The Art of Working with Women: the good, the bad & the ugly

While some  argue that globally women bring a unique perspective to the corporate world  and considered as great contributors to economic growth and put significant value to hiring,  many, on the contrary, resist retaining and developing women and bringing them to the forefront either work with or for them  and consider women as a liability.

According to a 2011 Catalyst study, companies with more women in leadership posts simply perform better. Fortune 500 firms with the most female board members outperform those with the least by 26% on return on invested capital and 16% on return on sales.Yet change in the higher echelons is coming at a snail’s pace. Despite female-friendly policies, corporate surveys and scrutiny, progress hasn’t caught up with the promise. As a result, for many advocates of gender equity, responsibility for what holds women back in the workplace has shifted from outright discrimination to micro-inequities–daily slights, insults, unspoken assumptions or unconscious biases.

Family-friendly corporate initiatives like maternity leave and flextime are crucial, of course. But that is not enough. Those who would like to see the numbers change, must get men to be involved. Even the most well-intentioned male managers can be clueless when dealing with women in the workplace– “benevolent sexism.” It is the comment that seems innocuous or even complimentary but which unwittingly reinforces negative stereotypes. Joanne Lipman, “Women at Work: A Guide for Men”.

Everything being equal, surveys show that men and women alike prefer male bosses. Why? This question deserves an answer and understanding of human behavior for such perception is what holds women back. Rosabeth Moss Kanter on “The Real Reason Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses” argues what contributes to this bias is the expectation that men had more power to do things for their associates, whereas women rose as individual contributors and perhaps with less connection power to  elevate the status of the people around them. But for women, it becomes another reason to argue that women think too small to be high-level leaders.

February’s program strives to get to the bottom of the perceptions above and to debate the issues of why women are slanted in every which way when they work so hard to share a piece of the pie and will also try to tackle some of the questions below.

  • What must be done as a collective force to eliminate some of these perceptions and bias so that women could “Sit At The Table”?
  • What are some of the challenges and opportunities for companies to working with or for women?
  • Is working with women really different and what are the responsibilities of leaders and women leaders in business, public sector or any setting to closing the gap of the myth or reality working with women?

Let’s come together to demystify women: 

  1. Micro managing or supporting?
  2. Cooperation or in-decisiveness?

A difficult boss or wanting others to pay their dues as she hasdone?


Azeb Retta, GM, Global Hotel

Azeb began her career as a sale representative with the Addis Ababa Hilton. While there, Azeb was selected by Hilton International to train staff at the Madagascar Hilton and to help open the Ramses Hilton in Cairo, Egypt.

From Cairo, Azeb was again transferred by Hilton International to Washington DC and worked there as purchasing manager. During that time, she was also responsible managing the procurement in support of a four million dollar renovation project for the hotel.

After working for 20 years for Hilton International, Azeb returned home to Ethiopia and joined Global Hotel Manager.

Azeb has worked across three continents and many cultures for women as a boss as well as a subordinate. She will share her positive experiences of working for and with women and what the world needs to know to get wiser and richer by elevating women in the workforce.

Wondwossen Teshome, President, Enat Bank
Wondwossen is senior banking executive in Ethiopia with over thirty years of management, supervisory, consulting, and operational experiences. He is now serving as President of ENAT Bank. Prior to this current position, he was Senior Advisor at the Agency for Supervision and Regulation of State Banks, a financial advisory body.

Wondwossen also served President of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), the country’s premier development finance institution engaged in financing development projects of diverse nature. During his tenure at DBE, he has been involved in the financing and execution of various business development projects; as well as, in the modernization process of the Bank.

Wondwossen has widely travelled around the world and has gained extensive experience in coordinating and partnering with multilateral financial institutions and foreign banks, and has a high degree of multi-cultural awareness. In the course of his career, he has gained wide respect for his understanding and support of business entities. Moreover, he has served as Board member of the Ethiopian Shipping Lines for over four years.

Wondewossen, having a woman as a boss is in a unique position to let us know what it means working for a woman and with women at Enat Bank. He will certainly demystify women at this eye opening program.

Date: February 2, 2017

Time: 5:30 PM

Venue: The Mosaic Hotel

Investment: Individual Members 300 Birr; Corporate members & non-members 350 Birr for dinner &    program

For members only: Table is available to display your services/products for 120 guests free of charge

Reservation is a must at or texting your full name at 0947-350259

Transportation service:  available to your destination for only 40.00 Birr to be paid at the door.

Share on your socials!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *