Five influential and dynamic women in various fields of endeavors have shared their experiences and perspectives on leadership in the midst of a pandemic at a virtual summit organized by Touchpoint Magna Carta as part of activities to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
The women who participated in the maiden TPMC Women in Leadership Summit (WILS) included Nana Essilfua Tamakloe, Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations at Absa Bank Ghana, Doreen Iliasu, Group Legal Counsel at Stanbic Bank Ghana (a member of the Standard Bank Group), Moliehi Molekoa, CEO of Magna Carta Africa, Adelaide Ahovy Abbiw-Williams, Marketing Manager at SES HD PLUS Ghana Limited and Catherine Kuupol Kuutor, Relieving General Manager at Abosso Goldfields Limited.
The women, in their various submissions, underscored the need to build a network of support systems both inside and outside the office environment to function effectively as a leader especially in this difficult time of a pandemic. According to Nana Essilfua Tamakloe, “As a leader, what had kept me going in very difficult times is the support system I have around me.
In the professional space, I have a go-to network for advice and solutions, which I fall on any time I need help in my profession. Outside my profession, my family is a safety net where you can exhale from work pressure. These are critical if one has to be effective as a leader”.
In addressing how to deal with corporate environments that are usually not friendly to women, Moliehi Molekoa noted that overcoming that challenge requires knowing your value and what you bring to the table. She said “Taking up your space in a male-dominated boardroom is not easy.
To take your space as a woman, you need to know your value and appreciate your opinion of your own self. You don’t have to be defined by your environment and what people say about you. When you acknowledge these things, they help you navigate your way through the corporate environment”.
Catherine Kuupol Kuutor, shared the sentiments of Moliehi when she said “You need to know where you want to be and not allow society determine the pace for you. You have to learn to challenge society by constantly building your technical competence to earn your space”.
Speaking on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected leadership roles, Doreen Iliasu said the pandemic has made leadership more empathetic because of the changing demands on staff and their health. She noted that “The pandemic has made leaders more empathetic and this perhaps comes more easily for us women.
But what is even more critical is that leaders become agile in this changing world to be able to cope with the requirements of today’s world”.
On her part, Adelaide Ahovi Abbiw-Williams, who happens to be the only female in her office, said women leaders have an added advantage of compassion, which makes them effective leaders in challenging times.
“In difficult times, women become very effective leaders because of our attributes. Empathy and compassion become critical tools for women especially in difficult times such as this which in turn make us more effective leaders”, she said.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
Celebrate women’s achievements
Raise awareness about women’s equality
Lobby for accelerated gender parity
Raise funds for female-focused charities
This year’s celebrations was held under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
While the world is evolving, the challenges women face are also taken on new dimensions. The theme explores the peculiar challenges women in leadership are experiencing in the face of a global pandemic.
Source: Ghana Web