LLA 50 leading ladies in corporate Nigeria
This week, we complete the list of the 50 Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the important role women play in the corporate world, Leading Ladies Africa presents a list of 50 Nigerian women who are leading the cavalry in showing the impact they have in the Nigerian corporate and business sector. First of its kind in Nigeria, the #50LadiesinCorporateNigeria list, published strategically on May 1, (Worker’s Day) makes a case for increased representation and appointment of women in leadership positions within the world of business.
“Studies have shown that organisations do better and companies thrive when more women are included in operations and business decisions,” says Francesca Uriri; Founder Leading Ladies Africa. “We hope that with this list, we encourage more women to aim higher and show up for the change and impact that is so needed within the corporate and business sector.”
Ojoma Ochai is Director of Programmes at British Council. She has strong experience in arts management, cultural and creative industries policy and practice, programme management, strategy, fundraising, public speaking, team leadership and monitoring and evaluation. She is an International Fellow, DEVOS Institute of Arts Management, Kennedy Centre of Performing Arts, Washington DC and an Associate Fellow, Nigerian Leadership Initiative. She is spirited about the advancement of digital technology and creative and cultural expressions for shaping narratives and enhancing livelihood opportunities for sector practitioners in the global south (particularly Africa).
Okaima Ohizua is Executive Director of Customer Service at Transcorp Hilton. With over 25 years working experience, she has been instrumental in the upward service transformation at the Hotel since joining the Board and Management in 2013. She is a graduate of law from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School. She also holds an Advanced Management Program certificate from the Pan-African University – Lagos Business School. She is an Associate member of WIMBIZ (Women in Management, Business and Public Service). Until her appointment, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Heirs Holdings. Before joining Heirs Holdings, she worked in reputable organizations such as CitiGroup and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).
Olufunke Amobi serves as Head, Human Capital of Stanbic IBTC Bank. Prior to her appointment as the Head of Human Capital of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc in December 2013, she was the General Manager – Organisational & Talent Development Team of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited; Senior Manager – Learning and Development for MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (2006-2008); Group Head Human Capital Management of Unity Bank Plc (2004-2006). She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Training and Development Nigeria and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development UK.
Oluwatoyin Alake is an IFC-Milken Institute Fellow, Equities Product Manager and Financial Market Specialist, currently sitting as Consultant, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation-Long Term Finance with the World Bank. She has an aptitude for numerate and analytical roles and a passion to use her understanding of economies, markets and financial instruments to develop financial solutions and build markets. Having acquired background experience in financial services industry, where she gained knowledge of capital and money markets operations and instruments, Oluwatoyin undertook roles in portfolio management, product and market development thus contributing to achieving developmental goals whilst consistently demonstrating a drive to exceed expectations.
Omobola Johnson is the Chairman, Partner of TLCOM Capital. Prior to this appointment, she was Country Managing Director at Accenture. She joined Accenture in 1985 and was there for 25 years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Manchester, a Master’s degree in Digital Electronics from King’s College, London and a Doctor of Business Administration degree at the School of Management, Cranfield University. She has also served as Minister of Communication Technology in Nigeria.
Omokehinde Adebanjo is VP & Area Business Head For West Africa, Mastercard. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the acceptance and issuance of MasterCard’s payment products in Nigeria and other English-speaking countries in West Africa. She is committed to introducing the benefits of a cashless society to Nigeria and the region, and keen on implementing a vision of a world beyond cash, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s goals to reduce the circulation of cash in the country’s economy. She started her career at Goldman Sachs International, initially as a Derivatives Trader. She was promoted and tasked with the responsibility of managing a portfolio of structured equity derivatives, as an Investment Analyst. She was named a Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Scholar and was a recipient of the Goldman Sachs and Institute of International Education’s Global Leaders Award.
Omotola Oyebanjo is the Head, Corporate Communications at Lafarge Africa Plc. She is a passionate Communications Consultant with extensive strategic experience across Corporate Communications, Marketing Communications and Development Communications. She has worked with brands such as Union Bank, Australian Trade Commission, Kia Motors, British Council, Unilever, Haansbro Confectioneries, NISSAN Motors, UKEAS, Edinburgh Napier University Scotland, BPP University UK, ESCC, SI-UK, Sheffield Hallam University UK and more. She is passionate about helping organisations achieve their corporate goals by developing and delivering top- notch internal and external communications strategies and campaigns. She is also the Founder of When Women Win – a women empowerment platform.
Omowale David-Ashiru is Country Director of Andela. In this capacity, she is responsible for leading a rapidly growing team of 500+ people, and ensuring that the organization continues to advance its objectives of developing Africa’s future technology leaders. She has professional experience spanning almost two decades in management consulting and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Andela, she was a Management Consultant and Certified Project Manager at Accenture. Under Omowale’s watch, Andela has generated additional funding, and has increased the reach of its impact.
Ononuju Irukwu is the Head of Private Banking at First Bank. Prior to this appointment, she was Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham Management Limited, a leading Investment Management Company in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the Chief promoter of the Women’s Investment Fund, an investment vehicle for Women initiated by Chapel Hill Denham Management Limited. She has over two decades of experience in Personal Banking and Wealth Management and is passionate about increasing financial literacy levels for women and youths. As part of her commitment to encouraging an investment culture among women, she writes a column, Your Personal Wealth, in ThisDAY Style magazine on Sundays and Your Money & You in TW magazine. There, she shares tips on investing and planning finances with a bias for issues women face when considering financial matters.
Owen Omogiafo is the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc. There, she is responsible for driving positive transformation in Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar. Prior to becoming Managing Director, Owen was the Executive Director, Corporate Services at Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. (Transcorp). There, she drove operational efficiency across the Transcorp Group. She boasts of an impressive profile, having taken on senior leadership roles within the Heirs Holdings Group – including being Director of Resources for HH, and Chief Operating Officer, Tony Elumelu Foundation. Prior to Heirs Holdings and the UBA Group, Owen worked with Accenture as an Organisation and Human Performance Consultant, specialising in Change Management. She is a certified Change Manager (Prosci Institute of Change Management, US) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK. She holds a B.Sc. (double honours) in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Benin and an M.Sc. in Human Resources from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Patricia Aderibigbe serves as Group Head of Human Resources at United Bank for Africa Plc. In this role, she is responsible for UBA Group’s Human Resource function across 19 African countries and its international subsidiaries. Prior to this appointment, she has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Heirs Holdings Limited and enabled integration across its business interests. A dynamic and passionate people leader, Patricia is passionate about Human Resources, Organisation and Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, as well as Business Operations. She serves as a role model for young women and men looking to build a career in Human Resources.
Patricia Obozuwa is the Director of Communications and Public Affairs, for sub-Saharan Africa at General Electric, a leading multinational conglomerate with operations in appliances, power and water, oil and gas, energy management, aviation, healthcare, transportation and capital. She is a senior communications executive with over two decades experience and a strong track record of building the communications function and teams at some of the world’s leading multinationals operating in Africa. A Personal Branding speaker, she is skilled in Strategy Development, Public Relations, Government Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Planning, Negotiations and External Relations.
Pearl Uzokwe is the Director for Governance and Sustainability at Sahara Group Limited. Pearl is a qualified solicitor and member of the Law Society of England & Wales. She graduated with a LLB (Hons.) from the University of Bristol and is also a Chartered Secretary (ICSA). She has since experienced great professional growth in the last 15 years whilst building her legal career within UK and Nigerian corporate structures.
In 2002, she began working at the Crown Agents UK who provides specialist and multidisciplinary services in institutional development, international trade & procurement and finance. Her role in the legal department of the organization, saw her provide legal advice and support to the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in the development and administration of a number of notable funds including the Private Infrastructure Development Group – set up to facilitate private investment in the infrastructure needed to help alleviate poverty in developing countries and the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIM) – a $4 billion investment facility designed to accelerate the availability of funds to be used for health and immunisation programs in 70 of the world’s poorest countries.
She has also worked within the corporate departments of London legal firms: Denton Wilde, Sapte LLP and Stephenson Harwood LLP. Pearl’s vast professional experience within the upstream, downstream and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, corporate law and international development culminated in her appointment as the second female Director within the 4,000 strong organization. In 2018, she was chosen to be the group’s Director for Governance and Sustainability-a role which her professional pursuits and private passions seemed to have been leading up to in the period before-hand.
Priscilla Ekwere-Eleje is the Acting Director of Currency and Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature was recently appended on the naira breaking a 61-year-old tradition. She is a Psychology graduate of the University of Jos, Nigeria and an alumna of the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship programme in Banking and Management at Boston University, Massachusetts, USA. She is also a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA).
Sandra Oyewole is Partner at Olajide Oyewole LLP. Sandra has expertise in the Media, Entertainment and Technology sector. The first 8 years of Sandra’s career were spent at the Chambers of Chief Rotimi Williams SAN, where she acquired extensive experience in dispute resolution. In 2001, Sandra joined Olajide Oyewole and Co (now Olajide Oyewole LLP) as a Partner. There, she guided the growth of the firm’s practices in brand protection, broadcasting, employment, entertainment, estate planning, immigration, information technology, intellectual property and media.
With her in-depth knowledge of the environment and industry, her experience in negotiating deals in the creative and innovative industries is thoroughly commendable.
Tariye Gbadegesin is the Head of Heavy Industries and Telecommunications at the Africa Finance Corporation, an investment grade development finance institution for Africa. She is an investment and management professional with over 15 years of experience in the financial services sector, both internationally and in Nigeria. Tariye was on the founding team charged with the task of establishing the Africa Finance Corporation and has over the years led and managed investments in the sectors of power, infrastructure, industrials as well as media & telecommunications. She has also worked at the International Monetary Fund, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Chase Manhattan Bank. She is a non-executive Director on the Board of Cabeolica S.A, a wind power company in Cape Verde, an IFC ranked top 10 IPPs in Sub Saharan Africa. She is also a non-executive Director on the Board of the Main One Cable Company, a telecoms and data services company serving West Africa. Tariye has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Amherst College, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Teju Abisoye is Acting Executive Secretary (ES) of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). Prior to this appointment, she was Director of Programmes and Coordination at the LSETF. In this role, she was responsible for the delivery of targeted programmes designed to enable access to finance and financial inclusion for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); as well as enable skills development and other structured interventions to boost job and wealth creation in Lagos State. Teju is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. She is a strong business development professional skilled in Customer Service, Business Development, Investments, Business Strategy and Leadership.
Teju Ajani is the Country Manager, Android Partnerships for Google in Nigeria. She is passionate about technology and its potential as an economic equaliser and ability to open up opportunities for people. At Google she has built relationships working in business development in Nigeria, established and led YouTube content business across 8 countries in Africa, and is now focused on growing Android Partnerships in Nigeria with a keen interest in facilitating affordable devices for Nigerians.
She has accumulated a wealth of experience having worked with major companies in technology, strategy and marketing in North America, Europe and Africa. Prior to Google, Teju worked as senior product manager at Oracle where she was responsible for the management interface of an engineered system, Exalogic and working with partners such as the US government, VMWare in customer marketing, collaborating with partners on surfacing their technology success stories, BEA systems as Technical Account Manager, Systems engineer and Developer Relations Engineer, leading and advising top West Coast Banks in the US on technical infrastructure and deployment.
Teju has led the Women at Google group in Sub Saharan Africa for the past couple of years. An avid learner, she is a self-professed geek who loves to ideate. Favorite topics include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), digital content & strategy, human capital development, organizational health and strategy. She is a strong advocate for women in leadership.
Temi Dalley is the Chief Human Resource Officer, Sterling Bank. She is an experienced, adaptable and passionate Human Resources Professional with over 18+ working experience, and a proven track record of excellence and sustainable success. Commercially astute with expertise in strategic planning, resourcing and talent management, Temi has produced results worthy of commendation by leveraging outstanding leadership, organizational, communication, consultative and suasion skills.
Temitope Iluyemi is the Director, Global Government Relations for Africa at P&G. In her current role as Government Relations Director, she is responsible for improving P&G’s investment viability across the region, advocating for policy reforms that enable business operations including deepening Africa’s integration, building P&G’s reputation across the countries and supporting company communications for Nigeria. She is sought after as a key contributor to development solutions in the Africa region. Following a short career as a Pharmacist, Temitope joined P&G Nigeria in 1998. In her 20+years career with P&G, she has distinguished herself with a breadth of roles spanning across commercial and corporate functions (Sales, Supply Network operations, External Relations and Government Relations).
Uche Ajene is the Managing Consultant of Quadrant MSL, a subsidiary of the Troyka Group of Companies Limited. Prior to this, she was the Director of Marketing & Strategic Accounts at Halogen Security Limited, also a part of the Troyka Group. There, she successfully led the transformation of the company into a group with six new subsidiaries. Ajene has also served as the Group Head, Communications and Youth Accounts at First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB). She is a graduate of Boston University. Ajene began her professional career as an auditor working at Grant Thornton, and later, American Express.
Uche Ajene holds the status of Certified Management Consultant (CMC) as awarded by the International Council of Management Consultant Institutes (ICMCI).
Oyeyimika Adeboye is the Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. Prior to joining Cadbury Nigeria, she was the Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc. She previously worked for the erstwhile Accounting and Tax Practice of Arthur Andersen & Co as well as the United Kingdom Accounting practice of Midgley Snelling & Co., Chartered Accountants. She has an impressive track record in finance, strategy and business administration both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria. Mrs Adeboye has a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Economics and Social Studies from the University College Cardiff, Wales and executive management education certification from the Institute of Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rolayo Akhigbe is the Vice President and Divisional Head Transaction Banking First City Monument Bank (FCMB). Rolayo has worked with both global and local financial institutions across Africa and Europe. Following the completion of her MBA in the United Kingdom, she was one of a handful of international candidates selected by a global financial institution to work in her home country as part of a keenly-contested Graduate Management Program. Through her career she has had the valuable opportunity to interface directly with organisations across all industries and has been part of the success story of many companies. She has also had access to training from several international experts in the fields of Financial Management, Leadership amongst others. She has attained Senior Executive level in the finance industry and successfully leads large cross-cultural and cross-functional teams.
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