Meeting Professor Iyiola Solanke: Realising my Own Ambitions

Who Says Women Are Not AMBITIOUS?

Women have their own passions and aspirations.

It was the last summer of high school, and my class had organized a farewell party.

At that time students were asked about their plans after completing twelve years of compulsory education.

There were thirty-six students, twenty girls and sixteen boys.

I was surprised by the answers.

All the boys replied that they were going  to  pursue higher education, while the girls had doubt about their ambition for study, their ability to study continuously and the social expectation from the girls regarding getting married. 

The girls expressed all these doubts and barriers that made it difficult to reach their goals.

I asked myself, the question “why should women choose to spend time studying?”

I am now finding the answer for this question.

On 29th November 2018, I was so privileged to meet, listen, talk to and have tea with Professor Iyiola Solanke.

She is an academic who holds the Chair in EU Law and Social Justice in the Centre for Social Justice of the School of Law, University of Leeds.

She is an Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple, and was recently a Fernand Braudel Research Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.

In 2017, she set up the Black Female Professors Forum (blackfemaleprofessorsforum.org) to promote the presence and visibility of Black women in the Academy.

She came, invited by ILAS to speak about her latest book and research. 

 

I study Accounting and Financial Management, I have no knowledge about EU Law and Social Justice.

I didn’t know if I should attend but I made the right decision!

I was there and listened to her.

I realized the power of sharing knowledge and experiences. 

I felt the decision to attend came just at the right time, the moment a door opened and I realised there is an opportunity I never saw before.

If you know, share with others – if you don’t know, get to know.

Professor Iyiola Solanke is such an amazing woman.

When we sat and had tea with her, she went around the table and asked who wanted to pursue an academic career.

At first a few of the women said that they weren’t sure they did and so, she talked about the time she did not think she could study PhD, but she did well.

She said “You Can If You Believe You Can” and sometimes if you don’t believe you can, others will believe in you for you. 

That’s the exact moment I decided I wanted to study for my PhD after finishing my Masters degree.

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I also decided that I want to have a role that goes and inspires and motivates other women.

This is because I believe every woman has their own power, but they sometimes need “catalysts” to get out of their comfort zone and achieve their ambitions.

We need to support each other. 

Now, I have the answer to my question, “why should women choose to spend time studying?”

The answer is “To Succeed.”

The Age of Industry 4.0 is the time when women must be more serious about using feminism and breaking down patriarchal rules and barriers.

Women must have legitimate rights and opportunities. 

Feminism in the Economy

In November, Forbes published a list of the 100 most powerful women of all time.

More than half of them are business women with the most admirable positions in all areas, whether it be the manufacture of  aircraft, construction, technology, finance and banking.

For example, Mary Teresa Barra is President and CEO of General Motors Company. She has held the position of CEO since January 2014, and is also the first female CEO of a major auto company around the globe.

I believe that women empowered with knowledge will  help companies go through difficult periods and succeed. 

Feminism in the Politics

The politics of the world over the past decades have seen a lot of change in leadership.

By 2016, there were 15 female heads of state in the world.

As a head of state a person takes possession of the nation’s destiny and raises the influence of the nation.

The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is ranked as the Forbes most powerful woman. Her leadership has meant that many migrants, fleeing wars have been welcomed into safety. 

There are a lot of other brave women who hold important responsibilities and build big bold strategies.

They always have the effective way to call the community by heart.

Knowledge and vision, not gender, are what creates decisive leadership. 

Women show that women can do well in all areas.

 

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