Women in the Boardroom

WFL Founder Mizinga Melu and the team were honoured to host the first of its kind When Females Lead Women in the boardroom workshop at the Quorum! The event was very well attended and we uncovered what it takes to earn a seat at the table and thrive while at. Astonishingly to this day, women are still under represented in the boardroom, and only 29% of women hold senior management positions globally. • The progress in changing remains gradual and women are still confronted with barriers that prevent far too many from holding leadership positions across business sectors. • Despite the low numbers of female executive representation, women have a powerful ability to achieve greatness, both personally and professionally. • They also have the innate potential to inspire and empower others to do the same. 5 Quick tips 1. Use your Voice! You are at the table because you deserve it. Your voice matters, you cannot afford not to speak up. 2. How you show up matters – It is particularly important that you dress professionally, it matters and may depend on line of field. Dress for power and respect. You want the people to focus on your mind and your message. 3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – It is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Read the minutes and the subject before hand. It matters to think of the value you bring, be inquisitive, you are not a token. Listen Attentively. 4. Build your resilience, they will try to shut you down – don’t be like a man, be authentic. Resilience is an important attribute in and out of the boardroom. If you can hold on to your optimism and hope in these challenging times, you will likely find that you have great power within yourself. You are there because of your skills and capabilities, the diversity of thought. 5. Lead By Example. If you are the only woman in an all male arena or in the minority in any situation, then you have achieved something significant. Take the time to reflect and appreciate the significant role you now play. You do have a responsibility to others and they will expect you to lead by example. The panellists summarised it as the 5 Ps plus courage. PURPOSE PASSIONATE PRESENT PREPAREDNESS PROBITY – INTEGRITY COURAGE

Other topics covered included:

Be clear on the value you bring to the table. Don’t just go into the boardroom and keep quiet! On Personal branding: WHAT EVER YOUR BRAND IS – BE CLEAR. Make sure people know about it – COME OUT PUBLICLY WITH YOUR BRAND – KNOW THE SPACE – SHARE IT – DO IT WITH FLARE*** CONFIDENCE IS OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR COMPETENCE, AIM FOR COMPETENCE Men are allies in the boardroom. Once we view them as such, we will be more supported. Parenting plays a huge role. Do not wait to be invited. – Keep learning. – Be prepared for your next position. Dress up and show up like it. – Package yourself in a way you want the world to know you for. Don’t be apologetic about your achievements – Be authentic. – Have Impact.

All in all the event was a resounding success and we look forward to more engagements.


When Females Lead is proud to partner with Zambia Institute of Directors to equip  and raise Competent and Confident Females Leaders in board room.

Global statistics indicate that Women occupy just 20% of board seats globally, and continue to be excluded from the highest levels of corporate leadership.

Studies have shown that companies with greater diversity at the board level tend to perform better than those without. Boards make better decisions and result in better outcomes and profits for big companies. And when we say diversity, we don’t just mean gender diversity (more women in the boardroom). Diversity is also about age, background and skills. All board members bring their own personal background and experiences to their position in the boardroom. Each individual mind is capable of offering unique ideas, solutions, and strategies. For boards with a more diverse membership, the breadth of personal experience is wider and more comprehensive.

It is with this background that WFL, in partnership with IOD decided to launch a program which is aimed at RAISING COMPETENT CONFIDENT leaders in the market. We will identify the ladies and equip them to achieve competency that will allow them to seat in the Board room. As WFL, our ethos is to RAISE FEMALE CONFIDENT LEADERS. Our focus will be to ensure that we train enough ladies to seat in the board room and there after support them with opportunities in the market.

WFL has been running mentorship programs for young ladies and has so far mentored over 300 ladies to achieve the confidence they need to rise in the corporate world.


When Females Lead is a Zambian based non-profit organisation that aims to build and raise confident females’ leaders across the African continent. Our mantra is ‘We rise by lifting others’. Its key pillars are focused on mentoring and empowering female leaders across various fields and sectors, including agriculture, innovation & technology and uplifting vulnerable children.

In 2020, WFL embarked on a journey to ensure the presence of women in the boardroom on merit. We are committed to closing the gender gap at the highest level of leadership.

This partnership with the Institute of Directors (IoD) marks another significant milestone in our journey. The IoD is a leading organization that promotes good governance and best practices in the boardroom. This partnership will allow us to share our knowledge and expertise, and to work together to create a more inclusive boardroom environment.

I believe that the benefits of this partnership will be impactful to women as they gain a competitive edge in the race for boardroom opportunities. I would like to express my gratitude to our founder-ship for allowing this platform, and to our partners at the IoD for availing themselves to support this very important objective.

At When Females Lead, we believe that we rise by lifting others. This partnership is a testament to our commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive world.

When Females Lead (WFL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Institute of Directors Zambia (IODZ) the 2 organizations have partnered to train and equip competent and confident Female Leaders to achieve a seat in the boardroom.

The Founder of When Females Lead (WFL) Mrs Mizinga Melu, shared that global statistics indicate that Women occupy just 20% of board seats globally and went on to say studies show that companies with greater diversity at the board level tend to perform better than those without, as each individual mind is capable of offering unique ideas, solutions and strategies.

She went on to say this why is WFL’s partnership with IOD in the launching of a training program is a huge milestone for the organisation as it aims at raising Competent and Confident leaders in the market. Training women to raise in their careers is one of WFLs values as this has also been done through the mentorship programs at WFL for young ladies and has so far mentored over 300 ladies to achieve the confidence they need to rise in the corporate world.

When Females Lead believes that “We Rise by Lifting Others” and this partnership is a testament to the commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive world.

During the signing ceremony, the President of IODZ Mr Edward Kabwe, in a speech read on his behalf by IODZ board member for membership Mr. Jetti Lungu assured the members present that the Institute stands firm to execute the clauses in the MOU and shall continue to render support to When Females Lead (WFL) in the speedy implementation of developmental programs and particularly on matters of Good Corporate Governance which hinges on Transparency, Accountability, Responsibility and Fairness.

The Director of Women in the Boardroom at When Females Lead, Mrs Kawena Mwansa assured the press that the organisation is committed to closing the gender gap at the highest level of leadership as they believe that the benefits of the partnership will be impactful to women as they gain a competitive edge in the race for boardroom opportunities.

When Females Lead is a non-profit organisation based Led by Founder Mrs. Mizinga Melu, aims to build and raise ambitious, confident women who are incredibly passionate about achieving excellent careers and becoming leaders in society.

The Institute of Directors Zambia (IOD) was founded and established as a non-profit, non-partisan leadership forum whose mission is to promote high standards of corporate governance in both the private and public sectors of the nation through education, training, advocacy, and participating at relevant fora thus, ensuring the highest professional and ethical standards amongst directors and the Boards on which they serve.

IODZ is a leading premier executive development and networking platform in Zambia and collaborates with other international organisations like Africa Corporate Governance Network (ACGN).

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Females above 35 in any field
  • Must have at least 5 years middle to senior management experience from any industry or function.
  • Willing to pay training fee of k12,000 for a 6 months program
  • Committed to attend one in person classroom sessions every month

Application submission documents:

  • CV and degree/professional qualification certificate.
  • National Registration Card
  • Commitment fee of (K12,000) is required upon acceptance to the Women in the Boardroom Training Program and a Graduation fee of (K1,500) is required for commencement.

Applications Closed



On the 27th July, When Females Lead achieved a major milestone by hosting our first-ever Women in the Boardroom Copperbelt event. It was an absolutely remarkable experience.