Ama O Sarpong (nee Nettey) is our guest on this week’s episode of Digital Dynamo, our latest interview series where we speak to young Africans who are contributing to the Digital Economy through their career, hobbies, relationships and especially their social media accounts.
In 2010, right after finishing Senior High School, 18-year-old Ama Nettey became a beauty queen, following in the footsteps of Hamamat Montia, Gezelle Addai, and other young girls who achieved the coveted title at that age.
Ama quickly became a viral sensation even before the era of social media channels and the term “Influencer” gained popularity. She was invited to co-host drivetime shows with Bola Ray, present prestigious music awards, and grace national events.
After that significant chapter in her life, she shifted her focus to her studies and devoted herself to building a career in the Oil, Gas, and Energy sector as an Exploration GeoScientist.
These days, she efficiently manages her busy schedule while also nurturing a social media community where she inspires young men and women to pursue their dreams and work diligently to achieve them.
Ama Nettey has effortlessly redefined the term “Beauty with Brains” and leverages her platform and agency to advocate for women to have a seat at the table. She speaks out against workplace biases targeting women, pursues a Master’s Degree in Energy Law, and has earned a spot on the Africa Power List of 2023. The stage is set for Ama to make a global impact.
Enjoy our chat with A-MA-LAIKA
For those who may need a quick reintroduction, could you provide a brief overview of who Ama Sarpong is?
Many may remember Ama O. Sarpong formerly as Ama Nettey, winner of Miss Malaika 2010. She has dedicated over a decade to the Oil, Gas, and Energy sector, emerging as a symbol of excellence and leadership. However, her influence isn’t limited to the professional arena. Ama is also a fervent advocate for equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. Her unwavering commitment to advancing diversity, sustainability, and empowerment defines her impactful career.
During your formative years, did you have a particular dream that stood out above the rest?
My biggest childhood dream? Well, I once wanted to be a pilot. But life led me down a different sweet path – into the world of energy and diversity! I guess I traded the skies for a brighter, more sustainable future.
Now I get to make a meaningful impact in the energy sector while promoting diversity and sustainability. This dream has been my driving force and continues to guide my journey today.
Reflecting on your impressive achievements, do you believe it’s advisable for aspiring young individuals to pursue a career in your field?
Absolutely, my journey has been and continues to be rewarding. I encourage young individuals to pursue a career in oil and gas, energy and sustainability. It’s a field with immense opportunities for positive global impact and transformation. With passion and commitment, you can make a real difference in the world.
Being recognized as one of the 50 most influential female executives in the esteemed Africa Oil Week POWER LIST 2023 must have been an incredible moment. Could you share your thoughts and emotions about this recognition?
Being recognized on the Africa Oil Week POWER LIST 2023 as one of the 50 most influential female executives is a humbling and motivating experience. It validates the importance of our work in the energy sector. This recognition inspires me to continue advocating for diversity and sustainability in the industry and empowers me to be a stronger voice for change. I’m grateful for this acknowledgement and eager to push for more progress.
Looking ahead, what can we anticipate from you in the next five years?
In the next five years, I’m dedicated to advancing diversity and sustainability in the energy sector through my nonprofit: Diversity Global. I aim to establish impactful initiatives, fostering inclusive work environments and empowering underrepresented voices. Additionally, I’ll continue to support and mentor emerging leaders in the industry while advocating for a more equitable and sustainable energy landscape. My commitment to change remains unwavering.
Your advocacy for women’s leadership, diversity, and inclusion in the energy sector is noteworthy. Have you seen tangible results from your efforts? Do you feel you’ve made a meaningful impact in this space?
Absolutely, the tangible results are emerging. I’ve witnessed increased female representation and a more diverse workforce in the energy sector. We’re breaking barriers and empowering women in leadership roles. While there’s more work to be done, I believe we’ve made a meaningful impact by fostering a culture of inclusion and driving change towards a more equitable future in the industry. However, my focus is not only on women but also on empowering and advancing minority representation and leadership within various sectors.
We are on a mission to create a world where diversity is celebrated, and where every individual has equal opportunities to excel in sectors critical to our global future. Creating an ecosystem where the energy sector is marked by equal opportunities, diverse leadership, and sustainable innovation, driven by empowered women and minorities.
The progress we’ve achieved inspires me to continue pushing for diversity, equity, and inclusion, making a lasting difference.
In a predominantly male-dominated industry like oil and gas, have you ever found yourself facing intimidation or challenges as a woman professional?
Yes, I’ve encountered challenges in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. Overcoming stereotypes and biases can be tough, but I’ve used them as motivation. By showcasing competence and determination, I’ve carved my path, proving that diversity is an asset, not a liability.
If you hadn’t pursued a career in the energy sector, what alternative path would you have been passionate about?
If not in oil and gas, energy, I’d have pursued sustainable agriculture but only because it was my dad’s passion and that was what I studied in high school, but I know I would probably have found a way to make more attractive for women. Introducing eco-friendly farming practices etc. and empowering rural communities aligns with my core values.
Finally, drawing from your extensive career experience, could you share three valuable lessons you’ve learned along the way?
1. Adaptability is key in a rapidly changing world.
2. Collaboration and learning to work with people because it fosters innovation and growth.
3. Persistence is the only way to overcome obstacles and drive success.
In gratitude to Ama O Sarpong for engaging in this enlightening conversation with us.
If you’ve found this content intriguing, have feedback to share, aspire to contribute as a Features contributor on Braperucci, or wish to be featured in our next instalment of “Digital Dynamos,” please reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for our upcoming interview next week with a digital dynamo.