Dhaka, Monday, 17 February 2020

Fourth Women Leadership Summit held in Dhaka


Staff Correspondent: Efficiency, leadership skills, honesty and a strong focus on target are a must for women to materialise their dream to be a leader in the corporate world now, experts said last week.

“Male or female is not a fact for an international brand while appointing a chief of business,” said Shwapna Bhowmick, country manager of Marks and Spencer for Bangladesh.

“The employers consider efficiency, innovation and leadership to make a CEO instead of gender.”

She spoke at a session on “Making the next female CEOs” at the fourth edition of the Women Leadership Summit at Le Meridien Dhaka.

The Women in Leadership (WIL), an initiative of Bangladesh Brand Forum, has been organising the summit every year around International Women's Day since 2014.

Women employees should be courageous and honest enough to improve professional skills to come forward, Bhowmick said.

“Business environment is one of the major factors to build up leadership among the female employees.”

Women who are working in the corporate houses now have a huge potential to take up the leadership roles as they are proving themselves through their charismatic performances, said Shehzad Munim, managing director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh.

He suggested the future female CEOs improve professional efficiency and learn how to face challenges to reach the target.

Women who want to excel in life should gather knowledge in all sides of business instead of on a specific field, said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, CEO and managing director of Robi.

An employer always wants to see an all-rounder in the post of a company's CEO, he said.

Yasir Azman, deputy CEO of Grameenphone, said his organisation always pushes its employees to try harder without fearing what would happen if they fail.

It makes the employees strong and confident enough to face the future challenges, he said.

Earlier, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, president of WIL, said: “Women are intrinsically diverse in everything they do.”

“It's natural in them. That quality needs to be strategically formatted for professional success.”

“Today's women need to be courageous to be fearless. They need to be limitless to be passionate. They must become bold to be independent,” she said. The Summit brought together some 350 guests, including 26 eminent professionals from diverse fields, to share opinion on burning issues facing women and on redesigning a more gender-balanced society.

Issues of gender equality and women empowerment in workplaces and society came up at 12 sessions in the event.

Sumana Shrestha, a management consultant from Nepal, and Sidsel Bleken, Norwegian ambassador to Bangladesh, were keynote speakers at the programme.

Other speakers included Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing at Standard Chartered Bangladesh; Prof Zeba Islam Seraj, chairperson of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dhaka University, and Rounaq Jahan, a political scientist.