Life can be a challenge sometimes and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder. However as the saying goes, when life throws you lemons, make lemonade.
The onset of COVID-19 and the preventative measures instituted to curb its spread found us all sitting at home day after day with nothing to do. Previously, my life consisted of daily busy schedules that included meeting after meeting. Sitting idle at home did not diminish the need to feed. While we were seated at home, our sources of income and those of our many dependants came to a standstill.
It dawned on me that I was not suffering alone and that other people in the County, Country and indeed the world were facing these same challenges. How were the others dealing with the situation? Even more so, how were women coping, given that they more often than not bear the brunt of family burdens?
Upon sharing my dilemma with a respected Coach in Mombasa, she shared the opinion that women should not retreat like everybody else. Instead, they should step up and demonstrate their leadership skills by taking action towards seeking solutions. The solutions were to be sought from within.
She challenged me to take action and the Women Lifting Women online series was born as a response to that challenge.
An idea gets launched!
I talked to a few women and invited them to join me. 27th March 2020 saw us air our very first series in a very informal way. In this episode, we sought to find out from those in attendance how COVID-19 had affected and interrupted their lives. It was evident that indeed all were deeply affected.
The series was officially launched seven weeks later on 7th May 2020,. In attendance were some of the most influential business people in Mombasa including the Chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Mombasa Chapter, Mr. Mustapha Ramadhan. Given that I sit on that KNCCI Mombasa chapter board as the Director of Women in Business, it was especially a proud moment as by launching this series, I had contributed towards my role in that capacity.
Since its inception and ultimately its’ launch, the Women Lifting Women series has hosted guest after guest as they share their experiences in their areas of expertise and engage the participants in seeking solutions from within. 29th of May 2020 saw us celebrate the 10th series. The one hour sessions are held every Friday between 12.00 p.m. and 1.00 pm. with half hour allowance for spill over as is often the case due to the intensity of the discussions. The resourceful participants, who give their time freely, are women entrepreneurs that I like to call SMEs.
A Brief Introduction into the Series
Women Lifting Women Series is A here and now unscripted online discussion by Women in Business. The timing of the inception of this series is not coincidental but was purposed to especially deal with the unprecedented and extra ordinary challenges that emerged with the emergence of COVID-19. It is highly likely that the challenges we are facing today will be the worst we will ever face as a globe in our life time.
Some Topics Discussed in the Series
1. Dealing with employees during COVID-19
How to deal with staff when your business is at a standstill and there is zero income. Do you send them home on unpaid leave or on half pay?
2. Virtual Meetings Etiquette
Physical meetings might become obsolete in the future. COVID-19 times have had us all embracing technology and engaging with each other online. With the increased number of people who have moved in that direction to do business, there is a need to ensure that professionalism is maintained in the same fashion as during physical meetings. How to go about it was one of the most engaging sessions that we enjoyed here
3. Home Menus during COVID-19
Now that many of us are working from home and all the children are at home all the time, the food consumption has gone high. One participant shared with us how to prepare and manage healthy and affordable menus for the family that is now at home 24/7.
4. Conflict Management in the Home and Office
It has emerged that there has been an alarming increase in the rate of domestic violence since the advent of COVID-19. This is a direct reflection of the turmoil society is undergoing. It is hence very important to be able to manage emerging conflict before it escalate into unmanageable or irreversible heights. This was perhaps the most engaging of topics and required two sessions in order to address it more comprehensively
You’re Invited to Join Us
We shall periodically be sharing the content of this series on this blog. I urge all women to come forth and give of themselves by participating in the series. By so doing they will be sharing their challenges in their area of expertise as well as offering solutions towards these challenges. Further, we’ll have the opportunity to pitch our businesses in the fast growing network of Women Lifting Women.
Join us in the next Series meeting and gain access to these in depth insights. Come and learn more the challenges facing women in business. You’ll also get access to the unique solutions they’re coming up with and also offering in response to the same. Click this link to register and receive your access code. You will receive the link giving you access to our online meetings every Friday.
We look forward to greater participation as we continue seeking ways to uplift each other.