Raising a Boss, Like Isabel Dos Santos

It should come as no surprise that the richest woman in Africa, Isabel dos Santos, carries herself like a ‘Boss’ at all times. This is a woman who exudes strength and who’s actions embody the term ’empowered’. Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of the former Angolian president, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. When Jose Eduardo left his position of power, he left many of his business dealings to his oldest daughter, Isabel dos Santos. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos had to have honed a secret formula for raising a confident and fearless young woman in a male-dominated society.

There is no telling how much discrimination and chauvinism Isabel had to over come in order to successfully run the companies that were passed down to her. Isabel dos Santos recently revealed in an interview that growing up, her father and brothers never told her things like “girls don’t do this” or “girls can’t be that”. Having male figures around who make you feel like your an equal, and that your role in society is not for them to decide, is almost essential for guaranteeing a young girls competency in the business realm. She says that she never recalled hearing statements like “don’t worry, your brothers work”. Isabel Dos Santos was being shown, without words, what her dad truly thought of her potential.

Similar to Isabel Dos Santos’s dad, I think that all parents should understand the importance of what they say and don’t say to their daughters. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos could have easily relegated his daughter to housework and tasks that would reinforce her female inferiority, but he did the exact opposite. I think that it is extremely important that parents consider what their values are, and whether or not they’ve been programming their daughters to have self-limiting beliefs. These simple things are very essential to raising a fearless ‘Boss-Woman’ (Crunchbase).