In a world striving for equality and progress, the role of women in leadership positions is more vital than ever. Female leaders bring diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and invaluable skills to the table, re-imagining societies towards greater success. A remarkable voice for Female Leadership, Eva Rosa Santos is a serene voice, and sometimes considers herself a romantic and idealist. But where would humanity be right now without the generations of dreamers before us?
A prominent social entrepreneur, Eva is a Female Leadership lobbyist from Angola. With her unwavering dedication to inclusive leadership and promoting gender equality, she has become an influential figure in the global movement for Female Leadership. Let’s explore her inspiring vision and personal insights into the need for an identity shift and positive change though Female Leadership.
The unseen barriers in the rise of Female Leadership
Even when CEOs prioritize gender diversity through initiatives such as setting ambitious goals for women in leadership, diverse candidate selection, and mentoring programs, they often face frustration due to a lack of tangible outcomes. This can be attributed to the failure to address the underlying identity shift required to perceive yourself and be perceived by others as a leader.
Extensive research indicates that a subtle form of “second generation” gender bias persists in society, disrupting the essential learning process involved in leadership development. Women must navigate the challenge of establishing credibility in a culture that holds conflicting beliefs about their authority and the appropriate exercise of power. Practices that associate leadership with traits traditionally associated with men perpetuate the notion that women are ill-suited for leadership roles. The natural tendency to gravitate towards individuals who mirror themselves often leads powerful men to sponsor and advocate for other men, leaving women with limited access to leadership opportunities.
These findings highlight the complex dynamics at play, necessitating a comprehensive approach to addressing gender inequality in leadership. Attempts to implementing surface-level diversity initiatives are made but is it sufficient? Rosa told us:
” Society must confront deep-rooted biases, challenge traditional notions of leadership, and foster inclusive environments that allow diverse talents to flourish. By redefining leadership beyond gender stereotypes and promoting a culture of equity, organizations can create a more level playing field. It is crucial to recognize that leadership qualities are not inherently gendered but are shaped by individual capabilities, skills, and experiences. Additionally, developing robust mentorship and sponsorship programs that actively support women’s advancement can counterbalance the tendency for powerful men to primarily advocate for their male peers.
To effect meaningful change, organizations need to prioritize the dismantling of gender biases and actively cultivate inclusive leadership practices. By embracing a diverse range of talents, perspectives, and experiences, businesses can unlock innovation, enhance decision-making, and drive sustainable growth. It is only through concerted efforts to address second-generation gender bias and promote genuine gender equality that organizations can truly achieve the transformative power of inclusive leadership.
Eva Rosa Santos: from multinational organizations to social entrepreneurship
Eva Rosa Santos embarked on a transformative journey from working in multinational and national organizations to becoming a social entrepreneur. Her experiences within these institutions provided a profound understanding of the challenges faced by women in leadership positions. Recognizing the urgency for change, she established initiatives focused on Female Leadership and fostering gender equality.
Statistics reveal that women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles worldwide. Only 30% of managerial positions are held by women, with only 15% executive positions being occupied by women. These numbers underscore the need to actively cultivate Female Leadership and dismantle the barriers that hinder women’s progress.”
Eva’s leadership style has been shaped by her rich and varied experiences in leadership positions. She emphasizes collaboration, inclusivity, and mentorship, recognizing the immense value of diverse perspectives. Research consistently shows that gender-diverse leadership teams yield higher financial performance and enhanced innovation. In fact, companies with gender-diverse leadership outperform their peers by up to 21% in terms of profitability. These statistics underscore the importance of nurturing Female Leadership for organizational success.
INSPIRA: “Human potential is the main tool we have for our development.”
Eva Rosa Santos developed the INSPIRA methodology, an empowering framework designed to help leaders, especially women, unlock their full potential and overcome obstacles. INSPIRA stands to Inspire women to navigate the unknown waters of Female Leadership. Through this methodology, leaders gain confidence, navigate challenges, access mentorship and support networks, and advocate for gender equality in leadership positions.
The INSPIRA methodology is founded on a straightforward approach, comprising four essential elements:
- CARE – Prioritize self-care: The journey of leadership begins with nurturing yourself. By taking care of your well-being, you can unlock your full potential and achieve your goals. Recognize the importance of self-care, including physical, mental, and emotional aspects, to thrive as a leader.
- GROW – Embrace continuous growth: Leadership is a lifelong journey of learning, development, and evolution. Regardless of your current stage of leadership, embrace growth as an integral part of the process. Seek out opportunities to learn, challenge yourself, expand your understanding, and take action to advance your leadership skills.
- CONSOLIDATE – Build on your progress: As you navigate your leadership journey, it is crucial to consolidate your achievements and learnings. Reflect on your experiences, integrate your newfound knowledge, and apply it in your daily practice. Consistency and execution are key to solidifying your progress and ensuring sustained growth.
- CONQUER – Set and surpass goals: In your leadership development, setting goals is essential. However, it is equally important to go beyond mere goal attainment. Embrace the spirit of conquering by continuously pushing yourself further, reaching new heights, and expanding your horizons. Maintain a growth mindset and continually strive for personal and professional advancement.
The INSPIRA methodology encapsulates the essence of effective Female Leadership development. By caring for yourself, embracing growth, consolidating your progress, and conquering new frontiers, you can embark on a transformative leadership journey that empowers you to achieve your aspirations and make a lasting impact.
Eva actively intervenes in the realm of female leadership and gender equality. She collaborates with organizations, policymakers, and communities to advocate for equal representation, inclusive hiring practices, and supportive policies. By addressing systemic barriers and fostering inclusive environments, Eva believes that organizations can tap into a vast pool of talent, leading to sustainable development and economic growth.
Book: “Todos temos voz!” – We All Have a Voice
Eva’s book, “Todos temos voz!” (We All Have a Voice!), is an interactive masterpiece that engages readers in a dialogue about empowering women in leadership. Through thought-provoking questions, exercises, and reflections, readers are encouraged to recognize their own leadership potential and take actionable steps towards personal and professional growth. This unique interactive element fosters conversations and initiatives that promote female leadership within organizations and communities.
Balancing Roles and Embracing Travel: Balancing multiple roles as a mother, wife, friend, and leader is a challenge Eva embraces. Through effective time management and strong support systems, she navigates the demands of each role. Eva’s experiences while traveling have greatly influenced her work and leadership style. Witnessing the resilience and strength of women leaders in different cultures has inspired her to amplify their voices and embrace diverse leadership practices.
Wellness and Eco-Lifestyle: Integral to Personal and Professional Life: Eva incorporates wellness and an eco-lifestyle into her personal and professional life. By prioritizing self-care, practicing mindfulness, and promoting sustainable practices, she enhances her effectiveness as a leader. Eva recognizes that a healthy work-life balance and a commitment to environmental sustainability are essential for long-term success and well-being.
Eva Rosa Santos: advice for aspiring leaders
As a successful woman in leadership, Eva offers valuable advice to aspiring leaders. She encourages individuals to believe in their abilities and embrace opportunities for growth. Seeking out mentors and role models who can provide guidance and support is crucial. Eva emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, staying updated on industry trends, and fostering a growth mindset.
Furthermore, she urges aspiring leaders to advocate for themselves and other women in their fields. By using their platforms to amplify diverse voices, challenge biases, and promote gender equality, individuals can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable future for all.
Eva Rosa Santos’s journey as a social entrepreneur and her commitment to empowering Female Leadership serve as an inspiration to us all. Supported by compelling statistics, her insights underscore the urgent need for gender equality in leadership positions. Through initiatives like INSPIRA and her book “Todos temos voz!”, Eva actively intervenes in the realm of female leadership and promotes inclusivity, collaboration, and mentorship.
As we strive for a better future, let us recognize and value the immense contributions that women leaders bring to organizations and societies. By embracing Female Leadership, we unlock innovation, drive positive change, and foster a more inclusive world. Together, we can create an environment where every individual has an equal opportunity to lead, thrive, and make a lasting impact.
Although there has been some progress in women’s rights globally, Angola still faces significant challenges in achieving gender equality. As of February 2021, women held only 29.6% of seats in the country’s parliament, indicating the need for increased female representation in decision-making positions.
Further efforts are required to address various issues affecting women in Angola. Disturbingly, 30.3% of women aged 20-24 years were married or in a union before reaching the age of 18, highlighting the prevalence of child marriage. Additionally, the adolescent birth rate, although showing a decline from 2009, remains high at 163 per 1,000 women aged 15-19 as of 2014.
Violence against women remains a pressing concern. In 2018, 24.7% of women aged 15-49 reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner within the previous 12 months. This underscores the urgent need to address and prevent gender-based violence in the country.
Women in Angola also face barriers to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. According to latest UN reports only 29.8% of women aged 15-49 had their family planning needs satisfied with modern methods, indicating a need for improved access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services.
Another significant challenge is the lack of gender-disaggregated data to monitor progress towards gender-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As of December 2020, only 36% of the required indicators to track SDGs from a gender perspective were available in Angola. Key areas such as unpaid care and domestic work, gender pay gap, and information and communications technology skills still lack comprehensive data. Furthermore, crucial areas like gender and poverty, physical and sexual harassment, women’s access to assets (including land), and gender and the environment require comparable methodologies for regular monitoring.
Closing these gender data gaps is imperative for effectively monitoring and achieving gender-related SDG commitments in Angola. By collecting accurate and comprehensive data, policymakers can make informed decisions and implement targeted interventions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
While progress has been made, it is crucial to address these challenges head-on. By prioritizing women’s rights, promoting gender equality, and investing in data collection and analysis, Angola can create a more inclusive and equitable society that empowers and uplifts all its citizens.
A brief history of Female Leadership in Angola
Angola, a country in Southern Africa, has witnessed a gradual but significant rise in female leadership throughout its history. The journey towards gender equality and women’s empowerment has been marked by notable milestones, resilience, and the determination of visionary women leaders.
The early years of Angola’s struggle for independence from Portuguese colonial rule saw women actively participating in the liberation movement. Female activists such as Deolinda Rodrigues, Lucrécia Paim, and Irene Cohen played pivotal roles in organizing resistance and mobilizing communities. Their contributions laid the foundation for the recognition of women’s leadership capabilities and the importance of their involvement in shaping the nation’s future.
Following Angola’s independence in 1975, women continued to break barriers and make significant strides in various sectors. The government recognized the need for gender equality and actively promoted women’s participation in decision-making processes. The creation of the Ministry of Family and Promotion of Women in 1977 marked a milestone in advancing women’s rights and empowering female leaders. This institution played a crucial role in advocating for gender equality, promoting women’s economic empowerment, and addressing social and cultural barriers faced by women.
Over the years, more women have assumed leadership positions in politics, academia, business, and civil society organizations. Notable female political figures such as Ana Paula dos Santos and Isabel dos Santos have made significant contributions to the country’s development and have served as role models for aspiring female leaders.
In recent years, Angola has seen an increase in the number of women serving in parliament. Legislative reforms and affirmative action measures have been implemented to ensure a more balanced representation of women in political decision-making processes. As of February 2021, women held 29.6% of seats in the parliament, reflecting a growing recognition of the importance of female voices in shaping policies and driving social change.
Beyond politics, women in Angola have also excelled in the fields of education, science, arts, and entrepreneurship. They have demonstrated resilience, determination, and innovation in their respective domains, making significant contributions to the nation’s progress.
While progress has been made, challenges persist, and the journey towards full gender equality continues. Efforts to break down societal barriers, combat gender stereotypes, and promote equal opportunities for women in leadership are ongoing. Advocacy groups, civil society organizations, and individuals are working tirelessly to address issues such as gender-based violence, access to education and healthcare, economic empowerment, and representation in decision-making roles.
The future of female leadership in Angola is promising. The country’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment, serves as a guiding framework for fostering inclusive leadership and achieving tangible progress. With continued efforts, Angola is poised to unlock the full potential of its women leaders, paving the way for a more equitable and prosperous nation.
The history of Female Leadership in Angola reflects the resilience, determination, and vision of women in shaping the nation’s trajectory. Through the contributions of powerful women like Eva Rosa Santos, Angola continues to move closer to gender equality, creating a new generation of women leaders, and building a more inclusive society for all.
About Eva Rosa Santos
Eva Rosa Santos, an influential social entrepreneur, writer, and leadership facilitator from Angola. Her accomplishments have earned her international recognition, particularly in the field of Female Leadership. Eva is the founder of Liderança Feminina em Angola and CRH – Comunidade de Recursos Humanos, organizations that strive for gender equality and contribute to the achievement of the 5th Sustainable Development Goal.
Eva is a sought-after international speaker, delivering impactful talks on Human Capital, Leadership, and Female Leadership. With over 25 years of experience in Human Capital, she has held leadership positions as the Director of Human Capital in both multinational and national companies. Her expertise extends to strategic Human Resources consulting, executive coaching, and mentoring.
As a respected writer and columnist, Eva shares her insights on various platforms, stimulating discussions on leadership, gender parity, and related subjects. In addition to her professional endeavours, she holds important roles such as Youth Ambassador for Peace, Vice-President of the Angola Council of WICCI, and Representative for Angola in Club G100. Eva is also a member of the Federation of Entrepreneurial Business Women of CE – CPLP and serves as a Mentor Trainer in the “Inspired Woman Lead” (IWL) program.
Eva Rosa Santos holds a degree in Social and Organizational Psychology from ISCTE – IUL Lisbon University Institute, specializing in Business Management and Human Resources. She has received professional coaching training from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and holds certifications from Claridity 4D and PDA – Personal Development Analysis.
Eva’s dedication to promoting Female Leadership has garnered her prestigious awards, including the Pink Lady Award, a Certificate of Recognition from the Project Management News Portal of Angola, the Blue Star Award, and a Diploma of Honor and Merit from CEFORCON.
Beyond her professional achievements, Eva finds joy in her role as a mother and wife. Her personal interests include travel, exploring different cultures, painting, and reading.
Eva Rosa Santos is a true force for change, fuelled by her passion for people, empowerment, development, and leadership. Her work resonates with individuals and organizations around the world, inspiring them to embrace diversity, equality, and inclusivity.
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