In the last decade or so, there has been a big positive shift in the way women are growing themselves in the professional and entrepreneurial fields. A desire for independence and flexibility has seen many young women expand the scope of careers from what we traditionally knew and open whole new lines of work. It helps that due to increase in technologies and a rapidly expanding digital space, there is an abundance of fresh ideas and execution platforms. We are looking at a sharp rise in ventures like female DJs, female mixologist, online thrift shop owners, makeup artists, content creators and women in tech to name a few.
If I may use my story as an example, I am a writer and social media influencer. About 8 years ago, I left formal employment because I felt I was stagnating and craving new challenges. I needed to shake things up and build afresh. At that time, people, including myself, mostly created content for fun although opportunities were beginning to pop here and there. Turns out it was the right time to dive into it since the field was still young. It has been 8 years of learning, growing, and witnessing the growth of my industry in the country. I have watched my colleagues grow and I’ve watched blogging morph from just writing stories for fun to a highly monetizable endeavor.
In the years that I’ve been in this space, I’ve highlighted so many women whose stories have touched and inspired me and my readers alike. Young women who are breaking away from traditional norms and making it in different professional and entrepreneurial fields. These are women who have embraced the rapidly changing beliefs in gender roles in society and gone for their dreams. I’ve also spoken to people living with disabilities, who have gone ahead to excel in workplaces, sports, and businesses.
One woman whose story I’ve had the pleasure of covering is Caroline Mutanu, a Kitui based hairdresser who has made a well-loved and successful name in her home town despite being on a wheel chair all her life. Caroline was born with a congenital birth defect that affected her lower extremities, but she has found the strength to beat the odds to not only complete her formal education, but to further pursue a course in beauty and hair dressing.
Another great story is that of 26 year old Belinda Adongo – a Nairobi based cab driver who is using her earnings not only to finance her day-to-day life, but also to pay her way through University. So fierce is her drive towards a better future that she juggles work and school without breaking a sweat. Belinda is a good representation of women who are increasingly breaking barriers and getting into previously male dominated fields of work.
There are thousands of such cases out there and it is exciting to see that being a woman or a minority does not necessarily doom one to a life of failure. For the next few weeks, I’m thrilled to be embarking on an exciting journey in partnership with Gilbey’s Mixed Berries Gin, to highlight stories of women who are excelling in their fields despite considerable odds. These are people who are fighting societal expectations, some living with disabilities but fighting through life and making it anyway, and some are up against self-limiting beliefs to be where they are today.
I’ll be talking to several inspiring women about what they do, how they do it, how they unwind when things seem overwhelming and how they network in casual moments to grow their ventures. With it’s vibrant vibe, Gilbey’s Mixed Berries is a befitting partner with whom to celebrate this winning energy among women. Infused with the flavours of various berries, this smooth gin is right in line with women matters from its versatility to how beautiful it looks when served.
The women we will feature will be of great inspiration to others who are looking up as they too dream of building successful lives.
You do not have to do many things. But do great.