Amujae Leader and former Economy and Finance Minister of the Republic of Guinea Malado Kaba recently joined Rachel Tranter of Women on Boards UK to discuss her journey to the boardroom and some of the key moments that helped shape her career trajectory.
Ms. Kaba said that being pushed outside her comfort zone at an early age was behind her motivation to pursue a career in leadership, explaining that her family moved from her country of birth, Liberia, to France when she was a child. She credited this experience with making her unafraid to seek out and seize new opportunities, an attribute which she believes has contributed to her success.
Ms. Kaba also spoke effusively about professional mentors who helped her advance in her career, but she was equally candid about the “sexism compounded by racism” she faced as an African woman. Even in high-level leadership positions, she said there were people who doubted her because of her gender and made assumptions based on physical attributes rather than her skills and experience. Ms. Kaba said she found that the best way to overcome these challenges was by reminding herself of her commitment to the work she was doing and the values of the institutions she was working with.
When asked about her advice for aspiring young women leaders in Guinea and what it felt like to be a role model, Ms. Kaba shared:
“I say that I don’t like the notion of a role model because it implies that you’re copying someone. You cannot copy me, there is only one Malado Kaba. But you can do better than what I did, and that’s the key.”
Ms. Kaba currently sits on several boards, including the Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Water Utilities in Guinea, the International Budget Partnership, and the African Women Leadership Fund. You can listen to her full Women on Boards interview here.