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Developing Women in Leadership

  May 27, 2015

Well MidsizeWhat should institutions do in living up to the national gender agenda whilst ensuring competency? Patricia Murugami, Vice Dean: Executive Talent Development- Strathmore Business school, explores this enigma through The Women in Executive Leadership League Program (WELL). Patricia was also one of the twelve women who received the Jacob’s Well Award on Women Living Deliberately in the area of leadership development and mentoring.

What is the Women in Leadership League Program (WELL)?

The women in Executive Leadership League program began as a response to diversify board representation and executive leadership. The program was designed with an aim of equipping the participants with the ability to raise the BAR; B represents behavior, A, represents attitude and R, represents results. Women should not get board positions or an executive position by the virtue of being a woman. That is tokenism, which is not the agenda. The agenda is to get a competent person who is able to serve at a senior level because of their behavior, attitude and the results they are able to achieve.

The role of a woman in leadership

The role of a woman in leadership is diverse. Both men and women make unique contributions in the society, if they harness these correctly. Women naturally nurture. They connect the dots; they are able to manage many simultaneous projects and interest at any given time, simply because of how physiologically they are made up. They are able to multi task, to manage a home, a working environment and many other facets in life. Despite their abilities, women tend to question their authenticity when it comes to rising up to leadership positions, a temporary paralysis known as The Fraud (Imposter) Syndrome. Women who suffer from this condition tend to be more skeptical in assuming bigger roles. Others don’t even apply for those positions, on the basis that they don’t qualify. The result is self sabotage.

Women nurture talent in an organisation, as they tend to have a more long term perspective, have attention to detail, ability to corroborate and collaborate, and they also have sharp anticipatory awareness; factors which are very important on serving both at a c-suite and at a boardroom level.

Research has now gone to show that over 60% of the domestic budget is held by women. A woman does all the domestic management, making them key demonstrators of consumer behavior , being able to show what fast moving consumer goods should be matching in driving purchases.

Summary of the recently concluded episode

We received applications from very authentic and senior women. Our guest speakers cut across key industry players, our alumni, and even sponsors who came to share their experience and how they have reinvented themselves to serve at board room and executive level. It was a regional class as we had women from South Sudan and Tanzania. We are delighted because it means the idea of raising the bar is cutting across borders. We had Caroline Mutoko coming to speak about reinventing herself from being a radio presenter into a Chief Operating Office and to serving on boards. We had Francis Okello who is the Barclays Bank Board Chair person, also serving as Non- Executive Director of Barclays Africa Group Limited and Nation Media Group, coming to talk about the millennium board and some of the competencies the board is looking for, amongst other insightful panel sessions with top female CEOs and entrepreneurs.

5-10 year WELL plan

My vision for women in leadership is a global vision. I would like to make Strathmore Business School the centre for excellence when it comes to training competent women in Executive and Board positions, women mentors and even forming a greater global movement of woman of substance.

Faculty Bio: Patricia Murugami

Patricia Murugami is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA – Leadership & Management) from the International School of Management. She holds a Bachelors degree in Commerce (Marketing) and an MBA in Strategic Management & Marketing from the University of Nairobi. She is also a holder of CPA (Certified Public Accountant)-Kenya, IMIS-UK (Institute of Management Information Systems). She has also attended the Developing Leadership Competencies Program & International Faculty Program at IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.

Currently, she is the Vice Dean, Executive Talent Development at Strathmore Business School, where she was previously the Director of Executive Education. She worked at Bamburi Cement (Lafarge group) where she was a Business Controller and has previously held different roles in audit and consulting in Deloitte, KPMG and Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

She is also a board member serving on the Strathmore Research and Consulting Center Board, the pioneer company from a university setting that aims at providing advisory services to clients. She has also been a member of the panel of judges for the ‘Think Business’ Banking Awards 2012.

She is a certified International Executive Coach who is involved in coaching senior executives where she works closely with clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Patricia was one of the women nominated in the ‘Top 40 under 40 Women 2010 survey’ by Business Daily for her remarkable achievements throughout her business life. She has innovatively developed and run successfully the Women in Leadership Program (WIL) & Women in Executive Leadership League (WELL) at SBS.

Patricia is an entrepreneur and has run a wedding and events services business and a consulting company focused on marriage and families. She has designed and held several forums for women such as Women of Substance (2003-2005) and Brides for Life, Wives for Life personal enhancement program (2008 – Ongoing) which has directly impacted over 400 ladies so far. She has inspired similar initiatives in Lagos and Tanzania.

She is married with two daughters and enjoys spending time and travelling with her family. She has also has deep interest in music, reading and cooking.

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