Patricia Ithau. Regional Director, Stanford Seed East Africa

What’s her idea of a power woman?

A power woman is one who’s comfortable in her own skin; comfortable in who she is, comfortable in her belief of what she can be, and most importantly, comfortable because she can hold her own.

On the strides women have made in their careers so far.

“Everywhere you look, it’s like we got to a tipping point. Women are beginning to recognize that “I’m not alone”. And that allows them to not just follow, but be themselves. Now there’s a lot of cover, and it’s about how can I be myself and leave my own mark?” I love to see women living their lives to the fullest. McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” is a song that exemplifies how I feel about this movement.

Which Woman you can think of who makes you wonder: "How does she do it?".

“It’s difficult to pick one out because they’re just so many! All my close friends. Everyone’s juggling about million things at the same time; children, families, work; the whole shabang. But they're still able make time to go on long walks, sit, laugh, and have a good time.”

Challenges women face in your sector?

More irritating, than what I’d call a challenge, is that there’s a degree of patronization by men. Like when they ask, “Oh! How do you do it!?” They wouldn’t ask a man that. So, there’s a sense that you’re supposed to be doing something else, and the fact that you’ve come to this territory that’s not yours, they wonder how you’re doing it. And it’s especially irritating because I still get it.

What did you dream of doing as a little girl?

Exactly what I'm doing now. I was very keen as a child, and even from the age of nine, I’d look at annual reports and it purely had pictures of old men on the boards. And I didn’t get it. I wondered if it meant women cannot do it; and that used to bother me. Slowly but surely, I've found a way to make that part come true.

Her advice to a woman starting out in her industry.

Any woman starting out their career in the corporate or entrepreneurship space, needs to be consistent. That’s the single biggest thing she has valued and which has paid off for her; being consistent and dependable. In a world where people are faced with so many options, so many choices and so much flakiness, what people fall back to is a person they know they can count on. You’ll face challenges and obstacles and a lot that pushes you back but your ability to keep coming back consistently, is critical to your success. That, and being clear about what it is you’re trying to achieve. Chart your own path.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.