“A female leader must possess confidence & determination” – Ernestina Mensah, CIMA, CA, ACI

This week, WIFIN is featuring Ernestina Mensah, Unit Head, Market Risk at Bank of Africa, Ghana.


The WIFIN spotlight series is designed to motivate and inspire the next generation of emerging finance and investment female leaders and provide a platform for them to meet and network with their peers, role models and industry professionals.


In Ernestina’s words, “A leadership quality a female leader must possess is confidence and determination. Confidence will allow them to go for what they believe without perturbation of what society says”.


Join us here to be part and know more about the exciting journeys of women in the Finance and Investment Management Industry.


Tell us a bit about yourself; what motivates you & what freaks you out?


My name is Ernestina Mensah, a young and self-driven lady. I am currently with the Bank of Africa as the Unit Head of Market Risk.  I am a chartered accountant and an affiliate of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK. I love to research as well as discover new things as it opens me up to new perspectives and helps me to impact others holistically.  I am motivated by the saying that “one cannot help others without helping or improving him/herself. This internal motivation drives me to go beyond my comfort zone and to push myself consistently. I believe this will always put me in the position to be of help to others who require help.

What freaks me out is adventures of life and watching people grow!


As the Unit Head of Market Risk – Do you think the ordinary Ghanaian should be concerned with matters of market risk? If yes, why?

Yes, an ordinary Ghanaian should be concerned with matters of market risk as it will allow them to make informed decisions on their financial position. It will also arm them to be proactive in making financial decisions.


Research shows that there is an underrepresentation of women leaders in the financial services sector worldwide. In your view;

  • What is the one most important leadership quality a female leader must possess?

I believe the most important leadership quality a female leader must possess is confidence and determination. Confidence will allow them to go for what they believe without perturbation of what society says. Determination is necessary here to keep a female leader going when the going gets tough which it will definitely be.


  • What do you think are the biggest foreseeable challenges women leaders face?

The biggest foreseeable challenges women leaders face is the balance between being liked or respected and the stigma around being too assertive as a woman who society expects to be quiet and calm.

Another challenge is balancing home and work as a woman leader is expected to be a good wife and mother as well as a good leader at work. Combining this two could be a challenge most at times.


  • As an emerging professional, what necessary steps are you taking to accelerate your career growth?

As an emerging professional, I leverage on social capital which is networking and continuous self-development to accelerate my career growth.


  • As the founder of Glimmer Hope Foundation

Open our eyes to the urgency & relevance of championing girl child education in Ghana.

Education for girls is necessary for eradicating poverty because women will be able to share the huge burden of suppressing poverty.

When women and girls are educated, double the progress is achieved because double the people will work for Ghana’s betterment. Reducing inequality among genders has a huge benefit for economic development and it has a higher chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.


  • It’s obvious that you inspire hope to many of these children but who inspires you? Which female leader inspires you the most and in what way?

I have a number of women who inspire me. I will mention a few; my mum, Opera Winfrey and Kristalina Georgieva.


What is the one lesson the covid-19 pandemic has taught you, both professionally & domestically?

The covid-19 has taught me that life is more important than anything and so is helping others because life is lived in a better way when we all look out for each other.


Share with us your favorite maxim (either by you or someone else).

Together we can change the world for the better by changing ourselves and looking out for our neighbour – Ernestina Mensah


What advice would you give to aspiring female executives like yourself?

Life is a marathon and so one should be focused and consistent. One should have a short term as well as a long term plan but should be open to changes as life goes on.

Also one should be courageous and strong enough to be herself authentically in the world.


Disclaimer: *Ernestina’s views are her own and do not represent the views of her employer. 


Thank you for joining us!

WIFIN Spotlight Series 2022


Interviewed by: Gifty Boatemaa Annan,

Country Representative, Ghana
Women in Finance and Investment Network