20th Jun 2019 | Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel, Nairobi
The fifth edition of the Leading Women Series blended insights from two guest speakers, Lisa Francis, CEO of Barclays Private Bank, UK and Ireland and Carole Kariuki, CEO of KEPSA, each leaders in their fields. The event was held on 20 June, 2019 at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi followed by an exclusive cocktail at the hotel’s Presidential Suite.
Through thought-provoking discussions, the two speakers inspired the audience highlighting the joys, challenges and similarities that leading women face in dynamic business environments; Lisa, with over 25 years of banking experience in leading positions across different regions in the UK and currently mandated to strengthen the Barclays franchise, and Carole who has been well recognised for her exemplary leadership and role that she plays in the development of the private sector in Africa.
The speakers highlighted the importance of women to sieze opportunities in which they can assume big positions. Both women had similar journeys, they started off their careers when they were young in a time where not too many young people engaged in the public and private sector contrary to how it is today and in a time when women were not necessarily a majority.
It is definitely hard for women to survive in a world of men and women feel that they have to work harder. At the event it was mentioned that one of the biggest challenge of women is to balance the egos which are normally male dominated. Sometimes women need to change politically the dynamics of decision making even if they have to make men part of their decisions to actually achieve their goals. In these situations the female charisma plays an important role.
Women on boards was another issue that was discussed. Boards are mainly men dominated but this is however changing and we are starting to see the impact of women in board positions. Some women might have had a tough time at board meetings as they had trouble getting heard, it could happen that men are louder and the women’s comments could be dismissed. The speakers mentioned that women might be selling themselves short as they are perfectionist and shy in celebrating their achievements. These were some of the key highlights discussed during the session.
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