top of page

Q&A with Jamila Mayanja

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Jamila Mayanja , C.E.O @Smart Girls Foundation Uganda

How could you describe your career path in few words?

My career path started as sales person and later as a marketing manager, while working in marketing at SMSOne(U)LTD I kept on volunteering in a number of organizations, I noticed I was always drawn to volunteer work that involved girls and women empowerment. In 2013 I decided to quit my job to make my volunteer work my full time career because I was quite passionate about it, so my career path started from the love of giving back and volunteering in the benefit of girls and women.

What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?

This was in 2017 when one of my biggest program I had started in Smart girls Uganda failed, I started a door to door laundry service while hiring vulnerable women from slum areas to give them work and later put them through entrepreneurial and employable skills training to get them out of commercial sex work, drug abuse and situations of gender based violence. This worked for some time but later on even with self-employment and a small income the women still went back to these situations. Failing of this project changed my mindset that I learnt to listen to feedback and absolutely use human centered design to come up with a workable solution for the ladies. This failure led to the birth of our girls with tools skilling program that has till now created tremendous success.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?

I have learnt to make use of unusual or uncertain contexts that happen to me as an opportunity to re-learn, un-learn, learn new skills, be grateful and appreciate I can’t control everything. And most importantly to remember no body is too developed for mentorship or personal growth.

For example, my failure with a prior program led to the birth of the Girls with tools that is making even more impact than the prior program. We get scared by the uncertainty but it helps us grow and improving on our potential. Whenever I fail is always or meet something unusual with in our work it drives my curiosity and hunger to better myself and my team to create positive outcomes from the situation.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

Women make great leaders because they have an innate ability to dream big, challenge assumptions and inspire teams — and they know how to translate big ideas into concrete action and results. Women are natural nurturers and because of this they are born innovators, motivators and creatives. When given the space female leaders highly thrive because they embrace their nature as women which is beneficial for any work space or for her team. As my experience being a woman and working with women, to make them better leader we should guide them to be themselves to embrace their womanhood and indeed they will be successful leaders/managers.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page