Dear blossoming flower;
A major concern for young women and girls leaders is access to leadership skills for those aspiring to go into influential roles and positions. They have a clear sense and understanding of what desired qualities are required for them to enter the leadership positions and compete with the men. To rise to leadership and maintain it there is a broad set of competencies required like communication, information sharing, diverse stakeholder engagement, resource mobilisation and time management.
Have an open mind and a hard back. Know your subject matter well, conduct adequate research, and be hardworking. Respect comes from knowledge, so become as knowledgeable as you can. Find time, sacrifice time, make your presence felt in what you think say or do and value personal contact, learn from your peers.
Be a good communicator, understand informational tools and technologies; have confidence in yourself; engage in community work and social causes that you care about and love. Develop and reinforce your skills and capacity in diverse areas. Work with communities and equip yourself with resources (human, material, financial) that permit you to accomplish your goals.
Building your leadership skills should be considered vital to allow you to compete with your male counterparts. And once you are elevated into leadership positions the struggles are not over, you must maintain the leadership. Understand that the rules of engagement in the public sector are established, organized and dominated by the men, acting in their own interests and convenience. This creates a fundamental problem for majority women exercising leadership within the framework of patriarchal structures. Many men do not automatically support women’s participation outside the home dominate the majority of governing institutions. So young woman you need strong advocacy skills and confidence especially in public speaking. Know your cause and be consistent in your approach, actions, messages and be accountable to partners with whom you work with. Have a succession plan and coach others, create space for others and remain assertive.
These will be key forces to enable you climb up the ladder of leadership growing a strong girl force that is unscripted and unstoppable.