Mostly, the federation has been working on women for a long time, in partnership with the government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
The executive director of Federation of Uganda Employers, Douglas Opio, says FUE is passionate about women empowerment. In an interview with New Vision’s Jackie Nalubwama, he discussed the initiatives undertaken by the federation to positively impact women’s lives such as the Annual Women Leadership Conference on October 19th, 2018 at Kampala Serena Hotel.
What is Federation of Uganda Employers doing for women empowerment?
Mostly, the federation has been working on women for a long time, in partnership with the government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). We have been doing that in various ways. We have been conducting trainings geared towards building the competencies of women so that they can be able to take up positions in leadership.
In 2010, the federation did an extensive survey within its membership and from it, we realised in top leadership positions and on boards, women were in some cases non-existent; representation was heavily skewed towards men.
We then thought that was not right because there is extensive research done by several organisations showing that organisations that have women in leadership positions perform much better. We then thought, how do we bring women to the fore?
We adopted a programme from Norway called Female Future Programme, for women who are aspiring for senior management positions, board members or those who are already there and want to move higher.
What does the programme entail?
The programme focuses on three diff areas:
The board competence, concerning how one can add value to the board, how to make their voice heard, how to steer an organisation strategically in the right direction.
The leadership development module focuses on the person, how they actually lead, their leadership style as a woman in a male-dominated environment. We do everything in leadership including how to dress as a woman. So it is looking at leadership from practical point of view.
The third module concerns the ability to speak to convey a message in a professional way, to make your voice heard without losing your identity as a woman. I concerns confidently persuading people to hear your voice, to act on what you are saying, without necessarily copying anybody.
The programme is delivered over nine months with 15 days contact because people are busy. In between we give group work for peers to work on specific assignments.
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