering them through dedicated internship and mentorship opportunities designed to advance their skills and knowledge.
The women-only initiative was rolled out during International Women’s Month last year in 2022, with the objective to identify 10 fresh-graduate women and provide them with skill-enhancing opportunities such as trainings with mentors and blended/experiential learnings from across various regions in Central and North Africa.
The selected participants were offered a year-long holistic training with the opportunity to be employed full-time by Canon. As a successful outcome of the programme, 7 out of 10 women were offered full-time employment at Canon while various others were supported in embarking on their career journey in sales. Out of the seven women who went on to pursue full-time roles with Canon, three were chosen from Turkey, two from Saudi Arabia, one from Kenya, and one from UAE.
Key to Progress – Equal Amplification of Opportunities
As an extension of Canon’s overarching guiding principle of ‘Kyosei’, meaning living and working together for the common good, the 2023 ‘Women in Sales’ programme will focus primarily on gender-inclusivity and amplification of equal opportunities for men and women alike. Given the lack of female-led roles in Sales across the industry, the initiative will drive progressive opportunities for women allowing them to hone their skills. The 2023 programme will again invite young, fresh-graduate women to engage and learn, however with an augmented goal of targeting 17 full-time positions across Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, and Ivory Coast.
“Women empowerment has always been a priority for Canon, and it is reflected through our various endeavors that are designed with the intent to support this cause. The overwhelming response received during last year convinced us that we need to continue this progressive path of empowerment and inclusivity. We are delighted to see that we exceeded our initial goal of converting 50% of the selected women into full-time employees, which proves that more women need to come forward and be supported in their sales careers. Celebrating the success of last year, we are now setting our eyes on 2023 with heightened goals,”
says Veronica Juul-Nyholm, HR Director, Canon Middle East, Central North Africa, and Turkey.
Educate, Empower, and Excel
The launch of the ‘Women in Sales’ initiative was lauded by the managing director of the company and has also been awarded for its people-centric approach in alignment with the company’s core beliefs. Beginning in February 2022, 10 women participants namely Rahaf Alharbi, Ruba Moafa, and Fatima Alamer from Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, Sila Uçar, Billur Konukçu, and Senab Bayram from Istanbul – Turkey, Ajuma Gabriel from Lagos – Nigeria, Hind Abdoudaime from Casablanca – Morocco, Scholarstica Ochieng from Nairobi – Kenya, and Shahnaz Bhandari from Dubai – UAE, were invited to become part of the ‘Women in Sales’ programme.
The first phase of the programme focused on education, the second on the execution aspect of learning followed by certification and onboarding of successful participants as permanent Canon employees.
“Canon’s commitment to the environment, education, and empowerment is clearly reflected in its internal and external initiatives. From my experience as a trainee, I feel the ‘Women in Sales’ programme is very cleverly and objectively designed to give interns the opportunity to become full-time employees – the growth is supported from every direction during the training phase so they can be confident when it’s time for a transition into full-time roles. I feel privileged to have received this chance to learn and grow under a company like Canon,”
remarked Ajuma Gabriel, who joined the Women in Sales programme from Nigeria as a Sales Trainee at Canon.
A Stepping-Stone for Success
Announcing the continuation of its ‘Women in Sales’ programme for 2023, Canon envisions celebrating this International Women’s Day by providing women with a platform that acts as a stepping-stone for success in their sales careers. Last year’s 12-month programme was divided into two parts, the training programme, and the on-the-job experience. Each participant was also assigned a mentor to ensure support and guidance for every woman that participated in the programme.
Selected participants from the programme also received an opportunity to be part of meet and greets, as well as conferences in Dubai to align with the company’s greater women in sales objective.
The women participants were also recognized by fellow company leaders and colleagues for their contribution towards different company events, such as during their diversity, equity, and inclusion presentation during the Human Resources Learning and Development Conference. The 2022 ‘Women in Sales’ programme culminated in a graduation ceremony that honored the efforts of all participants in the presence of Canon’s senior leadership team.
“It was always a dream for me to work for a global organization like Canon with a fast-paced environment that is full of opportunities and challenges to grow, learn, and excel. And receiving this opportunity to first learn as an intern and then work as a full-time employee was really a dream come true for me. My role at Canon today allows me to work with an international team as big as 46 people, and that’s how great it gets! I am amazed at how far I have come from being an intern to an employee working on such big projects now; I am very thankful to Canon for it,”
said Scholarstica Ochieng from Nairobi, Kenya, previous participant and now, Sales Support Supervisor at Canon.