A third cohort of women leaders and aspiring leaders in the country have successfully completed a four-day Solomon Islands Senior Executive Women in Leadership Program in Honiara on Thursday 28th September 2023.
Delivered through a partnership between the Institute of Solomon Islands Accountants (ISIA), the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA), the program is aimed at building a pool of businesswomen and professional women with relevant knowledge and skills required to enable them to effectively participate in the decision-making process at higher organizational levels.
The seventeen (17) women participants received their certifications for successfully completing the program during a SICCI Business After 5 networking event on Friday 29 September 2023 at the Heritage Park Hotel.
Keynote speaker during the event was Chairlady of the SICCI Board, Ms Qila Tuhanuku who shared her own experiences and encouragements to help participants see the overall picture of leadership in higher-decision positions which they can build on.
Head of Corporate Services at Solomon Water, Ms Michelle Maelaua was among those who completed the four-day program.
“As women executive it falls upon us to ask ourselves how we can make a difference in this space,” Ms Maelaua said while sharing her testimony. “Through this training we have developed, engaged and also used tools and discussed topics on how we can be better leaders as we go up the cooperate ladder.”
Ms Maelaua highlighted that one of the key takeout from the training program was networking.
“A very important area which we as women leaders should not sheer away from. Another area is sharing our experiences,” she said.
Fiona Teama, Head of Marketing at Tourism Solomons, highlighted that all participants had firsthand experience together learning from each other during the four-day training program.
“One of the highlights of the training was the challenges we face as women leaders daily, and we were able to draw some strategies on how we can overcome some of these challenges.
“We also heard and were able to hear first-hand information and experiences from women in different industries in the country,” Ms Teama said.
ISIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Pamela Alamu reiterated that with this training they hope to provide participants with relevant knowledge and skills in key areas that are important as a starting basis to support them in building their overall leadership skills.
Through the partnership between ISIA, SICCI and SIWIBA, they have collaborated with a shared vision of diversity and inclusivity to help strengthen women’s active participation in higher decision-making positions whether it be in business, organisations or on boards or committees.
“We want to look at effective ways in which we can start developing women and empowering them so that they can be effective in the areas in which they serve, and one of the first steps is to have a structured training on fundamental areas considered critical for effective leadership in this space,” ISIA CEO, Ms Alamu, said.
SICCI’s Executive Officer and Acting CEO, Ms Florence Rhibbie Tatemale Auma said SICCI, as the peak body representing the private sector, values the partnership between ISIA and SIWIBA.
Ms Auma commends past participants and present for taking up the challenge to enhance themselves with the knowledge and skills through the training that would grow the presence of women in the senior executive roles or higher.
“The participants are the reason why the two cohorts conducted were successful,” she said.
SIWIBA CEO Ms Rachel Rahii concluded by stressing that there is no guideline or module for women leaders in the Solomon Islands, so the road out there is tough.
“With the skills you have learned in this training I want you to go out there and do your best for your respective organization,” she encouraged the participants.
The SIWIBA CEO acknowledged all the partners who have worked together to make this training program possible for women in the Solomon Islands.
“Together we can drive positive change,” she said.