Stakeholders advise women to break gender bias

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. Over the weekend, financial and economic players challenged women that breaking gender bias could start with them before being supported by others.
Despite all the progress that has been made, women remain underrepresented at decision-making tables despite compelling evidence that gender diversity improves the quality of decisions made.
But those who spoke at the meeting organized by the women of Citibank said women would have to demonstrate competence if they were to overcome gender bias and improve things in the workplace.
“The changes will start with you. Opportunities are everywhere and it is up to you to define an individual development plan,” said Geofrey Mchangila, CEO of Citibank.
The ex-executive director of the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), Irene Mlola, appears to have read the same script, urging women to be proactive in seizing opportunities as they arise and to perform well. “Be very focused on what you want to do. Strategize and be very international and positive,” she urged.
“So if you’re a woman who sometimes holds back from getting ‘out there’ for fear of what might happen if you do, it’s time for you to cultivate a culture of overcoming fears.”
She was of the opinion that women should try to reflect bias and how to deal with it when it occurs.
Citibank Tanzania Board Director Dr. Natu Mwamba suggested that women should express their confidence even if they work among men.
Noting that they had time to face tough times, she opined that they should endure and stay focused.
“As long as you stay focused, as long as you believe in yourself, you’ll get there,” she expressed optimism.
Chief Executive Officer Roundtable (CEOrt) Executive Director Santina Benson said some studies have shown that having a female CEO results in a 5% increase in an organization’s market value.
“As CEOrt, we want to leverage our leadership influence to advance gender equality by supporting women’s empowerment, women in leadership and the positive visibility of all women,” said Ms. Benson .
CEOrt Chairman, Mr. Sanjay Rughani said that the representation of women among the membership of the organization has seen phenomenal growth over the past three years, with an 86% increase in the number of female leaders in the organization. CEOrt.
Brenda Msangi, Executive Director of Comprehensive Community Rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT), highlighted the importance of women leaders sharing their stories as a means of mentoring, coaching and leading young women.
“To break down prejudice, we need to put in place policies that will promote diversity for future generations,” she recommended at the CEOrt meeting last week.

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