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Standard Bank executive challenges women leaders

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Standard Bank Head of Personal and Business Banking, Margaret Kubwalo-Chaika has advised women in leadership positions to be strong and decisive in making difficult decisions to go further up the corporate ladder.

Kubwalo-Chaika was a d d r essing Women i n Leadership Confer ence organised by the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) in Mangochi.

“The supreme function of leadership is to make tough decisions especially in turbulent times such as the present. With planning and a sound strategy all organisations and individuals will survive the prevailing difficult times,” she said.

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Kubwalo-Chaika said leadership that uses tried and tested skills such as networking, environmenta l sensing, customer retention, sales as well as risk management at the forefront of their organisations will carry the day.

In her address, Kubwalo- Chaika analysed Africa’s challenges in the context of the continent’s slow economic growth, the onslaught of climate change effects as well as global political shifts such as the unprecedented election victory of in-coming US President Donald Trump, as some of the realities facing women in leadership today.

“There may be difficulties ahead, but with planning and a sound strategy all organisations and individuals will survive,” she said.

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Kubwalo-Chaika also singled out the impact of technology on modern life and business, urging the women leaders not to lag behind in adopting technology as a tool for in economic development efforts.

“It’s imperative for leaders to leverage on technology. Constantly being abreast of new ways of doing things would ensure that leaders do not get left. Customers now demand more from vendors, children want more from their parents and the larger society is asking more from governments,” she said.

Kubwalo-Chaika also warned the women leaders against nepotism, favouritism and corruption by making guided decisions on recruitment and human resource development.

“The key is to recruit properly, train comprehensively by providing up to date knowledge, motivate staff and set realistic goals. Leaders must give hope and guidance in order to minimise such risk,” she said.

The conference aimed to provide in depth training on competencies and frameworks that will help participants achieve results, and to expand their professional network with fellow women from diversified professions.

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