It was inspiring to spend some time with ALUSB Guest Faculty Ayesha Bedwei, a Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Leader at PwC in Ghana.  

In this interview Ayesha shares some powerful insights about the nuances of doing business in Africa, as well as her thoughts about how to empower and encourage more women into senior leadership positions.

Here are some highlights from Ayesha’s interview:

What is the key to doing business in Africa that most people overlook?

“Our infrastructural deficits and lack of key basic amenities make it difficult sometimes…, but one of the things that it has made us do is to become resilient and very adaptable to change. Those are some of the things that make a marked difference between doing business in Africa and doing business in the West, where things work and should work most of the time”.

What can we do to empower and encourage more women in leadership positions?

“As women, we must support other women because we understand the challenges and we have been through them….we all have a part to play, both men and women, and we should be compassionate towards, and encourage other women to rise up”.

Ayesha discusses first the challenges that hinder women rising up and occupying senior leadership positions, as well as those of managing the multiple facets of a woman’s life beyond her career, as a mother, wife and an African woman with extended responsibilities. There are many things we can do to make the workplace more inclusive for women.

What advice do you have for someone joining the C-suite or making a partner for the first time?

“There are unwritten rules which a lot of people will not take the time to tell you. When you get into this position, you must spend a lot of time keeping quiet and listening, to understand and appreciate the power dynamics and understand the realm that you’ve come into”.

Watch Ayesha’s full interview below!