AWLO Made the Final Shortlist for 2018 Incredible Impacts Program by BestCities and ICCA

The final shortlist of 12 entries for the 2018 Incredible Impacts Programme have been announced by BestCities Global Alliance and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

The Incredible Impacts Programme celebrates the ‘beyond tourism’ value of international association meetings to create a powerful platform to advocate their positive societal impact. A panel of independent judges from the association world will determine three meetings that have shown the greatest impact, and award grants of USD 7,500 on behalf of BestCities and ICCA.

Shortlisted associations represent a broad range of sectors including leadership; scientific innovation; humanitarianism; environmental issues; music; disease; disability, and child neglect.

Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities said: “The Incredible Impacts Programme is a showcase of global excellence of lasting legacies within the meetings and events industry. We have been overwhelmed by the work submitted, which demonstrates the breadth of impact being delivered by associations.

“A core goal of BestCities is to nurture and develop the purpose of events beyond traditional planning, focusing on vital areas including legacy development, sustainability and accessibility. It is hugely encouraging to see these values being replicated by associations the world over, who are making lasting contributions to the destinations they visit.”

Dennis Speet, ICCA Interim CEO, added: “This is the second edition of the Incredible Impacts Programme and the quality of legacy projects we have received is truly astounding. The variety of industries represented in the submissions demonstrates the wide-ranging and deeply positive impact that the work of international associations has when it comes to finding solutions to societal challenges.

We hope that this year’s superb entries inspire other associations and meeting planners to consider how they can create a legacy with their meetings and leave a long-lasting impact on their host destinations.”

The final judging will now take place with the winners to be announced after 10 September 2018.

The final shortlist:

Soroptimist International
The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
European Association for Palliative Care
International Council on Social Welfare
Down Syndrome International
African Women in Leadership Organisation (AWLO)
International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation
World Environmental Education Congress Network
International Actuarial Association
The International Society for Music Education
Society for Ecological Restoration
Union for International Cancer Control

What Problem is AWLO Solving?

AWLO is concerned about the detrimental outcome of the negligence of tacking gender marginalization and female leadership issues from an early stage; between the ages of 7 and 17.
To create a dependable leadership intervention through a ripple effect mechanism, African Women in Leadership Organisation’s iLEAD Program was adopted in 2016 to reproduce Leaders from an early stage
Since AWLO Launched its iLEAD Program, it has remained in the Pilot phase and we are now set to expand iLEAD to 15 communities and adopt 100 schools where we will introduce the program reaching a total of 10,000 pupils/students in the next 2 years.
iLEAD is a high impact project and promises a high success rate as we envision that the challenges of leadership will be maximally curbed in Africa. Here is hoping that AWLO makes it to the winning stage of the The Incredible Impacts Programme. Thank you to BestCities Global Alliance and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for the shortlist among the final 12.


African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference: Communique and Official Photos

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference was held between 19th and 21st July 2018. Here is the Communique and Photos from the event.

Click below to read the communique:

COMMUNIQUE AFRICAN WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

The Vice President of Liberia; Chief. Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor delivering her Keynote Address

AWLO Founder; Dr. Elisha Attai welcomes delegates to African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Mrs. Yemi Adenuga – Founder Sheroes

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Chief Opral Benson- AWLO Advisory Board Chairperson

Special Guest: Her Excellency, Mrs. Caroline Mchome, First Lady of Kakamega County, Republic of Kenya.

 

MacDella Cooper; Philantropist, and Former Presidential Aspirant Liberia, a Speaker at the Conference

Mr. Charles O’Tudor – Speaker. Principal Consultant, Adstrat Branding Management Consultants

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

L-R: Mrs. Ezinne Kufre Ekanem – Panel Moderator; CEO Rosemary’s The Soft Furnishing Company and Prof. Uduak Archibong; Bradford University UK – Conference Moderator;

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

L-R: The Second Lady of Ghana; Her Excellency Hajiya Samira Bawumia, Dr. Gloria Shoda, Her Excellency Chief Dr. Jewel Taylor

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Dr. Violet Arene; The Current AWLO President

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

L-R: Barr. Timipre Wolo, Mr. Mark Garrat, Arc. Moradeke Okunrinboye during the Women in Male Dominated Sectors Symposium

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Gloria Ohuagwu – Event Compere

Dr & Mrs. Elisha Attai

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Senator Godswill Akpabio

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Ms. Inimfon Etuk Founder of She Forum Africa with AWLO Founder Dr. Elisha Attai

Mr. Mark Garrat & Prof. Shirley Congdon from University of Bradford UK

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

Mr Linus Okorie; President and Founder of Guardians of the Nation International(GOTNI) as a Panelist during the Women in Politics Symposium

African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference

L -R: Hon. Fotoumata Jahumpa; Former Speaker National Assembly Gambia & Hajiya Dr. Ramatu Aliyu President Council of African political Parties Women Wing Panelists for the Women in Politics Symposium

Click here to see more official photos in the full Album of African Women in Leadership 10th Anniversary Conference


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


NGFL Roundtable Lagos: Empowering Moments with Nkechi Ali-Balogun

The final stop for the AWLO Next Generation Female Leaders (NGFL) Roundtable to count down to African Women in Leadership Conference was held in Lagos Nigeria. It was hosted by PR Expert Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun. One gets the sense of a strong, opinionated and determined personality from Mrs. Nkechi just by meeting her.

She Challenged the girls to be Resilient Leaders narrating her unstoppable journey. One that is identifiable in her strides and accolades. She overdoes; is zealous and tireless. In her words, “When I retire I don’t want to be like one of those old people reading newspapers”

With no exaggeration, the gap between the older and younger generation can no longer be denied; young women do not have the guidance and mentorship of female leaders due to this disconnect. It was further established when Mrs. Nkechi asked the ladies if they had access to female leaders in Nigeria which the answer came back in the negative.

The girls who were fascinated; were eager to learn how this fascinating figure balances her work and family. She is proud to be identified as mother wife, and leader. She stated how those two parts of her life are different and how she balances both by not mixing them.

“I don’t want things handed down to me, I want to earn it. Women need not anyone to validate themselves”

She was impressed by the quality of the next generation female leaders and is willing to open more doors for them beginning from inviting them to the NECCI Roundtable she’s organizing which will have in attendance mentors such as Oby Ezekwesili, RMD, Ibukun Awosika, Adebola Williams, lanre Olusola and others.

Mrs. Ali-Balogun who is the Lead consultant of NECCI Ltd had wise and encouraging words on being a resilient Leader who never gets tired with examples from her life experiences.

She highlighted the importance of girls owning and being confident in themselves and their vision in life. There is need for the ladies to understand their vision and arm themselves with the skills needed to achieve that vision.

“Hold your head high and stop looking for favors” she said. “Being a female does not mean you are less than the male“. She believes in the equality of the sexes and encouraged the ladies to work as hard

She stressed on the need for the ladies to be decisive, that nobody takes an indecisive leader seriously and indecision affects your dream and vision. “Decide on the path of glory and stand by it.” she concluded.

As a Leader, to her, a good leader is one who “grows peers and not slaves” and one who “develops people she can be proud of”.

When questioned on – betrayal after investing in people, she said; “Don’t ever feel bad that you invested in people. Don’t feel bad even when people betray you”, that she is a staunch believer in investing in people. She believes that it is better to invest time and money in people which she says is more valuable investment than riches.

AWLO’s Founder Dr. Elisha Attai also expressed his pleasure at the exceptional things the ladies are doing to better their communities. He expressed how the apparent disconnect between the old and young generation led to AWLO’s decision to bridge this gap and also create a platform that would initiate this process.

He said this would not be the end of AWLO’s journey with the ladies and promised that it would indeed bridge the gap; as this became an eye-opener to opportunities and expectations of young women. AWLO hopes to include the young women in their Leadership Education Program; to grow their capacity to get funding for their initiatives as many of them expressed how a lack of funding has been a major downer.

AWLO Lagos State Chapter was represented by Mrs. Annie Essienette; an executive at IBM, who also contributed her business advice. She stressed the need for the girls to display due diligence in business by counting their cost, identifying needs, and having more than just ‘plan A’.

The Young Leaders are gearing up to attend the AWLO’s 10th Anniversary Conference; then Annual African Women in Leadership Conference which they have received their Free all-access pass.

The Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

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.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

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.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Here is a link to register for African Women in Leadership Conference: awlo.org/anniversary/registration 

Here are photos from the NGFL Roundtable Lagos:

Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun

Dr. Elisha Attai – Founder AWLO


NGFL Roundtable Port Harcourt: Relatable Conversations with Mrs. Manuela George-Izunwa

The next generation female leaders in Port Harcourt were treated to relatable conversations at a little cozy restaurant by their Host Mrs. Manuela Izunwa. The Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable is AWLO’s efforts to bridge the gap of leadership to the next generation.

This exemplifies a true taste of leadership. Leading not from high-rise buildings but creating an avenue for those who are being led to glean from their leader in a relatable environment.

Our Leaders are our guiding light to enable us to live up to our full potential. Those who are not laxed about replicating more leaders. Mrs. Manuela Izunwa is a true embodiment of this leadership expectation.

Mrs. Manuela Izunwa

From her background as the convener of Women in Leadership Conference, and Founder of Girls Organisation for Leadership Development this was not new to her. She warmed up to the girls as if she had known them prior to this time.

She was as open as possible in sharing personal lessons from her life. From dealing with her body-image as a plus size woman when she was starting out in her career to overcoming it to be able to realize her full potential. She encouraged the young leaders to overcome self-doubt and not live in the shadow of people’s opinion; to be able to live up to their full potential.

In the age of cyber-bullying and bullying generally some of the ladies attested to being discouraged by people’s backlash. One of the ladies Ms. Beauty Martins a 21 year-old Student, TedX Licensee and Tyre Recycler told her story of having a hard time penetrating her industry as a tyre recycler. She was met with a hard time dealing with men who dominate the industry and rejection in some cases where they bluntly refused to work with her because of her gender.

Mrs. Izunwa also weighed in using herself as a case-study while she served as the Commissioner of Women Affairs in Rivers State Nigeria.  She said that women had no need to prove themselves, as is it mostly the case being in a male dominated sector.

She further explained that it is not realistic to want to give 50-50 attention to work and family, but rather to strive for spending quality time with family and friends.

The Founder of African Women in Leadership Organisation Dr Elisha Attai also gave a male perspective to issues such as women being sabotaged especially in cases where the legitimacy of their career success is being questioned.

Dr. Elisha Attai

He encouraged women to keep excelling in spite of naysayers. That at that point it would be beyond requesting for a 35% or 50% affirmative action but their works duly speaking for them and more women earning opportunities as opposed to fulfilling a quota.

He also encouraged women to form allies, to network, and bond so that they’ll to begin to reap from their relationship. In his words ‘You have to connect to collect’.

R-L: Mrs Eno Davies, Mrs Uzor, Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan

The AWLO Rivers State Chapter was also duly represented by their Chapter Secretary and Publicity Secretary; Mrs. Eno Davies and Mrs. Uzor. The Chapter Secretary piqued interest in Hetty Coconut World; Ms. Henrietta Nwanji’s Coconut-Shell recycling business. Ms. Henrietta makes bespoke jewelry from coconut shells and was offered a funding of one Hundred Thousand Naira to help her take her business to the next level which she said she needed to enable her acquire equipment to increase her efficiency.

Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan

AWLO is working on creating more sustainable opportunities for the Next Generation Female Leaders. The GM, Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan who coordinated the project, assured the ladies of opportunities to come for personal development and business growth, as it is one of AWLO’s goals to channel the leadership potential of young women which she is a product of.

The Young Leaders are gearing up to attend the AWLO’s 10th Anniversary Conference; then Annual African Women in Leadership Conference which they have received their Free all-access pass.

The Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

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.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

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.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Here is a link to register for African Women in Leadership Conference: awlo.org/anniversary/registration 

See Pictures from NGFL Roundtable Port Harourt


AWLO 10TH ANNIVERSARY COUNTDOWN kick-starts with NGFL Roundtable Abuja

It’s been a yearning for African Women In Leadership Organisation (AWLO), to raise young female leaders and involve more experienced leaders in raising them. The Youth Council of African Women in leadership Organisation has been the anchor for raising young leaders however there is a need to harness the experience of Women Leaders in raising them.

The gap between the younger and older women leaders has created a disconnect. It is our responsibility to ensure that values are handed down and It is important for the young leaders to glean from the wealth of experience of older leaders.

Our hope is for their efforts to be consolidated as many young leaders are already contributing to their community. We hope for the experienced leaders to create tangible opportunities for them in addition to sharing experiences.

The Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable; NGFL Abuja held yesterday was finally a fruition of our desires. The Young Leaders were excited to finally have an experienced leader who can walk in their shoes.  The Director General of NAPTIP; Barr. Julie Okah-Donli who hosted the Roundtable hit the nail on the head as she delved into real life issues that stop the women from owning the leadership narrative. She shared overwhelming statistics, and buttressed that the female folk have been marginalized for too long.

Barr. Julie shared her milestones as an example of a woman who has conquered the leadership benchmark for women. Her experience ranged from being a student and breaking out of the ‘women are not as smart’ mold and bagging so many accolades, to serving in the capacity of the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State; where she created opportunities for more women to get involved in Leadership. She advised the ladies to be their sisters’ keepers and raise each other up, rising above competitiveness.

To crown it up, she opened opportunities for the young leaders to partner with NAPTIP. The ladies shared about their impressive projects, and Barr. Julie was moved to get involved. She committed to speaking engagements, NAPTIP’s full involvement in their projects, and teaming up with them for NAPTIP’s Community Development efforts.

The Ladies were given ‘a free pass’ to the AWLO 10th Anniversary Conference, as this was a first in a series of events in a build up to the Conference. The Founder of AWLO who not only explained the importance of creating such exemplary leadership opportunities for young women to emulate, but to open doors for them for global relevance for young women

The Founder of AWLO; Dr. Elisha Attai

The 10th Anniversary Conference a.k.a The 10th Annual African Women in Leadership Conference is a solution to the gap in women’s leadership in Africa. AWLO has initiated a movement that changes the narrative in women’s leadership in Africa through capacity building, and engaging stakeholders in the initiation of solutions to involve more women in leadership.

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.

This will be followed by the 2 days Conference that converges women of African Descent for leadership development. Not only does it provide women a platform to network but to brainstorm for personal development. It’s a case of ‘birds of a feather flock together’. Whereas it is important to talk about women forming think-tanks and support systems, it is more important to have them actually do it.

Women getting involved in creating opportunities for themselves. This is not a group of wailers, but women bringing their own seat to the table.

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.

One of the high points of this event is the unveiling and decoration of ‘100 Amazons’ a compendium of women who have risen above the setbacks that beset women in Africa to become shining examples in their field.

African Women in Leadership Conference also inspires ‘the African Movement’ and will feature Exhibitions by indigenous brands and an African fashion Show headlined by the Nigerian Brand Kiks Place.

Yes, this is going to be a mix of learning and fun!

Are you still wondering what to do next? Start by Registering for African Women in Leadership Conference via www.awlo.org/anniversary and create your #AWLOAT10 DP via  http://adp.awlo.org/

See more photos from AWLO Next Generation Female Leaders Roundtable in Abuja:


Women in Leadership Q and A: Maureen Omokhomion Shares Life Lessons From Her Leadership Journey

Anything is possible and doable if you put your heart to it- Mrs. Maureen Omokhomion

Mrs. Maureen Omokhomion is a dynamic African woman, highly disciplined mother with an innate capacity and passion to care for and mentor others. She has a B.sc in Economics, an MBA (Finance) and trained as a self driven seasoned banker, imbibed very strong values of self appraisal to ensure continuous productivity and value creation.
She is driven by a strong belief that you can impact lives by consistently sowing seeds of confidence in them to become better persons. Maureen is very strategic in approach to life as she believes that anything is possible and doable if you put your heart to it.
She is currently a member of the Governing Council of FUTO and CEO, Preen Group (an outfit with interest in Corporate & Industrial Cleaning, Business re-engineering, Training and Consulting). Maureen is the founder of Ibhariegua Global Initiative, which lends a voice to the abandoned child and President of Achieving Ladies, a Christian women organization with over 500 members.

How Her Father Influenced Her Journey

I would say I was very fortunate to have a father who was a very well respected leader and seasoned administrator. I was taught at an early age to be open to learning, take responsibility for my actions, share knowledge with humility and there were clear sanction grid.

There are usually hurdles in the leadership process especially when you lack the requisite skills and knowledge to execute a task. You must be humble enough and willing to learn new skills as you cannot give what you don’t have. As a leader, never live in denial. Also, when you are in privileged position to lead, never hoard knowledge and don’t be cynical.

For me, leadership is about empowering lives as a role model. It creates influence through impact. I believe strongly in leadership by example and ‘walking the talk’

She Inspires Her Team By Being A Role Model

As a team leader, every team member is important to the success of your team. Because you take responsibility for the success and failure of the team, you must first position yourself as the role model for every member to learn from. You must be willing to make sacrifices, source the right information and be a good team player so that you are able to impact knowledge and push team members to be better versions of themselves. When you develop a strong team, there is consistency, continuity and sustainability of good results.

I recall once as a team lead, I noticed that the performance of one of my key team member was dropping consistently. I had to have a one-on-one with her and I discovered she had a domestic issue. Immediately, I had to go out of my way to address the issue. With continuous encouragement, she was able to pull herself out of it and we met our targets.

Sometimes, you have to deal with personal issues of team members to get maximum productivity.

She Grows By Learning From Every Experience She Encounters

As a leader, you evolve and grow through followership. You must learn from someone, processes, structures and environment. Every experience is a learning opportunity for you. As an evolving leader, who is willing to grow, you must thirst for knowledge, open your heart to learning, and be disciplined, humble and ambitious. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you fail, take responsibility, make corrections and move on. Don’t cut corners and never compromise your integrity and dignity. Never have an attitude of self entitlement and always be respectful.

She Believes Integrity Is a Must-Have For Every Leader

Every leader should have unquestionable integrity because as a leader, you are a mentor and you are impacting knowledge, transferring information and skills to your mentee. You are expected to pass the right values to your mentee for successes to be sustainable over time.

Her Favorite Quote

‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’ by John C. Maxwell.

 

 


Women in Leadership Q and A: Chidinma Nwaigwe’s Shares the Enriching Wisdom that Keeps her Going as a Leader

I am simply an optimistic person, a go-getter and resourceful person. – Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe.

Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe has her first degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Lagos Nigeria.  A Post-graduate Diploma in Hospital Management, and Masters in Public Health.
A Sole Director at Everlife Preventive Services a preventive health company that promotes prevention. Working with Schools, Companies and Community. Their focus is on Health Awareness Sensitization, School Health Screening and Correctness and Promotion of Healthy Living from the Cradle.
She is also Co-Director of Peadville Consult Limited; an education-focused company that offers basic educational foundation to Children at a low price., and a Director at Fraval Medical Services; a comprehensive health facility that cares for families with specialists consultants in Ear/ Nose/ throat and dentistry. She is a wife, mother, teacher and an entrepreneur.

How She Overcomes the Hurdles of Leadership With a Smile

My journey as a leader has been bitter-sweet with a smile experience, where every smile crowns my reward.
Of course, there are hurdles, however overcoming those hurdles have been the greatest source of inspiration.
Quotes that drive me are these two. One by Robert Kiyosaki; ” face your fears and doubts and new walls will open to you” and “inside every problem, lies an opportunity “.
I believe God specially created me and equipped me with resilience, perseverance, determination, consistence and PASSION to pursue my goals with utmost satisfaction, after every challenging experience.
These experiences whether positive or vice versa guides and reforms my person positively. As I say ” if the desirable is not available, the available is upgraded to the desirable to achieve results.” Its just the mindset.

Dr. Chidinma Nwaigwe on How She grows as a Leader: “I Never Give up, I just Restrategize”

I grow by believing first the need ‘to know’. With knowledge I can evolve to an enriched personality portraying my values at every contact I make with a person of any age group especially with our younger generation.
I never give up, I just restrategise. I think up an idea, feed it, nurture it, and expose it. I evaluate as it goes from stage to stage to suit the particular need. I create a balance in my daily living by engaging in hobbies like dancing, cooking, resting and listening to music while focusing on my desires. I believe integrity is a core value I must replicate.

She Identifies and Builds Team Members

In building a team, I look at the overall mission and vision of the set objectives. I study the team members and identify the strength and weakness of individuals. With an individualized approach to each team member; it propels the strength and turns a weakness into potential. Also, I believe in the concept ‘PUSH’; which stands for ‘persist until something happens’.
A recent experience with a team member; a member of my staff, is that she is always beaten and assaulted by her husband -physical and emotionally. She was a housewife with three children and applied for a job at my school and was accepted. We placed her with the toddlers, and she did exceedingly well.
I noticed her fears and scar-filled face which she denied, and attributed it to a classlessness on her part. I had to devise a plan to help her by challenging, motivating and reforming her thoughts about being a woman. Her God given grace and so on.
She picked up herself, believed she was worthy, stood firm by this time her husband left her with the children and ran off with another woman. With no help from family or friends, I geared her up. After three years now, a past housewife has been transformed to a woman with skills, focus, and grace. She is living happily, taking care of her children and others by herself. She is chasing more dreams in higher studies, and now handles the graduating class of the school.

She Believes every Leader Must be a Good Listener

Be a good listener because for every action there are several meanings. So to be on top of your game; read between the lines with an open mind. A good foundation can be shaken but never destroyed.

What She has Learned From Her Daughter

The best leadership quote I learnt from my daughter Chimchetam Dozie is “A leader does not aspire to make a living, but aspires to make a difference” And I believe in making that difference.

Registration for African Women in Leadership Conference for Women in Leadership is ongoing now at awlo.org/anniversary.


In a Leader’s Shoes: Are Women not Leaders?

‘There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in [all] women. It’s as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet.’ -Maya Angelou

It is not a new thing that often times women are undermined when it comes to the sphere of leadership. But women have always been in leadership positions- whether as nurturers, decision makers and multi-taskers. It is only sad that society equates and constraints women with limiting words that do not go beyond the title of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ and therefore do not capture the overall greatness of women. But, one thing that is certain is that women have always been in the shoes of leadership.

Going back in time to the Judeo-Christian creation story of man and woman. The woman was seen as taking charge and making decisions and even taking responsibility for the husband.

Even up to the life changing efforts of Mary Slessor in Africa, to the scientific input of women like Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn, the noteworthy works of women can be felt in the world.

Even up till today books are being written, media outlets are weighing in by hosting forums and producing special reports, and affinity groups in the workplace are engaging and leaning in about the leadership deposit in the woman. What is this about?

LEADERSHIP IS NO GENES

Condoleezza Rice

It has become quite obvious that leadership is not gender specific and qualities of leaders are not genetically inherited.

Vince Lombardi said; ” Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

 

 WOMEN ARE NOT NEW TO LEADERSHIP

Female influence cannot be denied throughout history. Women have been voices. From Sojourner Truth, to Queen Elizabeth I, Cleopatra VII, Rosa Parks, Mary Slessor, Wangari Maathai, Mary Seacole, Indira Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice and Hilary Clinton.

These women have lit up the world from their little corners. Who can deny the ripple effect of the simple act by Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat and how it begun a revolution. There are countless of instance that point to the outstanding leadership of women.

Perhaps the relatively small number of women executives in our organizations breeds the perception of women in leadership as twenty-first century concept of bossiness and misogyny whereas records show the indelible impact made by women. In reality leadership is not by virtue of position but impact.

WOMEN HAVE CAPACITY TO FUNCTION AT ALL FRONTS

Michelle Obama so aptly fit the role of First lady while playing Wife and Mum

Women possess the innate capacity to function on many fronts. At the boardroom, as wife, and mother, and they also advocate well for peace. Some women define having all this as the balance of a successful career and a successful family life. Women can obviously multi-task.

This multi-tasking ability has made them to effectively and efficiently lead in their careers and at the same time take charge of their personal and family life.

Women like Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton have proven that women can succeed at juggling career and nurturing family.

That balance is a personal choice because the dynamics of the workplace will have an impact on one’s personal life. How women manage it well to become successful at both makes them effective at multi-tasking.

WOMEN HAVE COMPETENCIES

Research has shown that leadership is about competencies, not necessarily about wearing a traditional Leadership hat at the office alone, but at all relevant situations.

Competencies such as demonstrating communication and social skills, utilizing creativity and innovation, problem solving, demonstrating judgment and team leadership, resourcefulness among others.

Even women within the home, as leadership is not just leading in the boardroom but the embodiment of who you are, and a reflection of self-leadership.

So, if this is the case, why do we not have more women leaders? The answer is not only in possessing these competencies but in bringing them to bear in the workplace and in relevant situations.

THE TAKEAWAY FOR WOMEN IS OWN YOUR COMPETENCIES

The take-away for women in leadership is to walk in their truth. If you are great at strategy or leading teams, networking or analysis, own it.

Represent your skills and competencies. The diversity of experiences, perspective and values that women bring to executive decision-making, yields competitive advantage and creative team dynamics. So, for women, leading can be easy if you do what you have honed.

Thanks to the awareness that makes girls to be given equal opportunities as the male child, so they can shine on time.

Here, is to the strength, perseverance, grit, tenacity, and wit- that the woman continues to bring to the table.

 


The Plight of Female Leaders and Political Aspirants in the Struggle for a Gender Equitable Africa: Which Way Africa?

Just when we were having a sigh of relief- that benevolent men were beginning to appreciate the indispensable role and participation of women in politics, leadership and issues of national discourse, we are shocked with the show of shame at a mere Ward Congress and the Primaries of the ruling political party in Africa’s most populous nation a few days ago. With the exception of a few locations, the exercise was marred by thuggery and ruffian-ism. It witnessed uncouthness, yelling, throat-grabbing, vituperations, snatching and hijacking of papers, throwing down of chairs, and rowdiness that contradicts any concept of human decency.

Amidst the whole fracas, only one woman could be spotted at the scene of the exercise. Women, even if they were participants, were alienated from the event.  This is a very worrisome development.  The continuation of unrestrained thuggery by male politicians is a threat to all inclusiveness and equitable balanced participation that should feature inclusion of women.

Women are fair creatures. They are more gentle, delicate and inhibited. They, by design cannot participate in misdemeanour and shameless behaviour that characterize the politics and electoral processes of today. Are the men trying to say that politics which opens the door to national leadership and governance is the exclusive reserve of people with brawn and brawl?

Do we not agree that the role of women in political leadership has become imperative as well as salutary and redemptive? How can female politicians fare in the ugly show of unrestrained ruffian-ism, thuggery, throwing of punches and throwing down of chairs?  These questions should agitate our minds. Male politicians should balance their wild unregulated emotions with reason, cool-headedness and exemplary decency- at the polling booths and all political rostrums.

If the narratives of leadership in Africa is to change, if gender equality and equity is to be achieved on time, then the female inclusion in politics and leadership should not only be in words but in deeds. And the environment for that change and growth that Africa desperately needs is one where peace thrives freely.

This post appeared first on elishaattai.com


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