The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) yesterday held an orientation session for the fourth cohort of its Female Future Programme (FFP), comprising 40 females.
The FFP Ghana is a leadership and boardroom competency development programme for women, aimed at ensuring the full utilisation of female talents in organisations and companies.
The goal of the FFP is to among others increase the percentage of women in decision-making processes and address the gender gap in top management, leadership and board positions.
The second Vice President of the GEA, Mrs Victoria Hajar in her address explained that the programme was organised into 15 sessions and spread over nine months.
She said participants would be taken through broad modules namely: leadership development, Rhetoric and Board Competence to help build excellent oratory and negotiation skills and the ability to discover inner potentials among others.
She revealed that FFP Ghana programme, a brainchild of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) had already trained more than 65 females from various organizations in the country.
She commended employers who ensured the nomination of their female talents to participate in the FFP, saying “this initiative clearly shows your organisation’s support for gender equality, female empowerment as well as inclusion and diversity at the workplace.”
Mrs Hajar expressed gratitude to the NHO for their support to GEA and guidance in replicating the Female Future concept in Ghana.
Management and supervisors of the nominees, she said must grant them ample time and space to enable them participate in all the 15 sessions of the programme to enable them maximise their understanding and appreciation of the programme.
President of FFP Ghana Alumni, Madam Joyce Asiedu-Ofei on her part encouraged participants to take full advantage of the opportunity offered them as the programme would also build their self-perception and provide them with a platform to exchange experiences and build relationships with peers across sectors.
She said “For the FFP Ghana dust to sparkle on you, you will have to actively participate in all the activities to discover your own customised answers and solutions.”
Chief Operating Officer, Jospong Group of Companies, Mrs Florence A. Larbi in her keynote address bemoaned what she described as the woeful representation of females at the top levels of businesses, saying just 25 out of the top one thousand multinational corporations were run by women.
“We have found ourselves in this disadvantageous position because of formidable impediments, mainly structural barriers and inhibitions which are holding their own against our efforts at extrication,” she lamented.
Institutional and traditional rules and norms that are biased towards males, she said often undermined the ability of females to integrate perspectives into policy making in politics, businesses, and the entire scheme of national development.
Also, she mentioned that the African’s patriarchal cultures promoted male dominance which had placed men in a position of authority and reverence over their female counterparts in various facets of national life, making stereotypes linger over a long time.
“The ability of women to succeed in management may be hampered by outdated ideas of their leadership abilities, competence, and aggressiveness. Many businesses relate success and accomplishment to masculine traits and this must stop,” Mrs Larbi stressed.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU