Panellists at roundtable workshop on women leadership have challenged women to take advantage of leadership opportunities and prove their mettle in the role.
This, they argued, was important to defeat the many stereotypes against women who rise to decision making levels, inspire the next generation and bridge the gender inequality gap in the country.
Organised by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), in collaboration with the German Historical Institute Paris (GHIP) and the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA) of the University of Ghana, the workshop had panelists including Professor Awo Mana Asiedu, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Performing Arts, Dr Doris Akyere Boateng, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Work and Dr Jenny Mbaye, a Lecturer in Creative Studies at the University of London.
It brought together early and mid-career female academics from universities and research institutes across the African continent to discuss challenges and opportunities for women in academia.
Speaking on the theme; “Female Academic Careers in Africa: Positioning and preparing oneself for Leadership in Academia,” Prof. Asiedu, encouraged women in academia to be strong-minded and self-confident in their capabilities.
“A lot of things begin from our minds, what you think you are what you become, so I think as women we need to work on our self-confidence because sometimes, we hold back because we think we might fail. I think we need to change that mindset and believe in our abilities as women,” she said.
Admitting challenges including patriarchal entrenchment, university hierarchies, societal and domestic responsibilities which often militated against the career progression of women, the Senior Lecturer advised women to create “a good work-life balance that allows you to proper in your research and academic.”
Prof. Asiedu advised management of educational institutions to create an inclusive work environment to allow females to thrive in their career, while being able to voice out their concerns and ideas to become great leaders.
In her submission, Dr Boateng advised women not to be ‘superhuman’ in their quest to meet all demands of them saying; “do the best you can, learn to collaborate, seek help where you cannot perform and position yourself to be relevant in your field of interest.”
“Find your rhythm, you cannot do everything or please everyone. Plan your time such that you can find space to publish your papers and propel your career forward,” she urged.
The Deputy German Ambassador to Ghana, Sivine Flaklene, called for increased investment in the training of women to improve their self-esteem so that they can take on more challenges in their careers
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH