At KNUST's digital GenderSmart event this month, Patricia Obo-Nai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, shared invaluable insights with attendees to help them grow effectively within corporate entities.
She began by highlighting the innate qualities women are endowed with, such as the ability to multitask, cognitive empathy, guts, and intuition. "These qualities are vital tools in leadership roles," Patricia emphasised, urging women to harness them for success.
Drawing parallels between the home and the workplace, she explained how women's cognitive empathy, often used to mediate conflicts among children, can be an instrumental tool in the corporate sphere, fostering a harmonious and productive environment. She further added, "The qualities of guts and intuition make women natural risk-takers, enabling them to demonstrate courage in making certain tough decisions."
The CEO underscored the significance of education in leadership. "Embrace diverse learning experiences, whether through internships or on-the-job training. Within your work environment, explore rotational opportunities. You learn a lot when you open up to other people’s functions. Formal education is equally important; you can learn on the job, acquire knowledge on the job, or consider taking relevant courses to equip yourself for the leadership role you desire," Patricia advised.
Referencing Vodafone's ‘One More Skill’ initiative, Patricia highlighted the company's commitment to fostering continuous learning, revealing that under this programme, all employees are encouraged to undertake at least one course annually.
On the topic of advancing in leadership roles, Patricia emphasised the importance of a harmonious balance between professional and personal commitments. "Cultivate a support network, manage your time effectively, and always prioritise your family," she counselled.
In her concluding remarks, Patricia prepared women to anticipate potential biases and misconceptions they might face in leadership roles. "Equip yourself with knowledge and surround yourself with a robust support system. That is your best defence," she affirmed.