AWiB is Five!
When a group of women started to meet monthly at Panorama Hotel at the request of Nahu Senay Girma and Roman Kifle – our founders – no one saw that it would give birth to AWiB – a vibrant,dynamic association that has sustained its course this long , growing and refining itself and its programs over a period of 5 years.
Among the notable achievements of AWiB during this time, we can mention
- The highly anticipated May Forum with different themes on an annual basis; past themes were
Expand Your Mind – Change Your World: Celebrate Women’s Agency! (2011),Unlocking Potential – Driving Effectiveness(2012),Reengineering Our Thinking, Reengineering Our World(2013).
- The Women of Excellence( WoE ) awards where by accomplished women are recognized not only for their own success but also for contributing positively towards the society; past title holders were Tsige Haile( 2012),Sara Mohammed (2013),Tirhas Mezgebe (2014)
- Setting up a resource center for members who wish to read, discuss and attend trainings
- An up to date and frequently visited website which is the source of many valuable information
- Regular and informative monthly programs on the first Thursday of the month all year round
- Self-confidence classes for members to enable them succeed both in the personal and professional arena
- Regular round table sessions where members learn from each other on various topics
- Conversational English classes to hone members’ skills in a relaxed and fun environment ; facilitated by native speakers as well as Ethiopians who are proficient in the language
Our members come from different walks of life; we have members who are business owners, employees of private, governmental or non-governmental /civil society organizations as well as academic institutions. Every year, 50 female students from Addis Ababa University with a GPA of 3.00 and above are invited to the annual May forum to experience personal and professional development even before they graduate while 20 are invited to the annual Women of Excellence Gala dinner to be inspired by the finalists and the titleholder on a one-to-one basis.
People often wonder how we do it all. What is the secret of success for a membership driven association? Sheer determination and commitment! We have established ourselves in a manner which is very different from the status quo. Our members are aware that AWiB’s programs are self-funded. This decision was a deliberate one. The intention? Avoiding the “dependency syndrome.” Rather, AWiB’s expenses are covered, in addition to membership fee we have corporate partners who are committed to AWiB’s cause. Our partnership agreements are mutually beneficial and offer our partners a valuable return on their corporate social investment.
On the other hand, members attend events and programs because they are worth spending money, energy and time on. The benefits of attending monthly networking events with eminent speakers, roundtable discussions and trainings, the May forum and Women of Excellence are immense. Feedback and comments from members is actively sought and incorporated into our plan so that we continue to deliver top-notch programs that are in line with our strategic plan & annual theme.
AWiB runs a very tight ship. Members are requested to self-nominate or they are nominated by others to join the board. Once a member joins the board, she will be familiarized with our operational manual that enumerates her roles and responsibilities. The board meets monthly for most of the year while during the more intense months of preparation for the May Forum and Women of Excellence Gala dinner, meetings are held every week. Board members are very hands on in coordinating operational matters, from organizing the monthly event in terms of coining the theme, finding knowledgeable speakers, taking care of logistics as well as compiling feedback for improvement in the future.
Why do we do it all? Because we believe that having female leaders is part of nation building. As such, all the elements of developing leaders are here. Strategic plan? Check! Committed & diverse membership? Check and check! Dedicated board members? Check!
Celebrating AWiB’s 5 year in operation is a major milestone for members. Here is to many more years of success to AWiB and her members.