Stepping onto the stage as the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the inaugural HD+ LeadHERS Xperience organised by SES HD Plus, I carried with me lofty expectations of witnessing the transformation of women from diverse backgrounds – an evolution of empowerment, self-discovery, and the recognition of their rightful place in accessing opportunities.
These aspirations, I soon realised, were not just for the attendees, but were to shape my own journey of empowerment. Guided by the visionary leadership of CEO Adelaide Abbiw-Williams, the event transcended expectations, leaving an indelible mark on all participants, including myself.
As the MC, my vision was to elevate the event into a beacon of women’s leadership, advocacy and empowerment. The HD+ LeadHERS Xperience remarkably not only met, but exceeded these ambitions, channelling its focus on empowering women to effect positive societal change. The infusion of cultural performances throughout the event underscored the richness of diversity, fostering a sense of unity among attendees.
A Journey of learning and growth
In every individual’s growth lies the essence of perpetual learning, a truth underscored by my participation in the maiden edition of HD+ LeadHERS Xperience. As a fervent advocate for women’s empowerment, the event offered me invaluable insights.
An important realisation crystallised during the event – the understanding that women should not view men or their fellow women as competitors. Genuine diversity and inclusion flourish when we perceive men as allies rather than adversaries. The support of both genders is essential to cultivate such environments, a lesson elucidated by SES SA Chief People & Culture Officer Pan Macdonald.
As she recounted the consistent encouragement from her father, and echoed by other panelists, I found resonance in the support I’ve received from my husband, father and colleagues at Global Media Alliance (GMA).
Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, Executive Director of Salt & Light Ministries, eloquently highlighted the transformational potential of embracing the female vision in traditionally male-dominated spaces. As a testament to the media’s influence on women in leadership, I was inspired by her call for women to embrace their power and catalyse meaningful change in leadership.
The panel sessions featured trailblazers, such as Adelaide Abbiw-Williams, Valeri Labi, Mercy Taggoe-Quarcoo, Dr. Lucy Agyepong, and Mrs. Patience Baffoe-Bonnie (Esq). Their personal stories illuminated the significance of resilience, innovation, stepping outside comfort zones, continuous growth, and development in achieving remarkable feats.
The meticulous curation of the LeadHERS Xperience by SES HD Plus ensured that participants departed with an ‘Aha’ moment, fuelled by a resolute desire to effect change. The calibre of speakers and the event’s overall value were exceptional, leaving an enduring impact on all involved. The preceding ‘50 Ways to Fight Bias’ workshop and the launch of LeadHERS Accra – a Lean-In Circle initiative hosted by SES HD Plus, served as the perfect prelude to the main event, imparting practical strategies for overcoming biases and ascending to greater heights.
My role as the MC at the LeadHERS Xperience marked a transformative juncture in my journey. This experience ignited a renewed commitment to empowering women and championing their rights. It has fortified my passion for public speaking and opened doors to myriad opportunities. With enthusiasm, I anticipate further honing my skills and continuing to make a resounding impact as an MC.
The HD+ LeadHERS Xperience journey has just begun, leaving us all inspired to champion positive change and foster inclusive environments. As the echoes of this transformative event reverberate, I look forward to contributing to an empowered, equal and diverse society – one stage at a time.
>>>the writer is host of African Women’s Voices and a corporate MC