Marina Lamptey, Head of Diaspora Relations at Ghana Investment Promotion Center on Gender Inclusion and Equity.

Marina Lamptey is the Head of Diaspora Relations at Ghana Investment Promotion Center where she spearheads the facilitation of investment opportunities for individuals and businesses within the diaspora community, by coordinating and disseminating valuable information she empowers diaspora investors to explore diverse investment prospects in Ghana. From identifying potential investment areas to facilitating transactions and providing comprehensive support services, she has been committed to fostering a thriving investment ecosystem.

She is a multiple award winning international relations expert dedicated to advancing economic growth, social development, and gender equality, with expertise in promoting investment opportunities and empowering diaspora communities. deeply passionate about international human rights, trade, and investments.  She is also the founder of UMI Foundation, a non profit organization that is passionate about advocating for women and girls’ rights. 

Given your experience at the forefront of diaspora relations, what are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities you see for women leaders in this sector?

As the Pioneer and Head of Diaspora Relations at the GIPC,the foremost agency under the Office of the President mandated to facilitate Foreign Direct Investments to Ghana , I have personally experienced the challenges and opportunities that women in the diaspora relations sector face. Taking up such a significant responsibility as a woman in this field has been both daunting and exhilarating.

One of the biggest challenges I have encountered is breaking through traditional gender barriers and biases that still persist in many organizations and societies. Being a woman, I have had to overcome stereotypes, discrimination, and limited access to opportunities for advancement. I faced the task of proving my capabilities and expertise in order to gain trust and credibility in my role. This required me to ascertain a deep understanding of the diaspora community, build relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and consistently deliver tangible results.

Another significant challenge in the diaspora relations sector is that it is still a relatively new phenomenon. This means that when I started on my journey there was limited data available to guide my work. This lack of information made it necessary for me to invest substantial time and effort into conducting thorough research. 

I had to focus on existing literature, gather information from various sources, and collaborate with experts in related fields to gain a deeper understanding of the diaspora and its potential for investment. This process involved reaching out to academic institutions, engaging with diaspora communities, and establishing partnerships with organizations specializing in migration and diaspora studies.

Also, the absence of established frameworks and best practices meant that I had to develop innovative strategies and framework from scratch. This required a high level of creativity, adaptability, and tenacity. I had to think outside the box, experiment with different approaches, and be willing to learn from both successes and challenges.

Overcoming these barriers demanded a strong work ethic and perseverance. I worked tirelessly and through my dedication I was able to navigate the uncharted territory of the diaspora relations sector.

The Leading Ladies Africa’s 50 Leading African Corporate Women list particularly recognizes African corporate women with visionary leadership. Can you describe your approach to leading and inspiring teams, particularly in a corporate environment?

In my corporate environment, my approach to leading and inspiring teams is centered around fostering a culture of inclusivity, empowerment, and collaboration. I believe in creating a supportive and nurturing environment where team members feel valued and encouraged to contribute their ideas and talents. I prioritize open communication and active listening, ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard and respected. I also lead by example, setting high standards of professionalism, integrity, and accountability. 

Throughout your career, you’ve undoubtedly faced obstacles as a woman in leadership. Can you share a specific instance where you overcame a challenge and the lessons you learned from it?

Whew!! Throughout my career, I have faced various obstacles as a woman. One specific instance that comes to mind is when I encountered resistance and skepticism from some colleagues while proposing a new strategic direction. Despite facing opposition, I remained steadfast in my belief in the value of my ideas and the potential impact they could have. I sought to address the concerns raised by actively listening to feedback and incorporating relevant insights into my proposal. Through persistence, diplomacy, and a strong conviction in the merits of my approach, I was able to overcome the challenges and gain buy-in from key stakeholders. This experience taught me the importance of resilience, confidence, and effective communication, as well as the value of staying true to one’s vision even in the face of adversity.

Balancing a successful career with personal life can be difficult. What strategies have you found helpful in achieving a fulfilling work-life balance?

Balancing a successful career with personal life is indeed a challenge which I’m still grappling with, but I have found several strategies helpful in achieving a fulfilling work-life balance. First, I prioritize self-care and make time for activities that recharge and rejuvenate me. This includes setting boundaries and creating dedicated time for family, hobbies, and personal interests. I also emphasize the importance of delegation and collaboration, recognizing that I don’t have to do everything alone. Delegating tasks and seeking support from trusted colleagues and family members helps me alleviate some of the pressures and demands on my time. 

For young African women looking to follow in your footsteps, what key pieces of advice would you offer them in navigating the corporate world and achieving leadership positions?

For young African women looking to follow in my footsteps and navigate the corporate world, I want you to:

Have confidence in your abilities and value what you bring to the table. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas.

– Surround yourself with mentors, and peers who can support and guide you in your career journey. Seek out opportunities to expand your network and learn from others.

– Invest in both your personal and professional growth by seeking out learning opportunities, attending conferences, and staying updated on industry trends.

– Understand that setbacks and challenges are part of the journey. Learn from failures, bounce back quickly, and keep pushing forward. Develop resilience and perseverance in the face of obstacles.

– Lift as you climb!! Advocate for gender equality and support other women in their career journeys. Collaboration and solidarity among women can be powerful in breaking down barriers and advancing leadership positions.

As someone deeply committed to growth through partnerships, what do you see as the key ingredients for successful collaborations, particularly in Africa?

Successful collaborations in Africa, especially in the diaspora relations sector require strategic elements. It is imperative to establish a shared vision and common goals among the collaborating parties. Clear communication and alignment of objectives from the outset are essential for building a strong foundation. Trust and mutual respect are also vital, as they foster a positive working environment and enable effective collaboration. Finally, it is important to foster open and transparent communication channels, encouraging active participation and feedback from all stakeholders.

How do you see the corporate landscape evolving in the next 5-10 years, particularly concerning diversity and inclusion?

In the next 5-10 years, I anticipate significant changes in the corporate landscape, particularly concerning diversity and inclusion. There is a growing recognition of the benefits of diverse and inclusive workplaces, and organizations are increasingly prioritizing diversity as a strategic vision. I hope to see more concerted efforts to address gender imbalances and promote equal opportunities for women in leadership positions especially in Africa.  

Beyond professional achievements, how do you define success in your own life?

 Beyond my professional achievements, I define success in my own life by the fulfillment and impact I experience in various spheres. For me, success means finding a sense of purpose and meaning in what I do, both personally and professionally. It involves making a positive difference in the lives of others and contributing to the betterment of society which is why I established the UMI Foundation,a nonprofit organization focused on inspiring people to help their communities through impactful and sustainable initiatives.

Beyond the corporate world, what are your sources of inspiration and motivation in life? What activities or interests fuel your energy and passion?

My faith in God and my relationship with Him serve as a constant source of inspiration. I find solace and strength in knowing that there is a higher power guiding and supporting me throughout my journey. My faith fuels my determination and helps me overcome challenges with resilience and grace.

In addition to my corporate endeavours, I am deeply committed to the growth and development of the young women in my A Lady with a Dream Network. Mentoring these aspiring individuals and guiding them towards their goals brings me immense joy and fulfillment. I invest my time and energy in providing them with guidance, support, and encouragement, empowering them to realize their dreams and reach their full potential.

I also enjoy traveling to new places, exploring different environments, and interacting with people from various backgrounds. The exposure ignites my curiosity and passion for learning, and it shapes my perspective on life.

To expand my knowledge and challenge my thinking, I actively engage in activities such as reading books, listening to podcasts, and attending conferences and events. These activities expose me to new ideas, innovative strategies, and diverse perspectives, enabling me to continuously grow and develop both personally and professionally.

Finally,being an ambivert, I prioritize spending quality time with my loved ones. Engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing laughter, and participating in activities that bring me joy create cherished memories and strengthen the bonds of my relationships. 

What are your 5 favorite fashion items, things you can’t do without?

Oh, i absolutely love this question! As a fashion enthusiast choosing only 5 items was daunting! However, these 5 I’ve selected are definite essentials!

A well-tailored blazer: I’m a sucker for blazers and I believe a great blazer is a versatile and timeless piece that can elevate any outfit, whether it’s for a professional setting or a more casual occasion.

Statement accessories: My love for gold jewelry should be illegal! I love incorporating simple yet elegant gold accessories to enhance my wardrobe. 

Comfortable yet stylish shoes: I believe that shoes can make or break an outfit and at one point in my life had collected over a hundred shoes but had to give most away because of how uncomfortable they were!! So, I now invest in comfortable yet stylish shoes that can take me from day to night with ease!

A Pair of Classic Sunglasses: As someone who often struggles to get enough sleep, sunglasses have become an essential statement piece in my daily routine. Not only do they shield my eyes from the sun, but they also have the power to instantly elevate even the simplest of looks,while also hiding any signs of tiredness.

A Statement Belt: I definitely believe that adding a statement belt to an outfit can instantly enhance its overall style and provide a focal point. It also defines the waistline, and elevates the overall look of an outfit.

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