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May 2024 Updates

Women in Leadership

Today, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex joined in conversation with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, for an event celebrating female leaders in Abuja.

Addressing a room of 50 women from across Nigerian society, politics, business, media and culture, The Duchess and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala touched on the importance of female leadership and empowerment in driving positive change globally. The Duchess shared insights on her new-found Nigerian heritage, the hope she sees for future generations and the power of representation.

“Representation matters tremendously. You need to see it to believe it. That starts when you’re very young…I often find that whatever travels I’ve done, regardless if it’s Nigeria or another country around the world, oftentimes when women reach the peak of success, they leave. But you need to come back home. You need to at least be a familiar face for the next generation to say, ‘Oh, she looks like me. And I can be that.’ You still always want to come back home because that’s how you’re going to help shift any sort of generational pattern that might be stifling, especially for young girls who need to see someone who looks like them in that same position.” – Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex

Speaking to her time both as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Foreign Minister, as well as her role as Managing Director of the World Bank and current role with WTO, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala discussed the importance of mentorship, and the wisdom she has gained from both men and women around the world.

The duo concluded their chat with a brief Q&A, expressing the need for women to support one another, both professionally and personally, across all levels.

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