By Carol Natukunda
Ugandan women in corporate leadership have urged girls to believe in themselves to reach their full potential.
Speaking to New Vision in separate interviews, they noted that despite the achievements realised over the three decades in gender equality, young women needed to take charge of their dreams to ensure participation in decision making.
“My advice to young girls is that let nobody ever tell you that you cannot achieve your dream, always believe in yourself and “Never Give Up” in whatever circumstances you find yourself,” says Florence Malinga, an education adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
Until 2006 when she got her current job, Malinga worked with the education ministry as the commissioner of education planning for over 10 years. Malinga has a wealth of experience in education having risen from graduate teacher to Education Officer and through the ranks to become a commissioner. In her current job, she spearheads activities relating to assisting countries develop policies and strategies that will help them meet the MDGs and Education for All goals. This is mainly through inclusive education programmes targeting marginalized groups such as girls, children with disabilities and nomadic populations.
“I am inspired by the passion I have for education and making a positive contribution towards educational development needs in the Commonwealth,” Malinga says on what keeps her going.
For Judy Rugasira, Managing Director, Knight Frank success is all about setting the bar high.
For eight years, Rugasira has managed this real estate consultancy providing commercial and residential property services. Before that, she had worked as director at the same company for 15 years. She says it has been an enjoyable challenge.
“I am passionate about what I do. I enjoy working with people and providing clients with useful solutions and advice which culminate into tangible results. It is very gratifying and rewarding to be useful and a valuable resource where required. And finally, I enjoy working with best-in-class colleagues, and industry leaders,” she says.
Rugasira believes girls should always have and maintain high standards, regardless of what is happening around them.
“Set your bar high and always try and be extra ordinary. Identify what are your competitive and comparative advantages and sharpen them. Find mentors who are not afraid to give them genuine, hard feedback, and then, pray,” advises Rugasira.
Rosemary Senabulya, the executive director, Uganda Federation of Employers also advises young women to believe in themselves. She has been at the helm of this organization for 14 years.
“Don’t look at yourself as a girl who cannot do what boys can do; both of us were created before the eyes of God. We have the potential to rise. We must believe in ourselves, but also education and training is important. If you are in a workplace, do not turn down assignments because they will give you exposure,” says Senabulya.