Event Re-cap Dec. 3, 2015

Tizita Abeje, board member of AWiB opened the meeting by welcoming members, guests and the evening’s main Focus – Women Of Excellence (WOE) 2015. After thanking   Private Enterprise Program Ethiopia (PEPE)- the organization that awarded ETB 100,000 for the title holder of WOE 2015 and acknowledging our partners, she  briefly described  the objectives of holding the annual women of excellence  and invited members  as well as guests to watch  a brief documentary film profiling each of the WOE 2015.

The audience who was eagerly waiting to ask questions and express their heartfelt appreciation for WOE applauded the end of the documentary. This was followed by the Women of Excellence enthusiastically sharing their experience and views based on questions forwarded to them.

A summary of the conversations is presented in the following re-cap.

On challenges – WOE described their challenges, how perseverance and being steadfast in their belief that what they stand for is the right thing not only for them but also for society helped them overcome challenges. They also gave credit to the many men, women, local and international organizations who have helped them along the way. Of particular note was their unwavering love for their country and the driving force to contribute to its development which made all the challenges worthwhile.

On role models and inspiration – these range from immediate family members to colleagues to members of society WOE worked closely with.  They encouraged, supported and paved the way especially when situations were tough.

On Inclusiveness – WOE stated that even better days are ahead of us as there are many initiatives they have undertaken and are now currently mainstreamed into organizations in the area of education for disabled children, survivors of abuse, people living with HIV/AIDs , indigenous knowledge of farmers, quota for female academic staff in universities and supportive environment for girls and women in different occupations.

Dealing with naysayers and outright discrimination – One of the hotly discussed topics in every walk of life, it was interesting to see WOE 2015 remark that the key is to first to not take it personally, with conviction that one can do it, confidence in one’s ability to deal with any challenge, turning despairing words into dares and dealing with unacceptable practices head-on.  In addition, dealing with new /unfamiliar situations after carefully considering the reality at hand and enlisting support from those who have their best interests at heart were mentioned.

On support systems – WOE shared their stories ranging from supportive parents, spouses and even children.  Of particular interest was the remark that we all need a supportive network to make our ideas heard, to balance career with our family commitments, to use them as sounding boards for ideas as well as dealing with difficult times.

The evening concluded by Tizita thanking WOE and participants once again, inviting members to actively participate in seminars/ workshops and roundtable discussions which are provided by AWiB’s Resource Center.  Guests were also invited to become members and benefit from the various leadership development programs by AWiB.

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