Glass Ceiling? Women in the Ghanaian Business World
There once was a time in Ghanaian history when the thought of women entrepreneurs and women bosses in multi-national companies and the corporate world formed the basis of 'manly jokes'. Today, women are running hugely successful companies — and managing some of these very men. I caught up with one of such women this weekend.
She is young, beautiful, intelligent, tough.... she's the boss at the Corporate Affairs & Marketing Department at Devtraco Limited, the third biggest seller in the real estate industry in Ghana. She is the only female in their management team of nine. Her name's Gloria Buckman Yankson.
Gloria's enthusiasm is contagious. One can't help but note her exuberance and determination to succeed which has won her several recognition awards and admiration from her colleagues and subordinates alike. “I am a natural achiever. For me, it's about proving something. It's about challenging myself to do better.. It's about inspiring young women like myself. I love what I do. I guess that's what makes me successful at what I do. Having a passion for your job helps a lot. My advice to other young women starting out in their chosen careers? Ensure whatever you choose to do is something you're passionate about. When you love what you do, being successful at it is inevitable.” she says.
Gloria is a product of St. Rose's Secondary School and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). After graduating from GIJ she worked in Public Relations and Journalism in Ghana for a while before deciding to further consolidate on her skills as a communications and marketing expert with specialised training in brand development and promotion from the London School of Public Relations and the University of Stirling, UK. Gloria combines specialized training in Communications and Marketing with a formidable vestige of business management tools. Her flair for intuitive problem resolution and multi-disciplinary analysis of issues is a personal forte that marks out strategic competitiveness for every organisation she chooses to be a part of.
Over the past seven years, she has acquired appreciable expertise in corporate communications, strategic marketing communications and event planning in the UK and in Ghana. She worked with multi-national companies such as SKY TV, Hilton Plc and more recently Morgan Stanley before deciding to return to Ghana.
“True. I had a good paying job at Morgan Stanley but home's home. I missed my family. My mum, my annoying younger sister Dianne [giggle]. When I first decided to travel to the UK to pursue a Masters' Degree at Stirling Uni, the plan was not to stay for as long as I did but I got this great offer from Morgan Stanley and realised it was a fantastic career breakthrough. After a couple of years with the company, I decided to return to Ghana but then I got a promotion at the same time and stayed on for a while longer.” She adds.
At Devtraco, Gloria heads the Corporate Affairs and Marketing department and is a keen researcher on the effects of marketing strategy on consumer behaviour and brand success. She is the public voice of Devtraco - the nerve centre of quality for the company's internal and external communications. She spearheads all marketing initiatives and strategies in support of the business and ensures that all corporate objectives are met in the areas of market share, estate development and customer acquisition.
Gloria is the third of six children and likes to spend most of her spare time with her son Sean Jayden.
Her top tip: “I am a strong advocate for women in the Ghanaian business world occupying key decision making positions. Women should believe in themselves more. If you can dream it, you can achieve it so go for it girl!”