Building a resilient woman

What you need to know:

  • Betty Ogiel, another alumni credits the course for helping her break boundaries despite having speech and physical impairment

It was a time to celebrate women at the 11th annual women leadership conference. With 216 women having one through their Female Future Programme (FFP), Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) had every reason to celebrate. Of these, Douglas Opio, the executive director of FUE, in his opening remarks said 51 percent had moved to leadership positions, 35 percent had gone on to start businesses; embracing the journey of self-discovery.

It was in that regard that Maria Francesca Baziraki of the 2017 cohort said, "Everything you ever wanted sits on the other side of fear" having conquered the fear of public speaking. 
"Walking into this programme, I thought it was yet another women training programme and was not that enthusiastic. However, by the end of the first session, we had gone through a free therapy session because we had shared raw details about life and career. At the end of the course, not only had I become intentional about conquering my fear of public speaking but learnt that it is not the best that get what they want but those who argue their way through. That is because at the core of the programme was communication," she says.

Betty Ogiel, another alumni credits the course for helping her break boundaries despite having speech and physical impairment. 
"There will never be a right time," she says, "My manager, then, had seen something worth investing in hence enrolling me for the programme. Therefore, my impairments would not stand in the way and through resilience, I have shared my story and also ventured into empowering others."
The FFP was the major highlight at the conference where two other cohorts were being passed out. Opio said while there is a 39 percent female representation in Parliament, the impact has not yet been felt. 

"We are counting on you to mentor more girls to discover themselves early in time so they can fill the corporate space as well," he said.
As women grow in their career, Sarah Kitakule, the director sustainable business for Uganda and platform secretariat advised them to be intentional which calls for examining oneself so as to make well informed decisions. 
"You do not have to go for every course announced. Take time to find out if it will better your journey,” she said.
Identifying talent is something women need to be intentional about because many are wary of helping or holding another's hand. 

"That is not how we grow. I have become intentional about grooming talent. The benefit is that some have helped me where I fell short. As they grow, so do we; their mentors," she says.
Many women have been called emotional, something Kitakule advised women leaders to steer clear of. It does not help you to determine one's attitude by their facial expression because a lot goes on in people's lives. 
"If your secretary does not smile as you walk in, it is not reason to fire them but to find out the reason behind it and see how to help. Every day, ask yourself if you are acting on emotion or logic," Kitakule says.

Vision is a pivotal point in living right and Eng Silva Mugisha, the chairperson of FUE said without a vision, there is no journey one is making. That said, the ideas you have are not sufficient in and of themselves thus the need to have money because it is the vehicle for realising your vision.
He also advised women to know that difficulty and hardships are part of life. Their only winning card is understanding how to manoeuvre them to make meaning in life.
With the theme being 'The resilient woman', Grace Makoko, a seasoned banker asked women to inculcate in themselves staying power which she says trumples passion and desire.