While the African society looks down upon women and that their place is only the kitchen and bedroom, Lucy Quist has become a boundary breaker, and she is the first Ghanaian woman to lead a multinational telecommunications company. The technology industry is male dominant, but she decided to be at the top in that industry against all the odds.
She graduated with a first-class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of East London. She is also a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (UK) and holds an MBA from INSEAD in France. Quist started her career at Ford Motor Company in engineering, and she held many business leadership positions in telecommunications while working at Millicom, Vodafone as well as Airtel.
Before she took the role as the Managing Director in technology transformation at Morgan Stanley, she was the CEO of Airtel Ghana, and she becomes the first woman to be at that position in Ghana.
While the world thinks women can not do it, Quist boldly remarks that gender is just nothing as women can lead just like what men are doing also. She said, “I am also proud of the fact that over the years, I have been able to demonstrate to Ghana and the world that leadership is not a function of gender. I believe that Black women, African women, can lead big businesses.”
Quist carries that message into the work she does with the Executive Women Network (EWN), a non-profit organisation she co-founded for women in senior management and executive positions in the private sector, as well as women entrepreneurs in Ghana. Besides being in business leadership, she is also an author.
In her recent book, “The Bold New Normal,” written to remind Africa and its citizens of their potential, Quist shares her beliefs in what Africa could be. She writes, “We are not working to be less poor… That is what eradication of poverty is about, and it is simply inadequate. If our goal is purely eradication of poverty, then we need to refocus.”
Quist was featured on the BBC’s Power Women series in 2016 as one of the top businesswomen driving transformational change in Africa, and she also loves to empower young women to realise their potential.