Five influential and dynamic women in various fields of endeavours have shared their experiences and perspectives on leadership in the midst of a pandemic.
During a virtual summit organised by Touchpoint Magna Carta (TPMC), the women, in their various submissions, underscored the need to build a network of support systems within and outside the office environment to function effectively leaders especially in this difficult time of a pandemic.
A media release issued in Accra by the organisers said the maiden TPMC Women in Leadership Summit (WILS) formed part of activities to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 2021.
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Sharing her experience, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations at Absa Bank Ghana, Nana Essilfua Tamakloe, said what had kept her going as a woman in leadership in a post-pandemic era was the support system around her.
“In the professional space, I have a go-to network for advice and solutions. Outside my profession, my family is a safe net where I exhale from work pressure. These are critical if one has to be effective as a leader,” she said.
Speaking on how to deal with unfriendly corporate environments to women, the CEO of Magna Carta, Africa, Ms Moliehi Molekoa, noted that overcoming that challenge required knowing one’s value and what to bring to the table.
“Taking up your space in a male-dominated boardroom is not easy. You need to know your value and appreciate your opinion of your own self. You do not have to be defined by your environment and what people say about you,” she advised.
The Relieving General Manager at Abosso Goldfields Limited, Ms Catherine Kuupol Kuutor, corroborated that women in leadership needed to know where they wanted to be and not allow society to determine the pace for them.
“You have to learn to challenge society by constantly building your technical competence to earn your space,” she said.
COVID versus leadership
According to Group Legal Counsel at Stanbic Bank Ghana, Ms Doreen Iliasu, the pandemic has made leadership more empathetic because of the changing demands on staff and their health.
“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,” she said.
For her part, the Marketing Manager at SES HD PLUS Ghana Limited, Ms Adelaide Ahovy Abbiw-Williams, said women leaders had an added advantage of compassion, which made 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,” she said.