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Women are the now and the future!​

‘When I started out my career, I heard of the idea of mentorship but I have to admit I did not fully understand the benefits this could have on a young persons career.

I remember reaching out to a senior manager at the organisation I was working for, asking her to be my mentor, and when she responded and said no, I was a little discouraged and vowed never ask anyone else to be my mentor. But life gives us several opportunities, while I never really had a formal mentor for the first 2 years of my career, I had people in my life that saw a lot of potential in me and somehow devoted  their time to provide me with the relevant support that I needed to navigate my career, people that I could confidently reach out to for advise and guidance, people that helped bring out the best in me, believe in myself and encouraged me to keep my aspirations so high! These were my parents, siblings, friends, managers at work, both in Zambia, across the African continent, in London where I had worked for a while and in Germany where I am currently based.

I have also had the privilege to be mentored by some of the most inspirational and successful individuals, both male and female from different ethnic backgrounds which has been incredibly beneficial for me as a young female. During the early years of my career, I also had the privilege of taking part in a reverse mentoring initiative which  allowed me to be on the other end, as a mentor to one of the senior executives in the organisation I work for, an extremely interesting, thought provoking and fun initiative, and something I would recommend for millennials.

At some point in life, we all need someone we can bounce ideas off, someone outside of our area of work to give us an unbiased opinion or a different perspective and sometimes just someone to remind us to be confident in asking for that promotion, to taking that job/risk, or being bold enough to deal with a situation that has been affecting us for a while! 

Mentoring is such an important part of every young females career and indeed their lives. Mentors take time off their day to day roles, in the safeguarding and promoting future careers. The best mentorship experiences I have had are those where I learn from my mentors experiences, thank you!

Being a young black female, who has navigated her career across two continents, Africa and Europe, I could not have made it to where I am today had it not been for all the informal and formal mentors and sponsors I have had throughout  my 10 year career!

When Females lead is a way for me to give back, the same way that others have invested in me, through mentoring other young females on the African Continent achieve excellent career and be Leaders in society!

Our society needs more ‘Female Leaders’! 

Women are the now and the future!’

~O’Brien Kalumba~


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