What motivates or inspires you to be a leader in the Canadian International Development sector?
What motivates and inspires me to be a leader is the partnerships we have with highly passionate and skilled leaders around the world (like Rev. Dr. Peggy Mulambya-Kabonde who is the first woman to serve as the General Secretary for the United Church of Zambia).
When I see women in other contexts rise up, against all odds, to lead and serve in ways that promoted justice, it challenges me to use even more of my energy and skills to do the same with courage and strength in a sector that has been dominated by men for so many years. It is worth noting that it has also been a few men who have been my best allies along the way in my career path that have coached and mentored me in ways that have increased my skills and confidence.
Last but not least, my faith has given me the firm foundation to pursue opportunities because I believe both men and women are equal to the task of leadership.
What advice would you give the next generation women working in International Development?
Be true to who you are created to be! When you work out of a foundation that is based on genuine competency, strength and passion, your confidence will grow and be the influencing force for leadership opportunities. Avoid becoming a leader just to prove men are wrong, inferior or the enemy because that will only lead to toxic leadership.
The most empowering women leaders are those who are adept at harnessing positive energy for a higher vision that encourages all people of every age, race or gender to flourish together not in isolation from one another!
The reason our hands are up is to show that men and women are equal to the task of leadership and we receive our strength to do so with palms open to God's blessings, grace, justice and mercy.
In the header photo above is Ida and one of the key leaders of a partner organization we work with in Zambia, Rev. Dr. Peggy Mulambya-Kabonde.
To read the original interview from CCIC, visit https://ccic.ca/international-womens-day-2019/