#Akefestival19 Specials: Mo Abudu, Amal Hassan challenge gender stereotypes

Yesterday was Day 2 of the Ake Festival event and in the midst of the series of amazing activities featured at the literary enclave, there was a panel session that received a little more excitement than usual.

The panel session in question dealt with
‘The Changing Shape of Corporate Africa’ and
featured media mogul, Mo Abudu alongside Northern entrepreneur
Amal Hassan, facilitated by the convener of the Ake Festival,
Lola Shoneyin.

The session addressed the stereotypes given to successful female entrepreneurs and how to rise above it, the struggle of being female in a male-dominated industry and many other pertinent concerns in today’s skewed business landscape.

Mo Abudu explained that her predisposition to employing more women than men was not only to give women more representation but was due to a track record she had noticed overtime; women were more committed at their jobs than men.

Amal Hassan alluded to the same thing, saying that a series of qualities she insists on before employing anyone always brought in more women than men.

When asked for their most degrading moments in navigating this landscape, Amal remembered a time when she showed up for a meeting for ‘bosses’ and was summarily approached by someone who whispered, “this seat is for your boss” at which she instantly replied, “I am the boss.”

Mo Abudu on the other hand, went for the naysayers, especially the ones who were somehow convinced that she must have exchanged sexual favours for her ‘unexplained’ advancement. Her advise was to ignore them, saying those who could muster up such accusations were most likely not building anything for themselves and didn’t believe it was possible without playing dirty.

“If you think that I am sleeping around to get this far ahead, then I must be very good at it,” she joked.

The session ended with the trio dishing out general advice to young men and developing it into an acronym for them to remember; HIR.

*Integrity and
*Respecting Women

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