Amazons on Boards


By Kingsley Okeke

But for the United States’ opposition to her candidacy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala would have been named the first African and female to lead the World Trade Organization – WTO. The organization’s effort to name a new leader hit a glitch after the Trump-led administration said it wouldn’t back the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the WTO’s next director-general.

In spite of the universal plea for gender equality and the regular policy conversations around it, progress in terms of diversity on corporate boards seems particularly slow and laced with tokenism. This is particularly so in Africa where only 12% of corporate board positions are filled by women, despite women comprising a large proportion of the population. This percentage shown by a survey carried out by the African Development Bank is a far cry from gender equality.

Nezha Hayat, is the founder and deputy chair of the Association des femmes’ chefs d’ enterprises du Marocis pacesetter in leadership. She believes that leadership cannot be fully explained without it being expressed by a woman, therefore, she relentlessly pushes for more women to play decision-making roles in the Moroccan economy. This desire for leadership was propelled by her background, growing up in an environment that supports financial independence at an early stage, regardless of the gender.

Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram
CEO of Chao Phraya Express Boat

About Supapan
This EMBA Sasin graduate is the CEO of Chaophraya Express Boat. Founded by her mother Khunying Supatra Singholaka in 1971, the company continues to work to provide a high standard of river transportation. The business has grown exponentially throughout the years, although she says government policies pay little attention to the local marine industry. For her, becoming a successful businesswoman and leader entails constant hard work, perseverance, consistency, honesty, the ability to stick to one’s words, passion and a good set of values that one is able to instil in the employees.