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Women leaders advised to mentor others

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Participants with the dignitaries after the workshop
Participants with the dignitaries after the workshop

The Head of the Women’s Desk at Ecobank Ghana Limited, Dr Loretta Sarpong, has advised women to learn to take others along while ascending to leadership positions.

She said it was very important for women in leadership positions to mentor other women to also aspire to be like them and eventually take over from them.

According to her, there was the need to groom more women to take up leadership positions within society and bridge the gender gap within the decision-making positions in the corporate world.

Early career

Dr Sarpong made the call last week Thursday during the opening of a three-day leadership training workshop for early-career females in academia when she delivered a paper on “Handling problems in a high-performance workplace environment.”

It was organised by the Executive Leadership Centre for Professional Women (ExCeL) of the Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Dr Sarpong said for women to succeed as good leaders, there was the need for them to acquire and develop certain skills that would help them.

According to her, leadership did not reside in a position and the title that one held at the workplace “but the ability to influence others and to make an impact in the life of the people or in one’s work environment.”

She thus called on women not to be shy to tell their own stories and sell their achievements (no matter how small) and be willing to learn from others.

“If you can’t talk about your accomplishment compellingly, no one can say it for you,” she said.

Most often, she said, women tended to be very modest in their achievements while their male counterparts stopped at nothing to let people know of their accomplishments.

She urged women not to feel daunted by the many challenges that they might face in their quest to climb the leadership ladder but rather to see those challenges as stepping stones and opportunities to pave the way for them to achieve their dreams.

While stressing that the road to success was not an easy one, she said once others had trodden that path before, it should be possible for them to also make their mark.

Mentorship

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Ellis Owusu Dabo, chaired the function.

He also emphasised the need for women in leadership to mentor others as part of the strategies to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

He urged the participants to strive to hold others up to move along with them as they progressed in their careers.

He said as they were being mentored through the programme to acquire leadership skills, they should also strive to become mentors and impart the knowledge acquired to others to also become like them.

Prof. Dabo commended the leadership of ExCeL for instituting the programme to groom more females in academia to excel in their chosen fields.

Objective

The leader of the programme, Dr Mrs Florence Ellis, said it was created to provide a platform for women in leadership, especially those who had accomplished a lot in their field, to share experience and ideas with a selected cohort of women from various fields for total development.

She said the workshop was to equip the participants with leadership, management and professional skills to enable them to perform well in their professional areas.

“The overall theme for the workshop is ‘Bridging the gender gap in leadership for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’”, she said.

In all, 21 participants from the KNUST, Kumasi Technical University, the University of Mine and Technology, the University of Development Studies, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and the KNUST Hospital took part in the three-day workshop.

It was sponsored by the Office of Grants and Research of KNUST.