World Association of News Publishers

WIN Somalia Participants Meet in Nairobi for Leadership and Career Skills

WIN Somalia Participants Meet in Nairobi for Leadership and Career Skills

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It’s been two years since the Women in News (WIN) programme took roots in Somalia. At the end of September, this year’s delegation of twenty participants headed to Nairobi, Kenya to continue their mentorship and training sessions, in an effort to boost confidence and learn practical techniques in the newsroom.

By Colette Davidson 

Leadership skills, how to face newsroom challenges and building confidence – these were just some of the things the group of twenty women journalists learned during the WIN Somalia event in Nairobi from 22 to 27 September. The nearly week-long programme, run in partnership between WAN-IFRA and IMS/Fojo, continued WIN’s mission of helping women journalists better themselves and their careers.

“The WIN programme has been great for me and also very important,” says Asia Abshir Adan, a participant in this year’s WIN Somalia programme. “It teaches women journalists who often feel like they are losing power in the workplace to believe in themselves.”

Participants began the Nairobi programme with individual coaching sessions, where the journalists discussed their goals in the workplace as well as the challenges they face. WIN Lead Trainer Paula Fray held a final training session to bring home the goals of the programme, while the WIN legacy class held a refresher course on strategic business development issues.

Adan says that the practical aspect of the programme has been particularly useful for her on the job.

“I learned about marketing, strategies for success, employment policies and human resource management, among other things,” says Adan. “Now, if something goes wrong at work, I can go to the administration and talk about it.”

Adan says that one of her favourite parts of the programme was meeting the WIN Kenya alumni, who she called “life leaders.” Alumni members Faith Oneya, Maryanne Gicobi, Valerie Koga, Mercy Njoroge and Felista Wangari participated in a panel discussion during a one-day summit on practical leadership techniques, challenges in the newsroom and to exchange ideas.

Koga, who expects to graduate from WIN this year, says her experience in the 2016/2017 class has made her want to be the best she can be in her career.

“WIN made me honest with myself, helped me recognise my strengths and weaknesses and work on them,” says Koga. “It also helped me to seriously think about my career and draw a career roadmap that has helped me achieve milestones to get to my career goals.”

Koga says that she hoped to have a great impact on this year’s class.

“I wanted to show them how WIN has changed me and how to use your WIN knowledge to improve yourself and also build your career,” she says. “I wanted to instill confidence in them and let them know they can overcome all the challenges they face.”

Fellow alumni Mercy Njoroge joined the WIN programme in January 2016, benefiting from the Media Management course and Digital Storytelling Training of Trainers. She says the WIN programme has allowed her to engage in more responsibilities on the job as well as carry out in-house training sessions with journalists. Recently, her boss began asking her to manage the sub-editor’s team in his absence. Then, something else happened.

“A colleague of mine noticed the drastic and positive transformation in my attitude towards work and people in the office and she asked me what my secret was,” says Njoroge. “I talked to her about the WIN programme and she applied for the 2017 cohort, got accepted and as she awaits graduation later this year, she keeps reminding me that she will forever be grateful to me for recommending the programme.”

A keynote speech by Dorothy Kweyu, the Consulting Editor at the Editorial Centre, rounded out the Nairobi meeting. As alumni looked back on their experience with WIN and current participants look ahead, all involved say the programme is truly “life-changing.”

Women in News (WIN) aims to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. In parallel, WIN partners with media organisations to identify industry-led solutions to close the gender gap in their newsrooms, boardrooms and in the content they produce.

WIN is currently working with more than 80 media from 12 countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East including: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (WIN Africa) and  Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine (WIN MENA).



Melanie Walker's picture

Melanie Walker


2017-10-30 17:29

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In its media development work, the WAN-IFRA strategy focuses on bringing a new way of thinking to the sector. WAN-IFRA has become a key player in the field of financial independence and management capacity building, conducting groundbreaking research and developing subsequent media development policies. Read more ...