Diana Twumwaa Essuman Tanihu: The cleaning industry plays a crucial role
Diana Twumwaa Essuman Tanihu is a product from the chemistry department of the University of Ghana. Having worked in the Food and hygiene industry for close to two decades, spending most part of it in the cleaning industry as the administrator for the contract Cleaners Association of Ghana (CCAG). A certified trainer having taking several certifications course from CIMS through ISSA – the world cleaning body. Am dedicated to seeing the industry grow and for it to be given the necessary recognition for the important role it plays in our society.
"In 2020, I came across a cleaning Technology based in the United States which we needed in our industry in Ghana. Upon engaging them I realised they were willing to give us the franchise to operate however, it was capital intensive. I quickly put together a group of five female entrepreneurs who were willing to invest in the project. Sadly at the time the contract was to be signed, two had not been able to raise their part of the capital and three out of the five had to pull out due to family commitment at the time. This was an eye opener to me on the enormity of the challenges that women in my region face."
"This passion to see women succeed led to the creation of the African Women in Sanitation and Hygiene (AWSH) after realising how the female entrepreneurs in the industry struggle to stay afloat in the wake of the competition. AWSH seeks to provide support for woman through knowledge sharing, access to funds, supply of equipment and materials and a networking."
What do you like about this industry?
The cleaning industry plays a crucial role in maintaining a hygienic and healthy environment for individuals, businesses, and communities. It helps in preventing the spread of diseases, keeping the surroundings neat and tidy, and enhancing the overall appearance of a place. Additionally, the cleaning industry provides employment opportunities to numerous individuals and contributes to the economy. This is what inspires me knowing am in a profession that is essential to the very survival of the human race.
Why are you interested in being an ambassador?
Having more women in the cleaning industry can bring diverse perspectives, skills, and qualities which can benefit the industry and create a positive impact. Women aside being multitasking, are also empathetic which can help in efficiently managing cleaning duties, dealing with clients, and improving customer service and also dealing with the workforce. Additionally, promoting women in roles of ambassadorship can help inspire and empower other women to pursue similar roles breaking gender stereotypes, bringing diversity, quality and greater career opportunities for them in the industry. I believe this aligns with the objectives of women in cleaning hence my interest to be an ambassador.
What motivates you to succeed as an ambassador?
Women entrepreneurs form about 40% in the cleaning industry in my region. Out of this figure, about 48%% have either folded up or are barely surviving. This is not as a result of inefficiency or mismanagement but rather lack of access to funds to expand their operations coupled with family responsibilities that become daunting and sometimes unsurmountable. My joy is to bring women in my region together to see how we can bridge this gap through partnership, knowledge sharing and cross- border engagements such that women-owned companies begin to thrive and even expand across borders.
What do you consider your biggest strength?
As a woman in the cleaning industry, my biggest strength lies in my unwavering dedication and friendly nature. My affability has earned the respect and admiration of those who have
encountered me in the industry. My commitment to the common good, even in the face of
personal sacrifice, is truly my greatest assert.
Recently and AWSH and Women in Cleaning partnered up in making a difference in the world of hygiene, health, hospitality and happiness. African Women in Sanitation and Hygiene (AWSH) is a platform in Ghana that is passionately dedicated to helping women become successful entrepreneurs in the cleaning industry. In order to achieve this, they provide guidance, assistance and training to help women acquire the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful business. This can be a huge step for many women, as the cost of these items can be quite prohibitive. To further support these women, the AWSH has partnered locally with Contract Cleaners Association of Ghana(CCAG) and internationally with Women in Cleaning to set up a mentorship program to help them understand the ins and outs of running a successful business. By providing these essential services and resources, the AWSH is helping to empower and equip women to become successful entrepreneurs in the cleaning industry.
Read more on our partnership page