International women’s day is here with us again. Exciting isn’t it? It is always a joy to celebrate the woman each one of us has grown into since the last celebration- men you can come back now. Most of the world’s population celebrate international women’s day by acknowledging the women in their lives and the women who have achieved extraordinary feats both locally and internationally.
This year we celebrate International women’s day in a different light as we are in the middle of a pandemic. This year’s theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has been with us for almost a year now, and slowly people have learned to live with it, making the theme very relevant to every woman in leadership- and even the women in non-leadership positions.
Here at Shaboard, we want to celebrate our 2021 International Women’s day specially- by highlighting how various women have courageously stepped up and lead with poise and grace. They have not only led during a pandemic but have achieved great success in doing it.
The Kenyan flag is flying high in the US of A as one of our own Carolina Wanga was recently appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. (and chief Growth Officer of Essence Ventures). Her journey towards this prestigious position didn’t start yesterday but has been a journey of growth and determination. Wanga began her career in the supply chain industry serving in a variety of transformational leadership roles. She has been named a Top Executive in Corporate diversity by Black Enterprises and one of Savoy’s most powerful women in Corporate America.
The banking and finance sector has hugely been male-dominated for centuries. Women have had to work tooth and nail to be able to achieve great success in this sector. While many have shyed away from the tasking path, Norah Mbithe didn’t. She stood her ground and dared to believe in her potential. Today she is a force to be reckoned with in the Banking and finance sector. Recognized by Chambers global 2021- she is truly a star. Norah works on advising clients on a range of issues, including bank securities and loan restructuring. She is also well known for being very approachable and accommodative to clients’ needs- offering practical solutions to legal problems.
Debra Mallowah is a seasoned broad-based professional with roles that have included Vice President for Unilever for the Personal Care Division, Africa and Group Marketing & Innovations Director in Diageo East Africa. She is one woman who has time and time showed how women can be great change-makers in the corporate world. Just recently, she bagged the Vice president position for East and Central African countries at Coca-Cola. Continually proving women can!
Waithera Kabiru is no doubt a leader in the digital media business. Head of Media Futures at East African Breweries Limited, her great knowledge and expertise have been highlighted through her work. Just recently she was chosen among other global industry leaders as a coach by the London International Awards. The program aims to develop, educate, inspire and grow young creative talent. She is also an independent non-executive Director at Galana Oil Kenya. Waithera is one woman who has not to be afraid to talk about her journey with cancer. She has not only impacted positively on the lives of so many women facing the same predicament but she has also inspired many. Now, a cancer survivor and founder of Second Chances Foundation, which supports people affected by cancer, she is a true epitome of strength and resilience.
Nuru is a leading voice in sustainable finance, consistently engaging policymakers both at the industry and government level. She is very passionate about developing a sustainable financial environment for Kenyans thus creating the sustainable Finance industry in 2021. Nuru is the Director of Public Affairs and Sustainable Finance at the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA). She has been recognized among the top 25 influencers in green finance by Mandalore Partners. She is the only African on the list.
I hope this article encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and be the leader you were born to be. Each of these women has worked hard to be the phenomenal leaders that they are. Remember to believe in your abilities and just do it!
Happy International Women’s Day Queen!