Meet Sarata, a very smart, confident and hardworking leader with a good sense of humour.

After her Master’s Degree, Sarata returned to Cote d’Ivoire with intentions to work with the Central Bank. However, she started an internship in Abidjan, and that marked the beginning of her now 20-year long career in the banking sector.

She is an accomplished and highly experienced specialist in risk management, business development, and now, shoulders the responsibility of leading UBA’s operations in Cote d’Ivoire.

In this interview, she speaks about balancing work and personal life and also being successful.

•How have you balanced work and personal life in becoming successful? 
This is a daily challenge as I have to consciously share my time based on priorities of the moment. It's not every time we are busy at work or at home, I optimise each by remaining focused on the task at work and getting the best quality time with family when I am at home too.

To be a great leader, what are some essential traits women should have?
You have to remain focused on the goal, be truthful to yourself and to your team, apply emotional intelligence in your management style, acknowledge failure and move to the next option. You have to be persistent, provide solutions and guidance. Do it yourself as and when required. Lead by example.

•  What more do you think can be done to promote women's development in the workplace?
In any organisation, members of top management should be open minded and avoid discrimination especially at recruitment. Also to ensure that Promotion is given to the best staff and not take gender into consideration. Female staff with high potential should be groomed so that they are examples of success for other women. Promote excellence in all they do.

• After all the success, what do you struggle with now?
Success is all relative. What I know for sure is that one needs to always grow by challenging oneself and improve on their past challenge. So my struggle is to ensure I am constantly improving on my previous self and, that I challenge my processes and conviction so they remain relevant and on point in order to lead successfully.

• What advice would you give to your younger self and other young women?
Believe in yourself always no matter what, build on your knowledge with your experience and other experiences. Take lessons from all good and bad experiences and move forward. There is no need to dwell on failure, rather acknowledge them and ensure they are lessons for the future. Persevere in your projects and goals

•How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
This is a tough one. I’d say dedicated, ethical and patient.

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