Graphic Business News

‘Leaders must pursue their own vision’

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Mrs Rose Karikari Anang(6th right), Deputy Chairperson of the National Labour Commission with Mrs Victoria Hajar(left), Treasurer of Ghana Employers Association and some other participants during the Female Future Program. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

Effective leaders must not try to become like others but pursue their own vision to inspire others and exhibit self-confidence, Deputy Chairperson of the National Labour Commission (NLC), Mrs Rose Karikari Anang, has advised.

She said people were always inspired and empowered to work with such leaders.
“These types of leaders are able to attract others to work for and work with them because they naturally inspire them. And there is little stress.
“You should have a personal vision, social ability, self-confidence and assertiveness, all these are learning traits that you should learn. You need to acquire these skills,” she said at the opening of the maiden cohort of the ‘Female Future Programme’(FFP) in Ghana, organised by the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) in Accra.

The FFP is a flagship programme that addresses the need of bridging the gender gap among women in top management and boardroom positions in Ghana.

Developing leadership skills
Mrs Anang also advised women in the corporate environment to endeavour to develop leadership skills that would enable them to assume leadership responsibilities or roles.

She noted that leadership came with some skill set including, training, teaching, observation and learning which could not be overlooked.

Women in management
The Second Vice President of the GEA, Mrs Victoria Hajar, noted that women were in the majority of Ghana’s population but were underrepresented in management, leadership and boardroom decisions. 

She cited a study conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs in 2016, to ascertain the gender dynamics and challenges confronting the elevation of women to boardrooms in private and public institutions in Ghana, which found that the portion of women in total board members was less than 26 per cent. 

Additionally, she said, almost six per cent of organisations had females as board chairpersons and 49 per cent of women who rose to board level positions were made to occupy non-executive positions.

“There is the need to diversify the top management and boardroom positions by augmenting the capacity of talented women in our organisations to compete favourably with their male counterparts,” she said.

She expressed gratitude to their partners, the Confederation of Norwegian Development Enterprise, Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries and the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana for the immense support in replicating the FFP concept in Ghana for the development of corporate women. 

She expressed the hope that participants would maximise their understanding to acquire the skills for elevation into the apex of the corporate ladder.

In an interview with the Chief Executive Officer of the GEA, Mr Alex Frimpong, he noted that globally, there was much talk about affirmative action in the political environment but not in the corporate world although it was part of the whole social structure. 

“So, we felt the need to prepare adequately to also assume higher responsibility roles in the corporate world. Women in boardrooms elsewhere have shown that they bring something peculiar that improves the bottom-line peace and the safety of doing business in the organisation,” he said.

He urged them to see it as an opportunity to invest in themselves to bring out the leader in them so that they would become assets to their organisations and the country at large.

The FFP cohort
The FFP is a national programme which will run for a period of nine months. It has three modules, namely, leadership training, board competence and communication skills.

There will be 15 sessions that will be interspersed with group work, online discussion and networking among others. Organisers said the next one would be in February 2020.