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Women must challenge themselves to advance — Patience Akyianu

BY: Daily Graphic
Vivo Energy Ghana employees in a shout of encouragement on International Women's Day
Vivo Energy Ghana employees in a shout of encouragement on International Women's Day

The award-winning Group Chief Executive Officer of Hollard Ghana, Mrs Patience Akyianu, has said the greatest barrier to women leadership is the mind.

She has therefore, charged women to rise above demotivating perceptions such as gender stereotypes to challenge themselves to advance in society.
“Women have so much to bring to the table. Our greatest barrier to leadership is the mind. Let’s push above the unconscious bias and be intentional in dealing with the consequences of it,” Mrs Akyianu charged women.

Mrs Akyianu was speaking at a ceremony organised by Vivo Energy Ghana, the marketers and distributors of Shell branded products and services, to commemorate the International Women’s Day at a virtual ceremony in Accra.

Gender parity

Speaking on the theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, she said conversations on gender equality should focus on how women could flourish under any circumstance.

According to her, gender equality was achievable when individuals changed their perceptions and “#ChooseToChallenge the status quo”.

“Achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world will require women to invest and acquire skills that will position them competitively, be tech-savvy, visionary, ready to sacrifice their comfort zones and be strategic leaders. When you flawlessly execute, gender does not matter”, Mrs Akyianu said.

Leadership roles

The Managing Director of Vivo Energy Ghana, Mr Ben Hassan Ouattara, re-echoed the need for more women in leadership roles.

He said women were transformational leaders who were able to turnaround challenging situations and should be encouraged to aspire to the top.

He acknowledged that there might be challenges hindering the growth of some women into leadership positions. However, women must challenge perceptions that demotivate them from aspiring to the top.

“I encourage them to stay confident and trust in their capabilities,” Mr Ouattara said, adding that “failure is part of success; when you fail, you learn and grow”.