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Women leaders honoured at WWLC 2014

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MUMBAI: Women who’ve reached top positions in business would understand the kind of courage, conviction and sacrifice it takes for a member of the fairer sex to achieve that kind of success.

And so the World Women Leadership Congress (WWLC) 2014 was recently held on 14 and 15 February at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai to honour such outstanding women and their achievements.

The WWLC Awards recognized the profound role played by women as leaders, decision makers and administrators in shaping the future of nations across the globe.

The panel was constituted by women from different walks of life from different nationalities who all but echoed Mahatma Gandhi’s saying: “Be the change you wish to see”.

The Social Business Company founder and MD Tania Ellis said: “Women play an integral part in driving the global consciousness movement.”

While several women still choose to be home makers, many others have broken the shackles and made it large in the world outside. According to BNY Mellon managing director, global head of diversity and inclusion Jyoti Chopra, “Women who have made it to that position share tremendous drive, mentorship, are risk takers, visionaries, have the skill to connect, to lead, inspire and motivate.”

During a session titled ‘Women leaders as architects of change’, Chopra expounded the qualities of a good leader. “You need to find solutions to the issues troubling you. Also, being a good listener helps,” she said while stressing that personal change was a prerequisite of social change.

Women’s Business Development Centre president and CEO Nancy Allen opined that women in leadership positions are always interested in giving back to the community. “It is great to be successful. But a woman knows that their success depends on the success of the community,” she said.

Zambia Media Women Association media consultant and board member Sally Chiwama was of the view that the future would belong to women, provided they ‘believed, dreamed and dared to do things.”

Hettigoda Industries company director Vidyani Hettigoda echoed the general sentiment that women had a long road ahead to leadership.

Africa Nazarene University vice chancellor Leah Marangu emphasized the importance of education. “There is a need to replace traditional teaching methods with integrated ones. This will not only help women increase their knowledge but also follow their passion,” she said.

A key point raised during the discussion was that women need to be more vocal about their thoughts and demands. “Women are shy in asking for what they deserve. It is high time we become more vocal and be the person we want to be,” concluded Standard Chartered Bank global head, mobile money, transaction banking, wholesale bank Namita Lal.

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