As we usher a in a new board, we decided to get their thoughts on what it means to be an executive woman and what it means to serve as a leader and a champion for women and girls in the ever-changing landscape of the workforce.
The Female Inspiration: Questions with Solange Richardson, Director Social Outreach, AFETT 2018-2020
What does leadership mean to you?
• Leadership to me is being responsible: setting an example for those in your charge and knowing when to delegate responsibilities, allowing others to grow.
Who are your greatest inspirations?
• My mother and grandmother are my foundation. Two very strong and determined women. Looking at them when I was growing up, taught me how to handle all the challenges that life threw at me. For them giving up was never an option. They worked hard, dressed well and loved strong. And in all of their doing, God was and is always their rock.
What does mentorship mean to you?
• Mentoring to me is about guiding and nurturing. It is fulfilling to know that you can help people channel their skills in a positive way to add value to a community or a country at large.
What made you decide to serve on the board of AFETT?
• I have a story to tell and lives to change. Being on the board of AFETT allows me to tell that story and make a difference; to network and collaborate with like-minded women, to bring about much needed change.
What issues are most important to you as a female professional?
• Being respected at all levels and believing in my abilities to do the job given. I am just as capable and qualified to represent as anyone else and I deserve to be invited to the table. If not, I have no problem creating my own.
What advice would you give to an, aspiring executive?
• It does not happen overnight. Each step is important. The lesson is in the journey so enjoy every stage. And remember to always keep it professional. Always.
Do you think that it is important for female executives to have good, strong mentors to guide them on their journey?
Why is that?
• You do not wake up knowing what to do. You need those with experience who made the journey before; who paved the way to make it easier. A mentor is there to guide and to show example; someone to confide in and keep us from making the same mistakes. Sisterhood and support systems are essential to surviving as strong successful female executives.
Tell your story!
AFETT is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2002 with the goal of bringing together professional women and engaging in networking opportunities, professional training and business ideas. ASK AFETT is a column meant to address issues and concerns of professionals seeking advice to assist in progressing in their careers. Today's response was written by AFETT social outreach director, Solange Richardson. Learn more about AFETT at www.afett.com, search for AFETT Events on Facebook, follow us @AFETTEXECS on Twitter or contact us at (868) 343-2160. Email us your career-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, meant strictly as advice and guidance, based upon their experience and expertise. In no way are they meant to be legally binding upon AFETT and or its members, servants nor agents.