Senior Lecturer at the School of Performing Arts, Prof. Awo Mana Asiedu, is encouraging women, particularly Ghanaian women, to develop confidence and strong mindsets in their workplaces.
At the Public Round Table Workshop organized 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), on the theme; “Female Academic Careers in Africa: Positioning and Preparing oneself for Leadership in Academia”, Prof. Asiedu explained that the inability to possess these qualities stems from a “defeatist mindset” instilled in women by society, which prevents them from displaying and maximizing their talents to their full potential.
Alot 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.
The goal of the seminar was to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in academia within the African context such as building up efficient teams, dealing with university hierarchies, addressing conflicts at the workplace, among others.
Prof Asiedu advised heads of educational institutions to create “an inclusive work system that allows fellow colleagues to voice out their concerns and ideas” in order to become great leaders.
This, she believes, will help leaders better assess themselves and their teams’ strengths.
In addressing the issue of boosting women’s self-esteem, Deputy German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Sivine Flaklene, shared her experience working with insecure women at their jobs, despite the difficult tasks they have accomplished.
I often have young women colleagues who are so insecure they do a tremendous job and work like the office would breakdown without them but at the end of the day, they get so work up over little mistakes which I don’t see in the male colleagues I’ve worked with. She said.
She requested that more resources be invested in training women to improve their self-esteem so that they can take on more challenges in their careers.
Lecturer in Creative Studies at the University of London, Dr. Jenny Mbaye, who also spoke on dealing with “politics in academia, described it as a “toxic reflection of society’s educational powerhouse”, which can be particularly difficult for women to face and advised them to seek assistance from the institutions in which they find themselves, whether through mentoring or coaching.
Story By: Adwubi Wiafe Akenteng| univers.ug.edu.gh