Female Leaders


The Women of Rubies Sip and Network event held on February 25th, 2024, at the prestigious Naijajollof Downtown Toronto Event Center, was met with resounding success.  The event brought together a diverse group of remarkable business owners from across Ontario for an evening of inspiration, networking, and empowerment.

The event featured esteemed speakers including Nkechi Ahanor-Wilson, Funmi Ayowole, and Chichi Okichie, who captivated the audience with their insights and expertise. Funmi Ayowole, as the first speaker, delved into the importance of emotional wellness for women, the significance of maintaining a healthy routine, and the practice of mindfulness in daily life. Chichi Okichie shared invaluable insights on the underutilized potential of Facebook for business owners, emphasizing its role in enhancing media visibility and brand recognition.

Sip and Network
Nkechi-Ahanor WIlson speaking

Nkechi Ahanor-Wilson, the founder of the successful hair brand Cacosa Hair, shared her journey of transforming pain into passion and profit, highlighting the importance of setting healthy boundaries as business owners to foster growth and prevent exploitation.

Sip and Network Toronto

The event also featured an enlightening interview conducted by Esther Ijewere, the founder of Women of Rubies, with Beauty Obasuyi, the founder of Naijajollof and a real estate expert. Beauty shared the inspiration behind her business, which began in 2018 and has since expanded to six locations across Canada. She also revealed the motivations behind her Guinness World Record attempt for the longest cooking hours, which lasted for an impressive 18 days.

Sip and Network

Attendees had the opportunity to engage in networking sessions, facilitating connections and knowledge sharing among participants. Nike  Kay -Okunubi expressed her newfound understanding of the importance of boundaries and intentionality in networking, while Julia Biebem of Grandieu Event felt inspired by Nkechi’s session and aims to apply the lessons learned to enhance her business endeavours. Angela Ikogho of Wraptuckmore stressed the significance of assertiveness and the ability to say no in navigating business challenges. 

The event, expertly compered by Blessing Timidi Digha, a community development advocate and content creator, was attended by notable business owners and entrepreneurs who left feeling empowered and motivated to pursue their goals.

Esther Ijewere, the convener of the event, expressed her delight at the overwhelming success of the inaugural live event in Canada, affirming the Sip and Network movement’s commitment to empowering women to embrace their uniqueness. She looks forward to future events that promise to be impactful and value-driven.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact: event@womenofrubies.com

To learn more about our activities, join our Rubies Collective Community; womenofrubies.com/Rubiescommunity

To be one of the first to receive news about our next event, join our mailing list here

Elevate your media presence and enhance your brand visibility by registering for the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp 3.0. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain valuable insights and strategies from industry experts. Grab your earlybird ticket to our Media Visibility Bootcamp here

See more photos from the event below;

Sip and network


Esther Ijewere and Nkechi Ahanor-Wilson

Nigeran women in canada

Women of Rubies Inc

Women of Rubies Inc.

Women of Rubies event

Sip and network

Sip and Network event

Sip and Network event

In the evolving landscape of leadership, women are increasingly taking on influential roles, breaking the glass ceiling, and inspiring others along the way. While progress has been made, there’s still work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities to lead. A crucial part of this journey involves honing leadership skills. This article explores the essential leadership skills for women and how they can pave the way to success.

What is Leadership Skills

Leadership skills refer to the abilities and qualities that individuals possess to effectively guide, motivate, and influence others to achieve common goals and objectives. These skills encompass a broad range of attributes, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, empathy, adaptability, and the capacity to inspire and empower team members.

Leadership skills are not limited to those in formal leadership positions; they can be developed and utilized by anyone interested in making a positive impact on a group, organization, or community. Effective leadership skills for women are essential for driving progress, fostering teamwork, and achieving success in various aspects of life, including business, education, politics, and social causes.

Leadership Skills For Women

Leadership skills for women encompass a set of qualities, abilities, and behaviors that enable women to excel in leadership roles. These skills include effective communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. Leadership skills for women also involve navigating gender biases and stereotypes while asserting authority and influence in various professional settings. These skills are essential for women to thrive and positively impact as leaders in diverse fields and industries.

  • Communication Skills

Effective communication is at the core of successful leadership. It involves conveying ideas, building relationships, and inspiring action. Women can enhance their communication skills by honing public speaking abilities and assertiveness.

Public speaking, often regarded as a daunting task, is a skill that can be developed. Joining public speaking clubs, seeking mentorship, and practicing regularly can boost confidence and eloquence. Assertiveness is also vital, as it ensures that one’s voice is heard in meetings and discussions.

Women leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Malala Yousafzai have mastered the art of communication, using their words to inspire millions and drive positive change.

  • Empowering Others

Empowering others is another leadership skill for Women that deals with equipping and enabling individuals to take ownership of their actions, decisions, and personal growth. It involves providing them with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities needed to make meaningful contributions and take on increased responsibilities.

Empowering others also entails fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel confident, motivated, and encouraged to reach their full potential. This not only benefits individuals but also enhances team dynamics and overall organizational success.

  • Self-Confidence

Confidence is one of the key leadership for women. Becoming a female leader necessitates having the confidence to surmount obstacles and setbacks. 

Rather than succumbing to circumstances or relying on others to identify and eliminate barriers, self-assured women proactively take the lead, motivating and empowering those around them to do likewise.

Therefore, female leaders should believe in their abilities, knowledge, and expertise. This self-confidence not only helps in decision-making but also inspires others to follow. Practice self-affirmation, and remember that your voice and perspective are valuable.

  • Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a pivotal role in leadership. It encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to manage emotions. Understanding the emotions and motivations of yourself and others allows for better collaboration, conflict resolution, and team building. 

Women possessing emotional intelligence exhibit a sense of inner tranquility that allows them to lead without succumbing to ego-driven impulses. They adeptly navigate their emotions, ensuring they don’t interfere with their capacity to make sound decisions and maintaining assertiveness rather than reactivity.

Resilient women in leadership positions possess a deep sense of empathy towards those under their guidance, placing others’ needs on par with their own. Their focus extends beyond personal advancement, demonstrating an ability to gracefully disregard unsound advice without causing offense to the advisers.

Cultivate your emotional intelligence by actively practicing empathy and active listening.

  • Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

Leaders are faced with countless decisions and challenges. Effective decision-making and problem-solving are crucial skills for navigating the complex terrain of leadership.

Women may encounter unique challenges in decision-making roles, such as being second-guessed or facing biases. To excel in this area, it’s essential to have a systematic approach to decision-making, considering facts, risks, and long-term consequences.

  • Resilience and Adaptability

Leadership is not without its trials. Resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks—and adaptability—the capacity to thrive in changing environments—are vital attributes.

Resilience is cultivated through facing adversity with a positive mindset, seeking solutions, and learning from failures. Adaptability involves staying open to change, embracing innovation, and adjusting to new circumstances.

  • Leading by Example

Leading by example is a fundamental aspect of leadership where leaders inspire and guide their teams through their own actions and behaviors. It means living out the values, ethics, and principles you expect from your team. When leaders walk the talk, they not only gain trust and respect but also motivate others to follow suit.

This approach fosters a culture of integrity, responsibility, and excellence within the team or organization. Leading by example is a powerful leadership tool, as it shows that actions carry weight in leadership, often speaking louder than words.

As more women ascend to leadership positions, the landscape of leadership is diversifying, enriching organizations and societies. Leadership skills are not confined to gender; they are about capabilities, determination, and the drive to make a positive impact. Women who possess these leadership skills for women are paving the way to success, inspiring generations to come and proving that leadership knows no gender boundaries.

Being a female leader in the modern day comes with its own unique set of challenges. Many of the challenges come from other people, the society and female leaders themselves – how we navigate through these issues is very important in a modern world

Being ‘too’ aware of gender: Most female leaders walk into leadership positions being overly aware of their gender as a barrier. I dare say there are great leaders- period. Gender is not a pre-requisite to great leadership. Female leaders need to embrace their knowledge, skills, diversity and just lead.  No apologies for being great individual.

Society Definition of Success: There is an enormous pressure to perform well while in a leadership position because of the societal pressure that suggests that everything the female leader does is representative of the female gender.  The pressure also implies that the female leaders’ actions determines how much opportunity other women get.

Clare Booth Luce once said ‘If I fail, no one will say she doesn’t have what it takes. ‘They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes. Society needs to start accepting women as capable to accomplish anything. Success should not be dependent on what gender you are.

Reality of Other Responsibilities – Work versus Family: Female leaders wear multiple hats: the wife hat, motherly hat, the sister, the child and so on. Dealing with the pressure of raising kids and having a stable career is a real issue female leader’s face. Women arguably have greater demands outside of work competing for their attention. Generally, women tend to compete better at the junior levels. However, as they progress to middle levels with heavier work demands and higher travel frequency, they tend to leave to focus on family or pursue part-time work or other endeavors. Another challenge is the ability to get attractive career opportunities inspite of maternity breaks. The effect is that the pool of female leaders for top jobs gets smaller.

Stereotyping and Leadership Style: Female leaders are often referred to as stereotyped. They can be accused of being / called emotional when it may just be being passionate and on the other hand a risk of being perceived as being overly controlling and confrontational. As Forbes recently noted, “Studies show that assertive women are more likely to be perceived as aggressive and that women usually don’t ask for what they deserve. When they do, they risk being branded as domineering or, worse even, “ambitious.”

Being Authentic – in a different element: In a predominantly male environment, female leaders are faced with male dominated discussions that makes them feel odd and may lead to being treated differently. There is a lot of distractions to make female leaders dwell on what makes them different meanwhile everyone is judged by their results. Female leaders are however still faced with the need to stretch their experience from a functional background to a broader base.

Limited access to Female Role Models and Female Leadership Groups: Many people prefer to have mentors of the same gender because they tend to understand the challenges most commonly faced. Sometimes, the needs of women from their mentors also tend to differ from the needs of men. There is a need for more encouragement, a role model to follow, and someone who have faced similar challenges to talk. Also female strong social networks also represent a tremendous, untapped opportunity that can be leveraged on.

Globalization: Mobility is very key in a modern world. Female leaders are faced with challenges that comes with relocation as they move higher. Globalization presents many new barriers for women.

The reality is that, historically, men have been the ones to define ambition and leadership in the business world but women have come a long way into being represented in top leadership. What make a female leader strong will remain the natural abilities that is brought into leadership — a concerted/collaborative style, ability to multi-tasks, a talent for listening, and a natural ability to manage interpersonal relationships – what will keep it going on top of this skills will remain the ability to being authentic to oneself.

Supports Leadership Programs can provide:

Platform for Leadership Coaching

Bringing out the authentic side in leadership.

Navigate through adjusting into a new culture with my move to the UK from Africa.

Staying ahead despite multiples roles at home and at work.

Abimbola Siyanbola is a Director with a Global Multinational FMCG. She is very passionate about transformation initiatives that will support young leaders build confidence and leadership capabilities to succeed in a dynamic world. Abimbola likes to write, travel, watch a boxing or a football match.

Source: Mrsceonaija