Founding partners of Mahogany Consult, a Public Relations, Events and Change Management agency commemorated this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) with a parley to share their 9+ years’ experience as women leaders in Ghana. This year’s celebration under the theme, Choose to Challenge, highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interests of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.
Esi Asante Antwi, Principal Consultant and founding partner of the agency said the day brings to attention gender parity, the rights of women, the recognition of their achievements at every stage of life and the world as a whole. She believes there is the need to create awareness about the contribution that women make in diverse disciplines and the importance of male support.
She stated that it was difficult for some people to accept female leadership and authority, though legitimate and tagged them as being bossy. She however, observed that, this trend was changing as the world evolves and pays more attention to gender parity.
“We have had male staff in the past who have demonstrated a difficulty to take and follow instructions from us as women leaders. We’ve also had to juggle the challenge of being perceived as young women, and therefore immature or not qualified enough. But we’re happy to see that things are improving, society is changing and the ageist and sexist mentally that used to exist is giving way to opportunities for talented young people and women to show their worth”, Esi Asante Antwi stated.
“I think it’s very important that men recognize that together, we make the world a better place. It is also okay to have a day focused on women to talk about the things that we like, who we are, to foster that understanding and unity”, she added.
Baaba Cofie, the Senior Consultant and founding partner said that, there is the general perception that women should always approach issues with motherly tenderness, which is not possible always in business circles. As a result, a woman who does not demonstrate this natural trait of softness even when she must take tough decisions is sometimes perceived as being difficult.
“On the other hand, nurturing comes natural to us and this trait can sometimes become a challenge or an asset when you are a leader. We have realized that because we are women, it makes us more accommodating, more understanding, more loving, more supportive and so on one hand it is an asset for us but on another hand, people take advantage of it”, she said. “We continue to strive to balance our instinctive femininity with best leadership and professional values” she concluded.
In accordance with the Choose to Challenge theme, both partners challenged the biases against accepting female authority and leadership and the perception that women cannot be leaders and aspire to greatness.
Established in 2012, the agency provides strategic communications consulting to many businesses, both local and international in different sectors such as FMCG, Banking and Finance, Health, Agriculture, Development Cooperation, Oil and Gas, Education, Mining, Technology and Not- for-Profit.