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President of the Central Finance Facility (CFF) Esme Raphael says the key to women becoming successful in the boardroom is the ability to build relationships as they climb the corporate ladder and eventually take up posts as board members.
She said when relationships are built with co-workers, aspiring women leaders elevated to the boardroom would carry that practice of building relationships with them, rather than going to the boardroom to “fight.”
“When you build the relationship with people at the ground level, as you move up the ladder into the boardroom you don’t go there to fight, but you go there to learn and to build relationships with the people in the boardroom,” she said in an interview during the luncheon break at an event celebrating World International Women’s Day at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
“Based on your relationship, you get that feedback from the people in the boardroom as to how they see you, and that way you are able to climb the ladder easily without being pushed back.”
Raphael added that many times women take up board appointments and they, “go in there (the boardroom) with an attitude, attitude does not make you a leader, or make you popular, you must build relationships and that’s the base to becoming a president or any type of leader.”
Asked if T&T has more work to do when it comes to appointing women in board rooms, she said it depends on the organisation.
What is clear, she said, is that it is not always about having the academic qualifications to become a leader at the board level, but rather about experience as well as willingness to learn from other people. It is also about sharing what has been learnt too.
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