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“Be an arrogant Idiot”- Iris Irumva


It is no secret that women face numerous obstacles in various aspects of their lives, including the workplace. According to Iris Irumva, the key to overcoming these obstacles is to play big without being intimidated by the other gender.

On this Women’s Day 2023, Iris Irumva, the Founder and CEO of Lead Acces, delivered her key message as part of a skill set session to 150 girls gathered by Education First in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and Norskeen East Africa.

Iris Irumva encouraged women to play big and not to hold back!

The event’s goal was to inspire these young women to pursue meaningful and dignified careers in the tourism and hospitality industries. The girls had graduated from an Education First program designed to instill English language skills and communication skills in young girls in Rwanda’s thriving tourism and hospitality sector.

The desire for success is especially strong in young women in the twenty-first century. But we must also recognize that we are here to empower them and provide them with the skills they require to succeed and thrive. That is what Education First has done so far.

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Young women need to be empowered through knowledge and skills to reach new heights in your career

Irumva began her session by telling these young women that statistics show that there are a lot of young women pursuing a career in tourism and hospitality, but the workforce is overwhelmingly dominated by men.

It is something she believes needs to change, and she believes it will all start with young women and their mindsets. “There is magic in women, women have magic,” she said, adding that they just need to bring it out.

Women have the power to create their own paths and shape their careers on their own terms

Young women are clear about what they want. Some want to be chefs, others want to own bakeries, and still others want to be baristas. Playing big, according to Irumva, is all about having the confidence to step up and say, “I am going to do it.”

“Playing big requires you to step up and win,” she explained.

She also mentioned that even though girls face a lot of self-doubt or ‘Inner Critic,’ as she called it, it is not an impossible obstacle for them to overcome. “Take the fear, embrace it, keep going, and make it your best friend,” she advised young girls.

“Believe in yourself. Embrace fear and make it your bestfriend”

The 10 rules for brilliant women

The Lead Access Founder and CEO shared with the young ladies her list of ten rules for becoming brilliant women. These rules are intended to assist young women in becoming the best versions of themselves and thriving in their careers and lives.

The first rule is to strike a deal. Irumva explained that young women must make a commitment to themselves to play big and pursue their dreams.

The second rule is to visualize what you want, plan it, and then execute it. Her third rule is to gasp, “Breathe in, breathe out” and be calm. The fourth rule is to develop thicker skin, and to “ask for the respect you deserve,” she says.

The fifth rule is to be an arrogant idiot. It means to be more like the people who are not afraid to ask for whenever they want however they want.

“There are some people who are not afraid to speak their mind even if what they are saying is not right. Be more like them,” she said.

The sixth rule is that you should not wait for your Oscar. This includes not waiting to be praised at the start. Seventh is to question the voice that says “I am not ready yet”. The next step is to filter advice, recover and restore, and let other women know how brilliant they are.

During her skill session, Irumva emphasized that playing big means getting out of one’s comfort zone, taking risks, and seizing opportunities for growth and development.

Women can break down barriers, shatter stereotypes, and reach their full potential by playing big. So, to all the ladies out there, keep playing big and don’t let anything stop you!

Watch the full Youtube video
Irumva believes for young women it is all a matter of playing big and going for what they want
Iris Irumva, Founder and CEO of Lead Access



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