Women’s multiple roles and responsibilities compete for their time and attention, often leading to stress, inner conflict, and guilt. GCIC’s annual Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Programme (WETP) is a series of workshops designed to support its women cohort as they juggle womanhood and entrepreneurship in the Ghanaian context.
This year’s workshops began in April and have been on the themes of Self Leadership, Skilful Parenting and Relationships, with Barriers to Financing to follow.
In case you are wondering why such a programme is called for, consider the following:
• Entrepreneurs bring a vision to reality, using limited resources including human capital, time, and finance.
• An entrepreneur’s own time, intellect, leadership, and effort are key resources.
• A female entrepreneur is often also a mother, wife, and daughter. And in the local context, these social roles are viewed as pre-eminent for a woman.
A woman’s traditional roles are considered by society to be the perfect fit for her – homemaker, caregiver, nurturer, and backup support to a leading male – and she is expected and socialised to dedicate herself to these. A woman entrepreneur wants to execute these roles well and still achieve her business dreams, hence her conflicted feelings, society’s judgement, guilt and sometimes loneliness.
Also, consider these scenarios:
• A woman business founder leads her team to an important meeting, but once there her counterparts ignore her. Instead, her staff are deferred to because they are men and therefore, must be the real leaders. As a woman, her title of CEO is seen as a token, and she could not possibly be the decision-maker of the group.
• A woman CEO attends business meetings and must spend time and effort to bring the topic back to business and away from her looks, agreeing to a date or worse.
• A female entrepreneur is repeatedly refused a bank loan because her business is too small, not in the right sector, or is not considered viable in the hands of a woman.
The WETP workshops provide a safe space for women to learn, share experiences, ask questions and challenge the status quo. They are helped to navigate the multiple roles, spaces, pressures, and prejudices to thrive, realise their visions and succeed in business.