It has been a long battle for the inclusion of women in top management positions. Years ago, conversations on these issues hinged on the need to allow women to access the same quality of education that was available to men. The reality is different now, although not as impressive as would have been required.
Nonetheless, there is a sense in which the ability of women to sustainably manage and superintend over even the largest corporations of the world is not in denial.
For instance, the legal department in Ghana with the highest number of lawyers in its employment is the Legal Department of the Bank of Ghana which has some forty lawyers currently, according to information from the Lawyer Locator portal of the Ghana Bar Association. This huge number is simply reflective of the extensive scope of work and the legal ramifications that the actions of the Central Bank has on Ghana’s economic fortunes.
We refrain from using “however” in this next paragraph, as we would rather not treat the leadership of the department’s head, Mrs. Abla M. Masoperh, as a special intervention. Instead, we consider it is a gainful entry into the list of prominent strides being taken by women in breaking the glass ceilings in even some of the most distinguished professions in the world.
Mrs. Masoperh is in the great company of some other prominent women who are leading some of the biggest law firms in Ghana. There are only at least five firms in Ghana that employ 30+ lawyers. These firms are Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah – 35 lawyers, AB & David Law (Africa) – 33 lawyers, Kulendi@Law – 32 lawyers, Sam Okudzeto & Associates – 31 lawyers and Minkah-Premo & Co – 30 lawyers. Three of these big five are headed by women.
Additionally, some of these firms have a good representation of women in the male – female distribution ratios.
Of the 35 lawyers currently working at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, an approximate 71% are women. These 25 female lawyers hold various levels of significant partnership statuses. The remaining 29% representing 10 lawyers are men. However, the firm is led by a man, Mr. Seth Asante.
The ratios are evened at Minkah-Premo & Co, where there are 15 male and female lawyers apiece. The firm is however headed by a man, Mr. Wallace Bruce-Cathline. The CEO is also a man, Justice Kusi-Minkah Premo.
Similarly, out of the 33 lawyers and partners associated with AB & David Law in Ghana, only nine are males and the remaining 24 are females. While David Ofosu-Dorte is the Senior Partner, the Managing Partner of the firm is a woman, Isabel Boaten.
Isabel Boaten: Isabel is the managing partner for AB and David Law firm and the Head of the Government Business & Policy Reform Practice. Her areas of practice are Corporate &Finance, Government Business & regulation as well as Intellectual Property. Telecoms & Technology .She read the LLB program at the University of Ghana and pursued her master’s degree in public administration at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. She is member of the Ghana Bar, the International Bar and American Bar Associations .She has given advice on the implementation of an integrated bauxite and aluminum industry. She was awarded Young Managing Partner by the year Law Digest Africa Awards 2015.
The dynamics tilt slightly at Kulendi@Law where 63% of the 32 lawyers working at the firm are males. There are only 12 females at the firm. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop a woman, Ama Amponsah, from heading the firm.
Ama Opoku Amponsah: Ama holds a bachelor of laws from the University of Ghana and Barrister at Law and Solicitors Certificate from the Ghana School of Law. Her areas of specialization are in company law, land law, family law, Banking and finance law, commercial litigation and criminal law
There are 19 female lawyers at Sam Okudzeto & Associates, working with their 12 male counterparts. The firm is also headed by a woman, Mrs. Victoria Barth.
Mrs. Victoria Barth; Victoria is the managing partner of Sam Okudzeto and Associates .She is a director of Prudential Bank. Mrs. Barth is a member of the Ghana Bar and International Bar and Commonwealth Lawyers Associations. She sits on a number of International Chamber of Commerce Sub Committee. She teaches Advocacy and Ethics at the Ghana School of Law
Significant efforts are still needed to ensure that there is balance in the male-female ratios of lawyers across the country. Nonetheless, we can take pride in how far we have come, from where we were when Kwegyir Aggrey’s famous words were said.