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Pro Awo Asiedu Charges Women To Be More Self Confident

Professor Awo Mana Asiedu, the acting director of the University of Ghana’s School of Performing Arts, has urged career-minded women to boost their self-confidence in order to position themselves for leadership positions at their various workplaces.

She voiced concern over the fact that many women lack the confidence necessary to assume leadership positions.

Without self-confidence, she believed, it would be impossible for women to speak up, adding that “having your voice heard is absolutely crucial.”

Prof. Asiedu made the comments at a public roundtable discussion on the opportunities and challenges for women in academia in the African context that was organized by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA) of the University of Ghana, and the German Historical Institute Paris (GHIP).

The three-day conference’s theme was “Female academic careers in Africa: positioning and preparing oneself for leadership in academia,” and it began on February 15, 2023.

The roundtable is a component of an annual MIASA workshop on female academic careers in Africa that is organized at the University of Ghana in collaboration with GHIP and the CEGENSA.

The workshop was attended by 20 female academics in their early and mid-career stages who work in the social sciences and humanities and are stationed at universities or research centers in a variety of African nations, including Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

On topics including how to create effective teams, how to cope with university hierarchies, how to handle disagreements at work, and how to advance an academic career while dealing with different time limitations, participants were led through some practical coaching sessions.

Prof. Asiedu also voiced worry that many female academics typically pass up leadership roles when they present themselves, particularly in the academic setting.

She stressed that although it would not be simple for women academics to take on leadership roles, they shouldn’t be frightened by anyone and that it was about time that they made their presence and impact felt in the academic world.

Dr. Doris Akyere Boateng of the University of Ghana shared her opinions as a panelist and challenged female academics and aspiring ones to be more responsible with their time management.

She believes that one does not have to be superwoman to attain one’s job ambitions, pointing out that if academic women are able to manage work and home obligations, they will be able to succeed.

In addition, Dr. Jenny Mbaye of the University of London urged women to avoid letting setbacks and distractions any chance to derail their pursuit of greatness in everything they do.

She claimed that many female academics are frequently sidetracked by various issues, and that the only way for them to overcome their difficulties is by being determined and resolute.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Susann Baller, the director of MIASA, stated that MIASA is an institute within the College of Humanities at the University of Ghana and is supported jointly by the university and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

She claimed that renowned academics from Ghana, Germany, and other countries use MIASA as a hub for communication, networking, and collaboration.

She clarified that the goal of the workshop was to give the attendees the tools they needed to handle the issues they faced in their daily academic work as well as to get them ready for future managerial positions, particularly in the academic sector.

Dr. Baller expressed hope that the session will help the participants identify their own leadership and working styles as well as think about how to adjust to various situations and difficulties.

She stated that the main goal of the workshop was to motivate early- and mid-career female academics in Ghana and other African nations to advance their careers, devise plans for maintaining a work-life balance that allows for academic and research success, and prepare them for leadership roles and/or other professional opportunities.

In order to achieve gender equality, it is critical to close the leadership gap, according to Dr. Deborah Atobrah, Director of CEGENSA.

She felt that the founding of the CENGENSA had helped raise awareness of gender issues among university students.

She expressed the hope that MIASA and CEGENSA will continue to work together to share crucial information on possibilities for women in academia to advance their careers and find mentors.

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