|e-Connections: February 2014|
Dear colleagues and friends,
It is often difficult as a woman to develop the competence and confidence to get things
done through others, to tell our story, and to become fearless. When you attend TIAW’s Global Forum next month, you will be inspired by women from around the world who have accomplished those very things. Be inspired – read their stories. If you have not registered yet, why wait another moment? Register Now.
Building leadership capacity is a continuing focus for TIAW in 2014. You will see expansions of our Entrepreneurship and Women’s Leadership programs for this purpose. We will continue our funding of village banks through our Micro Credit program. 2013 was a record year for donations, so we look forward to doing more than ever in 2014.
A very exciting development for 2014 is the launch of our Global Ambassadors Corps. Fifteen months in the making, I am please to tell you that TIAW now has 30 women from all over the world who are there just for you. If you’d like to meet the ambassador in your region, please email Global_Ambassadors@tiaw.org. Our ambassadors each have an inspiring story of their own to share with you, and you may consider them to be your personal portal to the TIAW network.
Every successful woman inspires other women. Thank you for inspiring me.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
Technology has made it very possible for businesses to quickly grow and development due to human connections and networking. It takes networking for change to happen these days. For great innovative change to take place, it must come from women networking around the globe.
I would like to share three best practices through which women networking are very effective for change. First, community network which is the very first and easiest practice for women because it happens naturally. Just as the hen hovers over her chicken so do women naturally network consciously and unconsciously to build a community as well as a whole nation. You can imagine how diverse the community will be with different social, economic, political members yet they will be of one major goal. This reminds me of how women organize a communal labor from the home, beet the gongon (the drum) through the community and an epidemic or an issue can be solved. This type of community network is a nexus with something for everyone. As you might have already heard from Hilary Clinton that "women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world, which means, women have a lot in stock and they put more words into action on the ground than men. For instance, women have the natural gift of nurturing the home which has a ripple effect on the community, it is an inborn gift they have. They make a house a home and spread it to a community where everybody can enjoy.
Secondly, forming affinity groups is another tremendous way of pushing developing forward for change. Here, a group of the same business women can have a caucus meetings and talk about how to move forward. For instance women with disabilities from their individual groups such as Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled women, Ghana Blind Union ladies, Ghana National Association of the Deaf mothers normally come together and form this affinity so that they can discuss issues which will promote their business as well as development. This connection is a very great avenue to hold government, stakeholders and others accountable for their actions.
Women believe in a common vision with a common goal. Finally, an alumni network is another strong way to relate to fellow mates in business and make a great change. Here, their level or the standard of networking is highly intellectual so they acquire the acumen to make their own economic opportunity sustainable. It is a very fast and effective way to network to make great impact.
Although, there is no fast rule of networking, I encourage you to use at least one of these three points and see the great impact. Doing it with women is the best solution.
wealth is where your friends are.” - Lisa Kaiser
What does Lisa mean by this? I think if we answer that question we will understand a little better some of the best practices in networking for women.
As a business woman I see two parts to networking; relationship building and the networking process.
As a business woman your end goal is to sell your product or service. Even though you may have many friends, there is a limit. How then does your wealth come from your friends? The answer is networking.
It is an amazing time in our history for networking. Social Media has made it so. We must think of the term ‘friends’ as ‘contacts.’ The connections we make not only at live events, which practically speaking are limited by finances and geography, but by the contacts we can make on the internet.
Relationship Building or Creating Friends
Making a contact is the
first step, be that face to face or online. Just like in any relationship you
get to know a person, they get to know you. As the relationship continues,
trust grows or not depending on your input.
If 80% of your content or conversation is sharing information and knowledge your networking friends will tolerate 20% selling.
Take action right now to increase your social media presence…it is where your wealth lies.
An inaugural TIAW World of Difference 100 Award winner, Bola Olabasi, has perceived a huge gap in the market for women’s enterprise by establishing the Global Women’s Inventors and Innovators Network (GWIIN) as a way to encourage women’s innovation. This initiative challenges the perception that only men are inventors and innovators.
An important part of GWIIN’s program is the European Union Women Inventors and Innovators Awards (EUWIIN) held bi-annually. I have been privileged to be the Chairman of the Judging Panel at its launch in Berlin, Germany (2007), in Reykjavik, Iceland and recently in Stockholm, Sweden.
The award winners are exceptionally creative, innovative entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, technologists, designers from all sectors and background right across Europe and beyond. The winners were different but what they had in common was: tenacity, determination to succeed, commitment, extraordinary potential, positive influence that transcends borders, contribution to the future and quality of the world.
From over seventy applicants, the overall 2013 Inventor was Ylva Ryngebo, Sweden, a radiographer who has developed products to help lower the radiation dose, to make examinations safer. The runner up was Professor Sheena Lewis, Northern Ireland,UK, whose research was focused on male infertility. For the details click here.
Global Women’s Empowerment Presentation at Harvard Conference in Dubai
Harvard University holds an annual conference on Asian and International Relations for students from all over the globe. I was honored to be invited to speak on "Global Women’s Empowerment” at the 2013 conference in Dubai. For me, it was a treat to return to Dubai. I have been working there since 2007.
The purpose of the five-day conference was to expose students to multiple issues - political, social, economic, cultural, and business. During my presentation I was able to share information about the TIAW organization. In addition, I highlighted both our microfinance programs and our TIAW World of Difference Awards.
There were 500 delegates at the event. These students were the best of the best … not just because they were smart, but because they cared. They were so concerned about the future of this planet that they were willing to travel half-way across it – to meet, discuss, and learn.
These attendees didn't just register and show up. There was a rigorous selection process. Students even had to write an essay. (Any college student who willingly writes a volunteer essay wins extra points in my judgment!)
The energy in the hallways was electrifying. I could almost see the lightning bolts of electricity bouncing off the students, as they gathered to talk and share. It was energizing and inspiring.
In our crazy world, it is tempting to focus on the negative and fear for the future. After interacting with this phenomenal group of student leaders, I was reassured that our future is in good hands.
While in Dubai, I also had the opportunity to speak for another group of amazing people, the Dubai Business Women’s Council (DBWC). They asked me to share "Insights for Global Women Leaders.” Both the President (Raja Al Gurg) and Vice President (Faiza Al Sayed) of DBWC are past recipients of the TIAW World of Difference Awards.
Global Women’s Leadership is an important issue in the Middle East. Because of my expertise on this topic, I received a lot of PR during my trip. Sure, it is nice to receive publicity. Yet, it is even nicer to share that exposure with TIAW. The 12+ newspaper articles and two feature magazine articles all included a reference to TIAW, and to my role as Global Ambassador.
TIAW is a
great organization. Hopefully, we can
all do our part to spread the word to the world.
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