Namibia has no shortage of dynamic women with the ability, brains and willpower to bring about positive change to their organizations, their communities, and the world. Yet, when we question why women remain underrepresented in positions of leadership, a common and untrue response is, “We can’t find ‘good’ women.” In their new book, Follow Her Lead, authors and entrepreneurs Claudette Nahum & Nangula Shejavali, look to set the story straight.
Follow Her Lead aims to set the context for women’s leadership in Namibia – by presenting the data and exploring the issues that exist in bringing about greater gender equality. Authors Claudette Nahum and Nangula Shejavali lay out the context in both the private and public sectors, and through their own research, providing additional information on the representation of women on company boards. Furthermore, a set of recommendations are presented for Government, Civil Society, Public and Private Institutions, Namibian Men, and Namibian Women.
Most importantly, this book aims to dismantle the false narratives that exist about women’s ability to lead. Quality female leadership exists in Namibia, and it is important that we recognize these leaders, identify what it is about their style of leadership that can be emulated, and learn from their insights, particularly in raising future generations of transformational leaders (both male and female). Follow Her Lead presents a number of examples of exemplary, quality leaders, nominated by the public and chosen through a selection process. In this book, their profiles not only present the readers with important role models to look up to, but they also provide inspiring lessons, highlight the challenges they have overcome as women in leadership, bring us closer to the qualities that make these women outstanding leaders, and encourage women who are keen to lead, to step up and stand out. Authors Claudette Nahum and Nangula Shejavali do not claim that the profiles in this book are an exhaustive list of outstanding Namibian leaders. Indeed, they know that there is a wealth of examples of excellent leadership by people who happen to be women. In fact, the nomination process also made it abundantly clear to them that there are countless examples of Namibian women who are leading in a way that is inspiring, who are adding immense value to their organizations, who are creating jobs and opportunities for their fellow citizens, who are helping others reach their potential, and who are simply being amazing people who make a positive difference.
You can expect to see future editions of this book as Claudette and Nangula look forward to featuring more extraordinary women, and to ensuring that great leadership is continuously showcased for posterity. Their company, Leading Edge is committed to contributing to a more gender equal Namibia whose diversity is clear in its leadership. They hope that this publication goes some way in showing that such a state is absolutely possible.
This book aims to dismantle the false narratives that exist about women’s ability to lead. Quality female leadership exists in Namibia, and it is important that we recognize these leaders, identify what it is about their style of leadership that can be emulated, and learn from their insights, particularly in raising future generations of transformational leaders (both male and female).
Throughout the world, and in Namibia in particular, female leaders are stepping into more leadership positions, both in the public and private spheres, and, importantly, as large-scale entrepreneurs. This is an important milestone, considering the societal and cultural barriers that have historically kept women from rising to the top or reinforced discrimination in the workplace and at home.
The African Development Bank points out that, “Eliminating gender inequality and empowering women could raise the productive potential of one billion Africans, delivering a huge boost to the continent’s development potential.”
About the authors
Claudette Nahum and Nangula Shejavali are the co-founders and principal consultants at Leading Edge, a specialist management consultancy based in Namibia. Leading Edge focuses on the sustainable development of the Namibian economy, by providing commercial and development solutions in the private and public sector. Using experienced and qualified consultants in business development, this experienced duo aim to guide enterprises to achieve enhanced levels of productivity from their strategic objectives, their core assets and their business/organisational processes.
Why LoA loves it….
As women entrepreneurs, we need strong role-models in our lives, women who are making their mark on the African continent through the successful businesses they are building, and the leadership they are demonstrating. In their new book, Follow Her Lead, authors Claudette Nahum and Nangula Shejavali, have created a wonderful source of inspiration, showcasing and giving voice to some of the country’s leading women who are all making a difference in their own unique ways. This is a must-read for all those women who are looking for inspiration and the courage to go out and make their own mark in the world. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa