Isabel Dos Santos On Eradicating Gender Stereotypes

Isabel dos Santos is a Russian-Angolan businesswoman and Africa’s richest woman. In 2013 she was named Africa’s first billionaire woman, and in 2015, BBC named her one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. She is the daughter of Angola’s former president, José Eduardo dos Santos, and Tatiana Kukanova. She is an electrical engineering graduate from King’s College in London. After her studies in England, she returned to Luanda and worked as a project manager engineer for Urbana 2000.

She started her first business in 1997 on Luanda Island, Miami Beach Club, one of the first beach restaurants on the island. Throughout two decades she expanded her business in Angola and made other significant investments abroad, mainly in Portugal. Isabel dos Santos also worked briefly as the chairwoman of the Angolan State oil company, Sonangol. She is currently the chairwoman of Unitel, the biggest telecommunications company in Angola. The company has more than 11 million clients and over 3,000 employees making it the leading employer in the private sector.

Isabel dos Santos has been known to advocate for more women to join industries that are traditionally reserved for men. She encourages women to study for the fields of engineering, technology, natural sciences, and mathematics. Isabel dos Santos thinks that since Africa is still predominantly made up of developing countries, it means that there are a lot of opportunities in these fields and everyone should be provided with the education they need, without exceptions.

According to Isabel dos Santos, excluding women from these fields halts progress as a whole. It is imperative that we all work together to demolish these gender stereotypes and encourage girls from a very young age to pursue all current and practical sciences. Isabel Dos Santos spoke at the African summit about the digitization of most sectors in the African economy to be able to compete with the rest of the world. She spoke widely about making the agricultural industry, banking, and urban development digital by adopting new technology and more importantly teaching people about technology. Isabel dos Santos is currently estimated to have a net worth of approximately 3.5 billion.

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