Communiqué: Economic Empowerment of Women & Girls

The subject of ‘women and the economy’ has been on the front burner of international development. It gained prominence when Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe embarked on an ambition to boost Japan’s stunted economy, and coined the term “womenomics” to “capitalize on the power of women” whom he called “the most underutilized resource”. 

African Women in Leadership Organisation continues to narrow down, in areas of high leverage, for the advancement of women’s leadership. Hence, the goal of the virtual town-hall meeting on Economic Empowerment of Women & Girls held on the 17th July 2020 was to pool the skills of AWLO’s international network; to exchange ideas, and tailor solutions to increase women’s economic participation and opportunities. 

Please download full Communiqué


AWLO 2020 International Youth day Report

AWLO 2020 International Youth day Commemoration was a  gathering of young leaders across 15 countries around the world; who are enthusiastic about repositioning, for better, and effective, global engagement and action.

It is our hope that this global movement of leadership solutions, sparked up by our conversations, stay with our young leaders. That they will take on positive actions, and be the change in their community.

The AWLO Youth Council as a global support system of young leaders, continues to assure support to young female leaders, as they implement and practice the lessons and values from the sessions.

The AWLO 2020 International Youth day saw the adoption of action points captured from sessions and seasoned contributions by Dr. Elisha Attai, AWLO Founder, Chief Osasu Igbinedion; Matron/Mentor AWLO Global Youth Council, and Mrs. Maureen Omeibe; Dean AWLO Executive Council.

Youth Leaders/Speakers were Ms. Ngwi, Favor, AWLO Cameroon Youth Council President, Ms. Christiana Futela; AWLO Duala Youth Council Coordinator, Ms. Linda Njoku; AWLO Rivers Youth Council Coordinator, Ms. Shadee Keturah; AWLO Sierra Leone Youth Council President. Other keynotes were delivered by Mr. Keorapetse Kalaote, Mrs. Zyna Obasi, Ms. Kadijatu Ahene, AWLO Arizona Chapter Coordinator & Hon. Mrs. Eunice Thomas; Former State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Nigeria.

Find here the adopted Action Points of AWLO IYD 2020 and watch sessions on Youtube

Ms. Theodora Ayeni
AWLO IYD 2020 Host & AWLO Nigeria Youth Council President


Appraising the Culture of Rape in Africa

In line with the objectives of African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO), a virtual town-hall meeting was held on Appraising the Culture of Rape: Delivering a Sustainable Solution to a Crisis, on 10th June 2020,

Below is a Communique that captures highlights of the conversation, and collective input of 100 Private and Public Sector Leaders from Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and United States.

This digital convocation was moderated by Prof. Uduak Archibong, MBE; Director Center for Inclusion and Diversity University of Bradford. It had in attendance high level leaders and resource persons including Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Nigeria; H.E. Amb. Arikana Chihombori-Quao MD, former African Union Ambassador to the United Nation; H.E. Seriake Dickson, former Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria; H.E. Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of Sierra Leone, and H.E. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of Liberia.

African Women in Leadership Organisation is a non-for-profit organization for the advancement of African Women’s Leadership globally. In furtherance of our objectives, the town-hall was held to call for sustainable solutions in rape advocacy. A post-webinar deliverable is a manifesto signed by African Leaders for action against rape.

Download Communique here, and watch youtube video


AWLO Webinar with H.E. Fatima Maada Bio

On Wednesday 27th May, 2020, the African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO) convened a webinar on the theme ‘Using the Power of Your Voice to Change the Society’ with H. E. Fatima Maada Bio First Lady of Sierra Leone. It was Moderated from the United Kingdom by Ms. Nonye Omotola, the webinar had in attendance more than eighty (80) participants from different parts of the globe.

Download Communique here, and watch youtube video


AWLO Webinar: Women in the Frontline in Crisis Time

On Wednesday 6th May, 2020, the African Women in Leadership Organisation AWLO Webinar was a panel discussion on the theme ‘Women in the Frontline in Crisis Time: Rethinking Impact and the Challenges of Leadership’.

The virtual panel was attended by up to eighty-one (81) participants from Africa, North America, Europe and Asia. Moderated by Prof. Uduak Archibong MBE of the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, the panel discussion expanded discourse on the sociology of women participation in leadership at different levels and sectors, namely the media, the arts, politics, family and at personal levels.

Panelists were Osasu Igbinadion, Anze Mofor, Guy Murray-Bruce, Yiling Li.

Download Communique here


Remaining Resilient through Crisis and Changes with Jewel Howard-Taylor

In line with the objectives of African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO), it held a town-hall meeting on 13th May 2020.

Facilitated by the Founder of AWLO, Dr. Elisha Attai, this was an opportunity to build trust and confidence in the AWLO community; as they converse with an African woman in leadership, to build resilience through the changing times. The town hall was held in conversation with Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor; Vice President of Liberia.

African Women in Leadership Organisation is a non-for-profit organization for the advancement of African Women’s Leadership globally. In furtherance of our objectives, is the facilitation of high level meetings, for inclusive decision making; towards the development of African Women, and the region.

The areas of focus of the meeting were, women’s peacebuilding and justice, leveraging crisis and adversity, and women channeling their voices for equitable institutions. In all, anchoring resilience in diverse context; be it sociopolitical or socioeconomic.

The Communique therefore captures highlights of the conversation, and collective input of 80 Private and Public Sector Leaders from Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and United States. This digital convocation was moderated by Prof. Uduak Archibong, MBE; Director Center for Inclusion and Diversity University of Bradford, UK.

Download communique here, and watch youtube video


African Women in Leadership Conference: Who Should Attend?

African Women in Leadership Conference is for Women who are aspiring to be more; who seek to improve themselves in career and personal lives. And hope to meet with peers in their industry; to maximize opportunities, be challenged and aspire for global relevance.

What is it About?

It is a Movement for African Women’s Relevance

Indeed, there is strength in numbers, and African Women in Leadership Conference is women, teaming up, forming a force, in one voice, and initiating a movement.
They are improving themselves, and creating opportunities for themselves. Working together, and creating solutions for Africa. It is a movement of African Women’s relevance.

To Engage Decision Makers

We don’t want to hope for the right policies and opportunities as women. African Women in Leadership Conference is an Engagement point for Stakeholders; to brainstorm, deliberate and join forces in AFrican Women’s Development.

This is where we engage key decision makers such as Business Owners, Heads of Government, Policy Makers, Institutions and Government Agencies to propagate the right agenda to favor women’s leadership.

Why We Also Engage with Stakeholders

There are tons of opportunities out there, and African Women in Leadership Conference beams the light on them. Opportunities for personal development, Opportunities to maximize for business and professional growth. AWLC is a global pedestal for networking with peers and mentors, and maximizing opportunities to showcase our businesses and competencies.

What’s not to look forward to

Since African Women in leadership Conference began 10 years ago, it’s been a major milestone in actualizing women’s leadership. There is so much to look forward to every year.

This year’s African Women in Leadership Conference opens with a reception on the 19th of July in honor of the Vice President of Liberia; Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, a member of African Women in Leadership Organisation. This is a major milestone for AWLO; producing a female leader in that capacity.

There is also a Women in Male Dominated Sectors Symposium to interface with stakeholders and spark up conversation in this area. To explore the Unique needs of the Terrain, how to forge a career and future in a male Dominated Sector, the needs of young leaders versus the realities and how to bridge the gap, Building relationships with Sector Leaders, and examining the unique Problems faced by women and proposed solutions.

Asides from bonding moments, our speakers are policy makers, outstanding professionals, innovators, from all over Africa and the diaspora. We are going to engage in enlightening conversations and create opportunities for women to excel through Learning sessions and networking.

What are you waiting for? Register for African Women in Leadership Conference now via awlo.org/anniversary


#AWLOat10: ‘Women in Leadership’ is the goal and African Women in Leadership Conference is the Driver

It is true that African Women in Leadership Organisation is solidifying the niche ‘women in leadership’ for women of African Descent. Yes, we want to sporadically increase the representation of women in leadership.

[Tweet “it’s a fundamental human right for women to have equal rights and opportunities”]

Before we go into how…

We believe it’s a fundamental human right for women to have equal rights and opportunities, to harness their leadership prospects.

Do you remember the incident of Facebook COO; Sheryl Sandberg, while at Google, marching up to her superior’s to announce that there was need for (urgent) pregnancy parking lot at Google? Inclusion means providing an enabling environment, thereby maximizing the potential of women to lead.

We also believe that women need to take their ‘rightful place’ as home and nation builders. Not a one-sided narrative anymore.

Naomi King – Activist; Supporter and Sister-in-law of Martin Luther King Junior at African Women in Leadership Conference 2015

[Tweet “leading is an attitude, and we want this for more women”]

We have Identified a real Problem

The Niche – ‘Women in Leadership’ is still untapped because it is reserved for a few women who are in leadership positions. For us leading is an attitude, and we want more women to imbibe it.

AWLO is identifying opportunities for women in leadership. Removing barriers, challenging women, and channeling their leadership potential.

In a patriarchal society where women leaders are emerging; becoming self-aware and attuned to their innate capabilities. We continue to fan the flames of budding leaders.

[Tweet “super heroes and real-life ‘wonder women’ can exist.”]

How does African Women in Leadership Conference accomplish this?

By Magnifying opportunities for women in Leadership

Every year we gather to buttress the need for women’s leadership, and are validated by such victorious stories as Ayodeji Megbope’s; who has risen to her full potential. Also giving credit to a supportive husband showing how men can get involved…

She says hers’ is the biblical metaphor of ‘The rejected stone has become the chief corner stone’.

If not having her special moimoi recipe served at the white house and specially received by Michelle Obama, perhaps she might have become defined by the circumstances of an abusive childhood or her potential shortchanged due to academic difficulties; on whole a defeated self-esteem.

She has re-written her story and become a model; that women can lead outstandingly.

Every year AWLO raises a new standard by creating a platform for women to challenge each other and leverage on each other’s experiences to do exploits.

Bridging the gap of women in leadership

We want the biblical metaphor of ‘The rejected stone has become the chief corner stone’ to be the coveted narrative not reserved for only the Ayodejis.

We are afraid that women may go into obscurity because of a narrative that doesn’t support women’s empowerment.

African Women in Leadership Organisation is set out to promote the discourse of women’s leadership and create development opportunities for women through our Conferences.

The first female vice president of Liberia; Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor is a member of AWLO and exemplifies that super heroes and a real-life ‘wonder woman’ can exist.

Engaging Stakeholders in Women’s Leadership

Yes, women’s leadership is possible, and we are not just creating a discourse around this. Our efforts will be more potent when we liaise with stakeholders who play a key part in creating opportunities and proffering solutions to implement women’s leadership.

In addition to our array of passionate speakers and panelists, and engaging symposiums and leadership roundtable topics; we are more interested in engaging stakeholders for long-term impact.

We engage leaders from all sectors, professionals, opinion leaders, leaders in governance, diplomats, emerging leaders and others. AWLO is also signed unto the United Nations Global Compact and was represented at the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum to include women in workplace leadership on International Women’s Day 2018.

Identifying and Penetrating Niches

African Women in Leadership Organisation envisions that women break into sectors where they hitherto lacked presence, and we want to weigh in on issues that prevent women from penetrating such sectors.

In sports, politics, technology, media, oil and gas, and many other male-dominated fields.

For the first time this year we are creating an opportunity for such discourse and strategizing to have more representation of women in such sectors.

African Women in Leadership Conference holds at the AWLO 10th Anniversary in Abuja from 19th – 21st July 2018 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center. You can find out more about it via awlo.org/anniversary


The Importance of Structuring your Business – Tara Durotoye

Did you catch the passionate Instagram-live session with Tara Durotoye?

Tara Fela-Durotoye is the current CEO of House of Tara International. She is known for pioneering the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. Tara launched the indigenous House of Tara product line, Orekelewa, and the country’s first makeup school in 2005 which has now graduated over 1,500 students to go on and start their own businesses. Through Tara’s remarkable efforts, House of Tara has become a national brand with 23 branches, over 10, 000 beauty representatives and over 100 employees in most major cities across Nigeria and distribution channels in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and a plan to expand to other cities in Africa, Europe and North America.

Just as you are excited about hearing from Tara, so was I. She recently started her online course, and took to Instagram to share a sneak-peek into this course. Well, this turned out to be not only a sneak-peak, but an educational conversation on structuring a business, This is a subject we all know the beautypreneur to be passionate about. Here is what she emphasized on:

LET THERE BE A CORPORATE CULTURE

Tara Durotoye sharing with some African entrepreneurs about building a culture of leadership using House of Tara as case-study

Tara Durotoye’s experience at Exonn Mobil has been a game changer for her in business development. Tara recalls picking up on the core value of ‘safety’ while visiting Exonn Mobil in USA.
“There was always something about safety on the toilet door, on the foot mat…when somebody puts on a screen, it was on the screen-saver. And so when I asked the people at Exonn Mobil about it, they said; this is their value as an organization, that they had a lot of talk to reiterate their values. So, I understood the importance of creating values that are tied to the business that you do. It didn’t matter if I was a makeup business or a service business”.

She shows us the ‘House of Tara’ Fun Book which documents the company’s organizational processes. “The House of Tara Fun book is a hundred-page document that says; how we attend to customers, our appropriate dressing…for us at House of Tara, with a smile on our face we say, ‘welcome to House of Tara’”.

Even though these were things they had practiced, she had to document it. “The only way you can scale is if you document processes. The more I started focusing on the steps we are putting in place, it made me less afraid for the future. Knowing that, even when I am not in Uyo, they will do what they are trained to do. Does your staff know the guidelines? If not, why are you expecting so much from them?”

She likens processes to how recipes are standard procedure, and said it leads to businesses outliving their founders.  And also, so many years later she now finds that, “I would have been less impatient with people, if I had processes.”

Another main thing, she says is treating a business as a separate entity. “Many companies don’t outlive founders because they don’t separate money that is for them and money that is for sustaining the business. I had to put myself on a salary, so it defines what I can afford. Many times, your company starts making millions and you think it is your own. It is important to separate the finance of your company from yours”.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF PEOPLE

Tara Durotoye checking up on her team at a movie set in Abuja

When Tara Durotoye was starting out in business, she found that she was going to need ‘a mindset shift’ and ‘change in language’. “It is not ‘my company’ but ‘our company’.” A sign that a strong people element was at the core of sustaining an organization. “You need to understand the role everyone played in the place. As entrepreneurs we may have an entitlement mindset; that the people who work for us are there to slave for us. Unfortunately, we are all colleagues collaborating… sharing one vision”.

She talks about businesses often downplaying on the impact of self-serving leadership, “I am looking forward to seeing more businesses that outlive their founders, because they are building businesses that give value to not just the founder but to the people.”

She says that dealing with people according to engagements and set down rules further defines a structure. “You can’t just sack people. That is why people don’t want to work for small businesses. You need to have graded penalties. What does someone do to deserve a certain punishment, as opposed to depending on the mood of the Founder or CEO.”

She notes that, the value that you get from the people who work with you appreciates only when you develop a relationship with them. “As Founder, people don’t care about what you care about until you show that you care about what they care about. When you want to have the heart of people, they have to know that you have them in your heart first.”

Apparently, developing a great people experience makes the work a breeze. “At the end of the day it’s about ‘the people’. We call our human resource; ‘the people experience team’. We say it’s a ‘human organization’ about the humans in our organization. Humans have a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. You can’t be a manager and not care about your team member as a whole”.

Also knowing that people like to own a part of the vision, and not feel micro-managed, and that’s when they are most productive. “People want to feel like they are part of something. People want to have autonomy, and know that their voices are heard.”

Tara shows she believes, and invests in her team members, who may in turn become pillars of the organization. “My focus is not on Judas. It is about my eleven. That is how we have kept some of our makeup artists”.


My Leadership Journey – Ajoke Enebeli

In this month, we are deliberate about sisters lifting each other up. So, we asked women leaders to take an insightful Q and A, and pour out their heart to other women leaders about their Leadership journey. You will find some inspiration and takeaways from Ajoke Enebeli.

Ajoke Hepzibah Enebeli is an entrepreneur who’s founded a culinary business in Nigeria, and is currently expanding to America. She graduated from The Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University, in addition to studying Strategic Management and Social Entrepreneurship. She has over 15 years leadership experience in public management. She also has spearheaded several development work initiatives for women. Mrs. Enebeli is currently the Coordinator of Rivers State Chapter of African Women in Leadership Organisation, and a member of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria.

She prides in two habits that keep her grounded as a leader. ‘Perfection and performance’. “I have a natural flair for perfection and my friends from way back called me ‘miss perfect’. I was almost a critic but advancing in age and in life, I have understood the true meaning of tolerance; giving people the benefit of the doubt and giving room for errors in my walk with people”.

[Tweet “I worked with a seasoned administrator who believed in nothing short of excellence – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Enebeli’s work as the head of administration at the joint administration and matriculations Board JAMB is the one leadership experience that has shaped her. She says;

I worked with a dynamic, experienced, and seasoned administrator who taught me how to dot every ‘I’ and cross all ‘t’s. One who believed in excellence and nothing short of it.

Given my passion for growth and pursuit of knowledge, I was closest to her thereby imbibing and absorbing all she had within.

In her absence I stood in and ensured there was no vacuum, I represented her on official assignments too.

My Boss is now amazingly is one of my chapter members and supporters. A woman who now looks up to me her former subordinate, now AWLO Chapter Coordinator and leader. Here I must say is the case of praying that our children be greater than we are. She is a mentor, mother, and leader with results and evidence, – me!

She mentored me in Administration, unknown to her she was sending me forth to active leadership. She trusted me with almost everything even to the home-front. I became part of her family and friends. I speak of a grand-mother of about eight grand-children.

I could write memos and letters on her behalf, proof read and edited her papers for presentation and signed documents on her behalf as the then zonal Coordinator of JAMB River State Nigeria.

When she was on leave or official assignments, I was the next administrative head to handle the office, not just for fondness sake but because of competence and delivery. I would carry everyone along and give succor to fellow staff.

Suffice it to say that I am a born leader who needed the inspiration of a born leader to get me out to the world. Doing what I know to do best; to gather, lead, care, and mentor the less-privileged in our society.

If you would permit, I speak of no other Woman Of Worth but Mrs. Beatrice Etta -Inyiam, the South-South Coordinator of The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board ( JAMB).

[Tweet “As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Here are 3 lessons Ajoke leaves us with:

One lesson that women in leadership can learn from Ajoke Enebeli

Move on, don’t stop, keep moving and never let anything stop you from moving on

What type of association is crucial to a woman leader’s personal growth

A purposeful and goal-oriented association

One Mistake that every Leader must not make

As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time.


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