NYSE hails She Leads Africa for training 200,000 women
The New York Stock Exchange hails the efforts of Nigerian digital media company, She Leads Africa, in the area of training.
As such, the NYSE invited She Leads Africa as the first African startup to ring the closing bell at the American stock exchange, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
With this development, the SLA co-founders joined other notable leaders such as a former South African President, Nelson Mandela; a former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan; and the African Union Chairperson, Nkosazana Zuma, who have had the honour of ringing the closing bell in the past.
According to punchng.com, the NYSE said it invited SLA, as part of its outreach programmes, to highlight the Nigerian start-up’s success in 2016 in delivering business and career advice to 200,000 millennial, urban and engaged African women through workshops and digital training.
The NYSE is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalisation at $19.3tn as of June 2016.
The closing bell ceremony was featured on the NYSE website and on television networks such as CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business News, reaching 150 million of viewers worldwide.
The SLA Co-founder, Yasmin Belo-Osagie, said, “In 2016, She Leads Africa recorded significant growth by investing in local professional development events and enhancing the educational offerings available online.
“Over the past years, SLA grew its community by 600 per cent to more than 200,000 women across more than 30 countries and five continents.”
Yasmin Belo-Osagie grew up in Nigeria, and spent eight years in England at boarding school. For her undergraduate studies, she attended Princeton University, where she majored in history and minored in finance.
After she graduated, she went to culinary school at Cordon Bleu in London and Paris, and for a while, she worked in a pastry kitchen. But then she decided it was time to get a little more serious, and she moved back to Nigeria to work for a management consulting firm for two years
After that, Belo-Osagie started She Leads Africa while doing JD/MBA programs at Harvard Law School and Stanford Business School.
She teaches African women how to position themselves, and gives them access to people who have dealt with issues where there is a lack of gender inclusivity in leadership positions before. According to her, it is critical to arm women with the tools they need to navigate these situations.
Often times, issues of inclusivity focuses on women’s issues, but it is so important to include men in this conversation, and we have African male entrepreneurs come in, and speak on gender inclusivity.
When men are brought into these discussions, there is a sense of accountability and it shows them that a lack of inclusivity of women in leadership roles is not a benefit, but truly a detriment.