The Female Founder’s flagship conference, Lead Today. Shape tomorrow is where startups, investors & tech opinion leaders come together to create meaningful connections and contribute to an equal-opportunity ecosystem. The 5th edition of the conference took place on 11 and 12 October 2023 in Vienna, Austria.
Besides keynotes and panel discussions, the conference hosted several side-events, creating intimate spaces for key stakeholders to connect. This year, Female Founders had the incredible opportunity to have the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit as an official partner of the conference. Together with the Make-IT in Africa team, they hosted a side-event bringing together 20+ leaders from various seniority levels and industries
The partnership took place in the context of a collaboration between Female Founders and Make-IT in Africa established in 2022. Between February and March 2023, Female Founders ran a leadership program designed to support female change-makers from the African tech & innovation ecosystem. Five alumni from the program were invited to host an informal roundtable discussion on a leadership topic within their expertise.
““I loved the intimate and genuine conversations that emerged during this event. I have made new connections and feel inspired by all the learnings that were shared during the roundtable.””
So, what were the discussion topics?
1. Becky Tsadik, Head of Marketing & Communications at Gebeya Inc. hosted a discussion around the concept of leading from the back. She encouraged attendees to challenge the traditional notion that leadership is solely tied to formal titles and explored how leadership qualities can emerge from unexpected places within a team. Attendees left with valuable insights on encouraging every team member to showcase their leadership capabilities on a daily basis.
2. Feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy undermine our confidence and hinder our success. Yet, 78% of leaders experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career. Tara Ndichu, founder & CEO of She Raises Africa, delved into the pervasive issue of imposter syndrome. Attendees shared their experiences and discussed tangible strategies to overcome feelings of self-doubt.
3. In a dynamic business landscape, nurturing and preparing future leaders is essential for ensuring continuity and excellence. No one knows that better than Chisoko Simbule, the youngest Head of Innovation & Partnerships at Zanaco. She invited participants to share best practices for leadership development and succession planning at their organizations and shared how she was able to climb the corporate ladder through deliberate career planning.
““I was in awe of the women in the room, their stories and journey. As always, inspirational.””
4. Maureen Amakabane, Founder & Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Nyayo Moms Sokos, explored the emerging concept of authentic leadership, emphasizing the values of trust, transparency, and genuine human connections. Attendees gained a deep understanding of how authenticity can drive organizational success and shared how they show up as authentic leaders.
5. Vwanganji Amatende-Bowa, CEO & Founder at Mighty Finance, challenged participants to reflect on setbacks they have encountered during their leadership journey. The conversation at her table revolved around maintaining a positive mindset in the face of adversity and empowered attendees to embrace challenges.
““During the Lead Today. Shape Tomorrow. conference, I successfully led a roundtable discussion on resilient leadership, sparking dynamic conversations and empowering attendees to embrace adversity as a pathway to a resilient and promising future The interactive dialogue highlighted the importance of resilience in effective leadership and inspired a collective commitment to facing challenges head-on. I was left totally inspired!””
The event gave attendees a unique opportunity to engage with a diverse group of leaders. After the roundtable discussions, they could mingle and create even more connections during a networking lunch following the roundtables.