Edleen B. Elba, the human resources specialist

Sierra Leone generally makes the international news for all the wrong reasons, particularly when it comes to women’s issues.

There is no denying the amount of work still to be done in the area of Sierra Leone’s gender relations. One way that change is arriving is through the rapidly growing number of positive, resourceful women who are leading businesses and organisations that make an impact, as well as leave inspiration in their wake. The women we have talked to for this issue are professionalising their respective sectors, and improving the social and business landscape for women and men in Sierra Leone.

How would you describe your job?

I own and manage a nine-year old human resources management company called JobSearch. We provide recruitment, skills development and human resources management services.

How did you get into this field?

I am a Chartered Global Management Accountant and Human Resources Analyst; a member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and American Academy of Project Management. My career as a Management Accountant and Human Resources generalist spans over 13 years in the private and public sectors, seven of which were in Senior Management. My areas of expertise are Strategic HR Management, Risk Management, Financial Management and Business Development.

What would you say are your most significant professional achievements?

Completing CIMA and becoming a member of such a prestigious professional accounting body; leaving full time employment to manage JobSearch.

How does your work contribute to Sierra Leone’s economic development?

70% of youth in Sierra Leone are underemployed or unemployed. In 2012, AfDB’s Skills gap analysis highlighted the need to prepare graduates for the workplace. We therefore designed a course called ‘Employee of Choice’ which has three modules - The job application process, Business Etiquette and Business Ethics - and deliver it to students, graduates and employees. We also provide Business Communication, Customer Relations, Leadership and other soft skills training to company employees. JobSearch is a member of the TVET coalition and in addition to our contribution towards addressing the skills gap in Sierra Leone, we are also working to improve the image of technical and vocational education.

My father taught me the importance of hard work and integrity; John Sisay, reminds me that I only doubt my ability to perform when I rely on myself; I should pray, believe that God has put it in me and go with my instincts.

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