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Looking Beyond Gender: 40 Successful Nigerian Women Share their Career Experiences

Updated on Nov 12, 2018 21471 views
Looking Beyond Gender: 40 Successful Nigerian Women Share their Career Experiences


Have you ever wondered why some people stand out to be more successful than others?

Maybe not!

Abigail Adams who is considered to be the founder of the United States once said in her famous quote, “It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.” As subtle as this may sound, it has to a very large extent answered our first question. Some people end up becoming more successful than others even in the same environment because they simply overcame challenges, looked beyond any form of barrier and reached for success.

Women in Nigeria are told not to be ambitious, that they belong to the kitchen. Despite the barriers that seek to pull the Nigerian woman down at every attempt to develop and pursue a career, some amazing Nigerian women have been able to build successful careers looking beyond gender.

With our burning desire to encourage females in Nigeria to pursue a successful career, MyJobMag, a leading publisher of the latest jobs in Nigeria, in collaboration with 40 successful Nigerian women have decided to put these career advice/experiences together. This resource aims at encouraging Nigerian women to look beyond gender and build a successful career learning from female experts and founders alike.

For the sake of clarity and coherence, 40 Successful Nigerian women shared their career experiences answering these questions:

1. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

2. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

3. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Note: It is important to note that the responses gathered below are arranged in no particular order.

 

1. Eva Sonaike

Creative Director, 
Eva Sonaike Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Eva Sonaike career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge I faced and am still facing today is to establish an interiors brand with an African aesthetic in the luxury and international design industries. My brand specializes in textiles and soft furnishings with a colourful African focus, headed by myself, a woman of West African descent. I often feel that we have to work twice as hard to prove that an African brand can cater to the premium segment of the interiors market and that we are a reliable and trustworthy brand. But over the last nine years, we have had the opportunity to work with some very reputable design firms and stores and have proven to be able to deliver in the same reliable and qualitative manner than other international brands.  

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think that has improved drastically over the past decades. Especially when it comes to combining work life and family life, I feel that Nigerian women are ahead of the game in comparison to many women in Europe. I grew up in Germany and many women there take two to three years off after they have children and then have difficulties settling back into work life. Here in Nigeria, I feel that women are more confident juggling motherhood and career. I also feel that Nigerian women, don’t shy away from the more traditional male job, such as engineering and construction. 

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

First of all, it is crucial that you know your subject inside out and are familiar with the industry you are operating in. You also need a passion for the subject, especially if you are thinking of setting up your own business. Be prepared to experience highs and lows in your work life and see everything as a leading curve. I also think that today, there is no straight career path. You may train as a medical doctor and work in the field for a few years and then change to property development. So you have to be open and versatile. And lastly, as technology is developing faster than ever, keep up to date what is going on in tech. You never know when you may need it.

 

2. Emem Usen-Mudasiru

Managing Director,
25th and Staffing
LinkedIn Profile

Emem usen Mudasiru career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Good question. The major challenge I had was being outspoken and having to curb my strength with “niceness.” What do I mean? A man can be outspoken and be strict and it would be quite alright, but for a woman, there’s a sense that you have to bring your femininity into the equation and balance it by being more subtle in your approach to business.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I would take my cue at the key positions women hold in Government and in the Private Sector as a telltale sign. Though, I would have to admit that it is slowing changing with women such as Mrs. Ngozi Okono-Iweala and women contending as presidential aspirants. Lastly, more women are starting and building their own companies so I believe that’s enough inspiration for young women.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

For young women trying to build a successful career - knowing your purpose (calling ) and strengths is highly important (leads to excellence ) and then capitalizing upon those strong attributes through continuous learning ; Here is why , I find that once you know what you’re meant to BE and do - it kills majority of the noise that naivety and culture brings/detects. Finally, have or cultivate a great work ethic and a STRONG support system.

 

3. Dr Funmi Adewara

CEO/Founder,
Mobihealth International
LinkedIn Profile

Funmi Adewara career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Building a successful medical career in Nigeria is a herculean task with myriads of challenges every step of the way including incessant strikes, poor and under-resourced educational and healthcare infrastructures, the difficulty getting placement for the mandatory horsemanship as well as getting into speciality training. Even after completing specialist training, getting a Consultant job is another big hurdle, then you have the problem of working under poor conditions in resource-poor medical facilities where your job is hampered by the inability of Patients to pay for their treatments and lack of efficient health insurance scheme to cater for the majority of the population. I salute the courage of doctors and other professionals building their careers in Nigeria and who continue to work selflessly to change the narrative but it is still a very long way to where Nigeria needs to be. There remains a huge knowledge gap between the practice of medicine in Nigeria and the Western world. What you find is a total disconnect between what is taught in the classroom and the practical realities of a twenty-first-century clinical practice. As a medic, we had good theoretical knowledge but very little practical knowledge; most of the things we read in books had little meaning until I came to the UK, saw, handled and used these equipment and put everything to practice.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Gender inequality in Nigeria is influenced by different cultures and beliefs; Women are expected to take up more family responsibilities than men and often times have to take time off their career to raise a family. Sometimes in a household where both are doctors, you find it is the woman who defers or interrupts her residency to raise a family or chooses a less challenging speciality whilst the men are free to pursue their ambitions. No matter your achievement as a woman, the Society does not consider you successful until you are married. A career woman’s success is defined within this narrow prism. They go as far as asking you to pretend not to be so intelligent or successful so as not to drive the men away!

In Nigeria, the gap between men and women widens as the leadership ladder goes up, with only 7% of the boardroom seats are held by women. This discourages women from being ambitious in career choice.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Despite all these barriers, my advice to young Nigerian female building a successful career is to pursue her dream fervently with determination to succeed and overcome the stereotypes and other barriers. Be ready to assert your leadership qualities without feeling the need to conform to the traditional stereotype qualities associated with women, be assertive, hardworking, take on challenging tasks, seek growth opportunities and be willing and ready to take risks.

 

4. Folakemi Fadahunsi

Senior Manager- Finance and Accounting,
PWC
LinkedIn Profile

Folakemi Fadahunsi career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

So over the years, my greatest challenge has been positioning. My definition of positioning is this; 'Positioning is the art and science of aligning your actions and activities at work in such a way as to promote the key stakeholders' objectives as well as your own career objectives' How do I position without getting dragged into complicated office politics? How do I position without intimidating my male counterparts or even superiors? How do I position without losing my sense of modesty? The challenge is real. I've since gone past Positioning 101, I'm now on 'Positioning 21.0' (LOL). The higher you go, the more the challenges. But I have kept my ears and eyes open and learnt a lot along the way. A few things have worked and some others haven't. One of the things that have always worked is my Faith. I believe in God. I let Him guide my actions. I put all my plans before him. Secondly, Empathy, sincere concern for others. Yes, I want to move ahead in my career, but I don't have to pull anyone down to get up.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I am not an authority on gender inequality. But this is my perspective. I was raised by my mom, a very independent goal getter. Growing up, I never had a feeling that there were things I couldn't do because I’m a girl. It never came up, it never occurred to me. I studied Engineering Physics at Obafemi Awolowo University. In my first year, there were about 7 girls in my class and about 60+ boys. By the time I got to my second year we had only 2 girls left. Some left and some were asked to withdraw as a result of poor grades. I cannot generalize and say that the course is not for girls, I came out one of the best students in my class. And then I decided to join a big 4 audit firm and study to become an Accountant. Are there courses in Nigeria that girls are not allowed to take? I am not aware of such. Are there jobs in Nigeria that only men are allowed to apply for? I am not aware of such. But will women sometimes feel a sense of inhibition or have to work harder to prove themselves in certain roles? I think so. I have experienced that myself. I interviewed for a role some years ago in a Nigerian Conglomerate. The key executive of the Group conducted my final interview and asked me a very interesting question 'Do you think a woman will do well in this role or is it better to hire a man?' I found that question rather interesting. My response was simple. 'Capacity to do well in this role is not a function of gender sir. If a man has the skills and experience to do the work then he will do well in the role. I am a woman and I have the skills and competence to do the work, so I will do well in the role. It has nothing to do with gender.' Guess what? I got the job. I didn’t get the job because of gender. I got it because of skills and competence.

From where I stand, I believe we should focus more on whether we have the skills and competence to do the work required. If we do, then we should go for the career choices we desire.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I have one very simple advice for young Nigerian females. "Follow your own path." We all have different journeys in life. No two journeys are exactly the same. Along the journey, we will need to make career decisions. Sometimes our season of life may impact on the decisions we make. We need to be strong and embrace our seasons, make our decisions, take responsibility for the outcomes and enjoy our lives. I will give a simple personal example. I started my career as an Accountant at 21 with a big 4 firm. I decided to get married at 25. I decided to have children. I had my first son at 27 in January 2005. But he died the day after. When I got pregnant again in 2006, I was working in a high-pressure environment. I decided to find a more flexible work arrangement, so I resigned and started working as an independent consultant. Thankfully I was never idle because I got projects from my previous employers. The family decisions I made are mine, the career decisions I made are mine, the outcomes and the career path I have followed are mine. My path and your path are not exactly the same, for a very simple reason, our choices and realities are not the same. So my simple advice is to take responsibility for your choices and your realities, embrace your journey, follow your path. That's the way to be the best you!

 

5. Emilia Asim

Founder & Practice Director,
AML
LinkedIn Profile

Emilia Asim career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

I think that in Nigeria, socio-economic realities greatly challenge people from building ‘conscious careers’ (a fast-rising term Abosede George-Ogan is championing) as many professionals are limited by the cost of training and other factors that limit their chances of getting dream jobs or growing in job roles. I have always built a career through the entrepreneurship route even before I got the first degree. My major challenge was balancing increased responsibilities with time for self-development – i.e. training, retreats and going back to school to study further. I would not say I have built a successful career yet as I am halfway (just done 15 years in business/work), so it is still work in progress.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

First, is negotiating power for women which is largely lower than men resulting in lower pay. Then, the capacity to demonstrate desperation, which is often confused with ambition and the unofficial relationship-building that men seem to do better than women. Pay similarities are often instituted in ways that even better experienced and qualified women earn less because they do not demand or are not willing to walk away. Pressure seemingly mounts on women more – to prove a point, to show they are not weak and to please their male bosses. I also think women ignore office politics too and don't take opportunities immediately without time to rethink and access during which time, it may become too late. Also, either become too shy to lobby for what they want (in order not to seem desperate) or when they do, overdo it.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I would ask them to please plan carefully – allowing time for family planning and building; and finding strategies to make up for off time (remote work, consulting, writing books), be more decisive, willing to take risks and be more assertive to own their ideas, speak up at meetings and toot their horns.

 

6. Jovita Eke

Sports Presenter,
Brilla Sports Services
LinkedIn Profile

Jovita Eke career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

One of the major challenges was actually getting someone to believe so much in you that they are willing to give you a chance and Platform to showcase what you can do. 

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To a large extent although things are getting better.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Never give up, keep believing, stay focused and work hard. Thank you.

 

7. Tonya Lawani- Okojie

CEO,
Seal Group of Companies
LinkedIn Profile

Tonya Lawani career advice MjobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge I faced especially in my early years of business in Nigeria was- BEING YOUNG AND BEING FEMALE.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To a very large extent, but in all cases, I advise Females to focus on knowing their Onion in whatever path they choose and not look back until they Succeed at it AGAINST ALL ODDS (Note that I have stressed Against all odds?- Yes, because the Odds never seize!)

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Rise Above the Odds!

 

8. Nneka Isaac Moses

Managing Director,
Goge Africa
LinkedIn Profile

Nneka Isaac career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Finding and convincing prospective clients to buy into our vision

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

You have to be bold as a woman to venture into certain profession or occupation in Nigeria. More so, our culture is a bit hard on women

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Don't expect an easy ride. Expect challenges and be prepared to tackle them head-on, so you can earn your respect and aim to succeed. Stay focused, be positive and prayerful.

 

9. Tracy Atobatele

Airline/ Aviation Professional, CEO,
Rita and Nathan Brand
LinkedIn Profile

Tracy Atobatele career advice MyjobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

I think I had it easier delving into fashion and shoemaking than it was in aviation. I was accepted more as a fashion designer and a shoemaker and when I was a V.I.P flight attendant than being a Pilot. You hear people on one side praise you for your drive and you have others tell you all the other roles you could have taken up other than flying. They will even tell you to use the money for flight school to buy land or tell you to go and get married and your husband will take care of you and leave this flying talk. You just have to tune out all the noise and focus on where you know you are going. Following your dreams harder than giving up and settling for less than what God has put in your hands to do.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think as the years go by people are becoming more accepting of women doing jobs that are largely believed men are better at which is not always the case. There are no "male or female jobs”, there are "people jobs”. If you are good at what you do, gender should never be a limit. I know there is still a lot of work to be done regarding Gender equality but every little victory is still a step in the right direction even if its women being given the opportunity to drive in countries that it was forbidden in the past or women becoming presidents for the first time. I think it starts first from the nuclear family and how much confidence you put in your kids, education  (both formal and informal) and letting them decide what they are passionate about and supporting whatever dream they have whether it is your son wanting to be a makeup artist or your daughter whose dream is to become a vehicle mechanic.

You need to have a strong bond with your children because their orientation and convictions are so important. If you awaken the hunger for success in your kids and make them realize that there is nothing you cannot do once you are passionate about your work you would definitely be successful. It all starts from the home to me.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I would start with the very first example I ever saw of a woman doing what she was passionate about and that is my mum. She had a successful marriage of 35 years with my dad till she passed on. She was a successful caterer, a wonderful mother and lived a great life. You can have it all with the right person but you have to choose wisely and make sure your dreams, goals are all in line with who you decide to spend the rest of your life with. He shouldn't be afraid of your success but encourage and support you at every step. Find what makes you happy and run away with it...it can be hairdressing, it can be wanting to be an astronaut, and it can be wanting to be a scientist or violinist. Whatever it is, take it to God in prayer, research, draw up a plan, look for people that are successful at doing what you are about to start and pick their brains, soak it all in like a sponge. If you can do an internship with them, fantastic! Even if you don't earn a dime, just go with it because you can't put a price on knowledge.

 

10. Abi Longe

CEO/ Founder,
Human Capacity Development Consultants
LinkedIn Profile

Abi Longe career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Juggling work and family demands

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I really don't have any evidence that inequality affects career choices on a professional level. More on personal levels

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?
Read voraciously, work harder and smarter than everyone. You will stand out so clearly, no glass ceiling will be able to stop you!

 

11. Omolara Adejuwon

Senior Partner,

BrainSpace Venture Groups
LinkedIn Profile

Omolara Adejuwon career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

There was no culture of recording failures (and successes) in Nigeria unlike now. I had no access to stories of people that had walked this path. It’s really much better now though

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

a) Society has unconsciously associated some roles to a particular gender. I mean, how many female pilots, architects, engineers, founders do we have in Nigeria? It is even evident in the political scene in Nigeria. The kind of support a woman gets is different from what the man gets. b) Females are usually more emotional and this affects almost every choice they make. Most times, before a female makes a career choice, she thinks about the ease and how her future especially marriage fits into it.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

You can be anything you want to be. You can have it all if you pay the right sacrifices. Take it one step at a time and find the effective balance.

 

12. Joy Michael

Regional Manager,
West Africa Africa's Young Entrepreneurs
LinkedIn Profile

Joy Michael career advice

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge encountered is having the right team that focuses on the goal and not on the gender leading the team.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think it is gradually becoming obsolete and the line is getting thinner. It used to be a major barrier in career choices for female.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Look beyond the barrier and focus on the end goal. Equip yourself with tools like emotional intelligence, teamwork and keys to achieving goals to engage team members in helping you achieve results.

 

13. Odunayo Eweniyi

Cofounder/COO,
Piggybank.ng
LinkedIn Profile

Odunayo Eweniyi career advice

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Like most people I had a problem raising funding to begin the startup, but we eventually found and then our problem morphed into convincing users to use our product.

But, as a female founder I don't think that there is looking beyond gender for me, because I have all the problems that my fellow founders have; and then I have to deal with the misogyny and sexism that accompany being a female founder.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

It affects it to a very large extent. Statistics show that women are less likely to pursue careers in Engineering and Technology because those industries have been described as typically for men. So, unfortunately, we have fewer women in those fields. Culturally, women are groomed to do just enough and then pivot to domestic duties. I would say that the conditioning trails many women in the choices that they make and I wish we would stop the ridiculous practice of telling women what they can or cannot do.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Just do it. You are an individual - a complete person. Whatever you find your interest in, pursue it and don't let anyone tell you different. And they will, people will talk. They'll ask when you're getting married, they'll ask about kids, they'll ask you to dim your light so some man can shine. But never let them. Women are allowed to have careers in whatever industry, so just go for it. Be determined.

 

14. Tolulope Sangosanya

Founder,
LOTS Charity Foundation
LinkedIn Profile

Tolulope Sangosanya career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

People thinking there is a 'godfather' backing what I do. When I constantly battle being broke and of course sexual harassment is forever in the forefront. 

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

We are still locked in the thinking that certain jobs aren't meant for women. So yes we still suffer from people not maximizing their potential based on gender. I feel human beings should be treated as individual entities no matter the sex. After all, the human body is just the 'container 'of the real us, our souls don't come in sexes.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Be as solid as a rock or else you might break from the pressure. Know who you are, why you are here on planet earth and focus on your focus without looking left or right.

 

15. Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi

Founder,
Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC)
LinkedIn Profile

Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi career advice MyjobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Since I embarked on a career in social entrepreneurship, one challenge was not having a defined path ahead of me. While this was liberating in some ways and gave me the freedom to truly shape W.TEC in the best way I saw fit, there were times I struggled with not always having the technical knowledge I needed in all situations. So, I learnt as I went along, making my mistakes along the way. However, I was also able to seek out professional development opportunities and learn from other entrepreneurs.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

There are a lot of implicit messages sent to girls and boys about what jobs are appropriate for them. As a result, there are jobs that boys and girls would never consider unless they have adults who help to challenge this thinking.

So I remember when I was a girl telling my mother that I wanted to be a nurse. Maybe I had the idea that it was the option that existed to me because the nurses I saw all around me were women and this was reinforced by the images I saw in books and TV. She asked me “Why not a doctor?” She then explained what a doctor did and what a nurse did. Not to say that there is anything wrong with being a nurse, but the point is my thinking had already been shaped unconsciously and if not for my mother enlightening me, I would never have considered other possibilities.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I would say Pursue your dreams wholeheartedly. Sometimes, we hold back unconsciously because we are scared to give it our all in case things don’t quite work out. Life is short and will zoom by before you know it and the worst thing is not to have tried your best and to have ambitions that you never even tried to realize. If things don’t work out the way you want, at least you learn from it and re-strategize. And don’t turn down opportunities, because you feel you aren’t ready. When you ask many people who achieved great things and had incredible careers, they often took opportunities as they came, whether they felt ready or not. And then they learned what they needed to as they did the job.

And especially don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do something because you are a woman or a girl. Never let yourself be restricted by the limitations of someone else’s imagination.

 

16. Aramide Abe

Founder,
Naija Startups
LinkedIn Profile

Aramide Abe career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Authentic and successful mentoring

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think the effect of gender inequality is perception-driven more than anything, thus women do not even attempt to go for certain roles because of an idea that the role is only for men. There is also the case of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment from some male colleagues, clients, principals and counterparts, thus many women would rather not go through the stress of overcoming such hurdles.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Try your best to take off your gender filter and biases when aspiring or planning your career. This does not mean you should change who you are or become manly/boyish because there is a lot of strength that comes with being a woman. Also, get a mentor who is genuinely bought into your vision that can guide you and also criticize when necessary.

 

17. Amaka Okonkwo

Executive Director,
Immensus Africa
LinkedIn Profile

Amaka Okonkwo career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

My major challenges have been Sexual harassment, pay disparity and male chauvinism in the workplace.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Women are generally expected to take on less challenging positions like receptionists and personal assistants or roles in sales and marketing, where their employers feel their femininity and sexuality not brains can be used to bring in clients for the business, hence, sexually exploiting women for material gains. Since jobs are scarce to come by, some women take on these roles with the hope that they would work their way up, which hardly ever happens as the employers (with reference to the myopic males amongst them) cannot see them as being productive to the organization beyond these roles.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Know your craft. Know your worth. Never let anyone limit you by telling you who you are not or who you can or cannot be. If you believe you can, then work towards it. If they cannot see your worth, you must walk away. Otherwise, you will never get what you deserve.

 

18. Olubunmi Florence Olumodimu

Program Director Nigeria,
Livity Africa
LinkedIn Profile

Olubunmi Florence Loumodimu career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

I am the first child of 5 kids to my parents and the only girl. I grew up being treated equally by our parents and I took this mindset into school and into my career. So I personally have not encountered any hindrance to my career due to gender bias. That notwithstanding gender bias exists to a high scale in the nation of Nigeria and I am among those who mentor young females working around me to give them a sense of purpose and to know they can do anything they put their minds to. I believe that all women can do all the jobs they desire and all men can do any job they so desire irrespective of their gender.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Unfortunately, I believe gender bias has affected career choices for many females in Nigeria as some courses and careers are considered more female friendly. I have a friend who studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering when we were at OAU. She graduated successfully and was never able to work as an Elect/Elect Engineer. She has been teaching Science and since she graduated from the 5-year Bachelors Degree in Obafemi Awolowo University. This is only one of many examples. It is time we encourage our girls to go in for STEM courses and also for the Government to put policies in place to ensure that anybody is hired no matter the job so long as you are qualified for it.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice is that we have to work hard to ensure we build our competence and capacity in whatever field we decide to pursue. In addition to our technical competency, we must also build on our soft skills.

 

19. Blessing Omolu

General Manager,
E. U. Oton Nigeria Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Blessing Omolu career advice MyjobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The challenges I faced while building my business includes; making the right decisions business wise and at the right time. You see sometimes we get conflicted when we encounter multiple options and choices. The ability to sit down and make the right decision is a challenge. I also had the challenge of finances, most times when procuring equipment and facilities much needed for the business. We encountered situations where we cannot afford to get the desired services, or facilities due to inadequate funds.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think from my own perspective that gender inequality has affected the career choices of women hugely. In my experience, men tend to take advantage of a situation when they discover it's a woman in charge. Take facility management for example. If you have to repair a faulty company truck, for instance, the second the mechanic sees you are female, they hike the price of repairs up, and then they list a lot of things wrong with the truck that in reality is not the case.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice to them is, work hard. They have a lot to prove in a male-dominated industry, so they need to work twice as hard to prove that they can do the job. In a case where they do not have the strength, that's where they have to apply brains.

 

20. Mary Ero

Founder,
The LOLO Initiative for HIV Positive Women
LinkedIn Profile

Mary Ero career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

I think the main challenge I face is people who do not think you worthy or qualified just because you are a woman. I have experienced attempts at circumventing me for a man, several times, even by people on a lower cadre than I am. But my way out has always been to fight for what I want. Whether by word or by deed or in my work.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Gender Inequality greatly affects the career choices of women, much more than it should in fact. A woman, for instance, will think twice about getting or staying in a job that keeps her away from her family and/or her kids for extended periods, even if it means forgoing a better standard of living. As a matter of fact, we all know women who have truncated their promising careers just to take care of the home. Men do not have such pressures. A man can uproot his whole family and move to another continent just for career opportunities and his wife will follow. I tell the story repeatedly of how I was fired ostensibly because I was pregnant. All these things dissuade women from choosing to craft a career path doggedly.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

To young women trying to forge a career path, I would say be dogged about it if that is where your heart is. Do not let people tell you what you can or cannot do. At the same time, you must put in the work so the quality of your input will speak for you. Work as hard as you expect any reasonable person to work, and the sky is your limit.

 

21. Salma Uche Okeke

Entrepreneur, Authorized Representative,
VLS Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Salma Uche Okeke career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

For me, there was no major challenge that I can think of now. I guess it all has to do with my background and orientation. I was brought up to be confident and without any real fears. It has never occurred to me that being a female may be a disadvantage.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Hmm. Gender inequality is not a concept I can fully appreciate given my background. Honestly, I think a lot of this could be more imagined than real. Anyone of either sex can excel equally as far as I am concerned. However, some of our females maybe handicapped by their level of exposure and available resources and decide to fall back on the customary roles within our culture. This would, of course, be the line of least resistance for any woman in Africa building her career.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I would advise our young Nigerian females to gun for the skies with confidence. To follow their passion in whatever field of endeavour and give it their best shot without fear of handicap. To be creative in juggling their roles and career choices such that it complements.

 

22. Mojisola Olawepo

Lead Data Analytics and Insights,
Sterling Bank
LinkedIn Profile

Mojisola Olawepo career advice MyJobmag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

One major challenge I encountered in trying to build a successful career amidst gender inequality is ‘Trust’. Establishing Trust in the minds of my superiors by showing a strong mastery and understanding of my career field and adding value to my organization. At that point, it doesn't matter if I am a woman but what matters most is the quality of job output I can deliver.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I will say largely. Gender inequality also speaks to perceptions about individuals, either wholly or partly. Asides from the discouragement women get to pursue courses in school or careers directly linked to male-dominated organizations, most women also perceive themselves as weak for specific career choices, limiting themselves to less than they can be.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Focus, Determination, Continuous study and Doggedness. My favourite quote from Covey's book on 7 habits of highly effective people is 'Begin with the end in mind'. The one reason every woman should remind themselves of this quote is in the confidence that they can build an intimidating successful career as long as they can see the ultimate goal. No one can ever stop their success story.

 

23. Bukonla Adebakin

COO,
RED
LinkedIn Profile

Bukonla Adebakin career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

First was the inability to determine my chosen career. A lot of peer pressure as well as choosing and not finding the right mentors who have trailed the path before. I have had to change careers especially with my background in science.

Some people do not take females seriously. I remember one interview I went for, I was told I was “too beautiful to be intelligent”. Other times, I was hit at from the onset- These percentages are small though. In all, it has been smooth sailing building a successful career as people/employers now give jobs based on merit and no longer preference for gender.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

A lot and common in some professions. Some professions have been able to scale through this.

Some people tag a few jobs as a “man’s job” e.g. being a mechanic or a barber. For this reason, there are very few females in those industries. However, women being the strong people that we are now venturing into these areas and have been successful in them too.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Give it time, success rate might be slow and steady, but it'll work out with time. Sometimes volunteer at your leisure time, it gives a soft landing. I don’t think I would have been able to cope or have a career switch from the Sciences when I did if I had not volunteered in spaces outside of my zone.

Be strong! Be resilient! Never be deterred. Impossible is nothing!

 

24. Ommo Clark

Founder / CEO,
iBez
LinkedIn Profile

Ommo Clark career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Getting funding to drive the business forward and marketing. Marketing/Sales because I am a software developer and marketing and sales does not come naturally to me. Also infrastructural challenges and lack of relevant government policy.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To a large extent for a few reasons, we are a patriarchal society and cultural norms/values largely dictate how life is done. In our society women are automatically put in a particular role right from birth and this really dictates what they can do and how they live their lives. Anyone that tries to break out of this is seen as rebellious, independent, stubborn etc. Also, families raise and condition women to take on specific roles or careers that are deemed as 'female' jobs.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Women need to know that they can be whoever they want to be and do whatever they set their minds to do. Careers are largely gender neutral.

 

25. Moji Dayo-Dunmoye

Founder,
Juvenis Spa International
LinkedIn Profile

Moji Dayo Dunmoye career advice MyJobmag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Doing business in Nigeria is indeed very challenging, but I guess generally building a successful career is a lot of work. The major challenge I experienced was in 201) when my biz @MMIA got completely burnt.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Women take little to no jobs to be able to take care of the family and also not get richer than their spouses. This is changing greatly.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Have a sense of yourself, who are you? Why are you here? When you find yourself which am certain you need the creator for, grow, develop and fly?

 

26. Elizabeth Kperrun

CEO,
Zenafri Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Elizabeth Kperrun career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge I faced building a career in Nigeria was a lack of funding opportunities. Raising initial capital as an entrepreneur in Nigeria is a very hard work. In more developed climes, this is where the banks come in, but here, the worst mistake a newbie entrepreneur can make in my opinion is getting a loan from a Nigerian bank. The interest rates are only slightly better than a loan shark’s.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Gender inequality affects everything we do in Nigeria. Women are looked at as "odd" if they decide to break gender barriers and enter traditionally "male careers" like engineering, carpentry or running a multi-million dollar business. "We just don't have what it takes," they say. And young women, afraid of becoming spinsters, baulk at opportunities to advance in their chosen careers so that they won't look too threatening to potential suitors. As soon as a woman reaches her mid-20, she's expected to have a serious suitor who is looking to marry her. Never mind if she's got different aspirations. And oftentimes, the said suitor is looking for a stay at home wife and mother. "I'll pay you a salary to take care of the home," he says. Young girls should be free to pursue their dreams. If that dream is to be a stay-at-home mom and wife, charge on; if it is to become an aviation engineer or a pilot, she should be encouraged in that as well. Enough is enough.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Follow your dreams. Don't wake up in your 40's, 50's or 60's to an unsatisfactory life regretting the choices you made. You can do anything and be anything you put your mind to. ANYTHING. Refuse to believe anybody who tells you that your dream is impossible. You can be a mechanic and the right man will still find you attractive. You can build a multi-billion dollar empire and still be a doting mother. The only enemy you have is Fear. Thank you.

 

27. Adenike Olumide-Emmanuel

COO,
Adenike Selah Foods and Products
LinkedIn Profile

Adenike Olumide Emmanuel career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge for me has been advertising and marketing... getting my products out there

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Well, I think men based businesses tend to get funds easily as compared with their female counterparts. Men have the necessary collateral as compared with women.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Keep at it. Small businesses are the backbone of any economy. Although the Nigerian economy might not be conducive at present, we can't wait for it to get conducive. We've got to be busy at whatever it is we are doing and the economy will get conducive while we are at it.

 

28. Lola Masha

Director, Trust and Safety,
OLX Group
LinkedIn Profile

Lola Masha career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge that most Nigerian women face is work/life balance. How do you successfully manage your family? One thing that has helped me personally is having a great team. So have a great team and equip them with the right tool.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I believe very strongly that we all have all sort of roadblocks in life be you male or female, but as a female, the way out of any challenge is to focus on the solution. Gender to me is not a significant hindrance except in some career paths.

In my time at OLX, 7 of us were women that had done quite well for themselves, we looked beyond any form of boundaries that may arise and found solutions.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Have clarities on what you want to do, you may have the full picture. If it means getting the right education or training. Get mentors to support you, also find like-minded support and work hard.

 

29. Estella Ogbonna

CEO,
Alleste Communications
LinkedIn Profile

Estella Ogbonna career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenges were the People. When I say people, I mean persons in all aspects of lives. It wasn't even about the poor economic situation there, as even the rich people were up in the same tricks as the poor. People assumed that because I am also an American, I had too many dollars waiting to be grabbed and duped off of me.  Some others believed coming from the US meant one was a 'mugu' to their tricks and schemes.  Honestly, until the man, woman, boy, girl on the street CHANGE their attitude, things will remain as it is and lots of Nigerians in Diaspora and even foreign potential investors will stay away! Which is not a good thing, economically for the country. 

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

A lot. People still have the mindset that some professions are for men mostly. I see people frowning at women being Danfo Bus drivers or staring at them like they are aliens from outer space. But say in DC here, lots of women drive the Metro buses, even metro trains, Women drive the 18-wheeler trucks etc.  Besides, women are better drivers anyway. In Engineering, women stay in the office, when there are ladies that would easily break down a car and put it back together because women are wired to pay more attention to details.  Every woman, in the fashion industry, wants to be a Seamstress, Dress designer etc...... but the fashion industry is huge! They then leave the Technological part to men. Like Camerawoman, soundstage directors, CAD gurus, App, and fashion software development, sewing machine repairers ....the list is endless.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Perseverance! That's it. My driving force in my career is this: IF that vision or goal I am striving towards is not making me wake up with a little bit of trepidation, then, it is NOT worth pursuing. In other words, I follow goals that seem impossible as that brings out the best in me, because, then, I TOTALLY have to rely on God and my angels to make it happen. The joy at the end is glorious.  NEVER copy anyone. Be yourself! You don't know the vision she has, it is NOT yours. It may not also fall in with your life's purpose and calling.  In everything, wherever you are in your life's goals, Have a heart of Gratitude to God, for even waking up to continue.... and lastly, my favourite words are "Pray to Slay'.

 

30. Josephine Nzerem

Director, Venture and Fellowship,
Ashoka Africa
LinkedIn Profile

Josephine Nzerem career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Building a career in Nigeria for me was not challenging. I knew where I wanted to be and I followed it up, never relenting. I structured my family life in such a way that both career and family received the necessary attention needed. I put God first and this helped me find my balance.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

The major challenge females face when choosing a career is that most of their growing up life, they have been told repeatedly not to choose certain careers because of their gender. A girl interested in building a career in 'male-dominated areas' might not do so due to lack of support.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

To every girl, go for your dream career do not allow stereotype beliefs and comments stop you and whatever path you choose, be the best. Never play the female card.

 

31. Tomi Imarah

Psychiatrist, Managing Director,
St. Tomi’s Haven
LinkedIn Profile

Tomi Imarah career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

A major challenge I have had to face in the course of building my career is finding the balance between work and family. I have had frequent settings in which I had to turn down career advancement opportunities because they were in conflict with my roles as a wife and/or mother.  

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

We have been lucky in Nigeria because we experienced an early wave of gender neutrality in career choices. There are female engineers, male hairdressers etc. The list is endless. 

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Dear young Nigerian women, explore accelerated career growth in the free seasons of your life. A time is coming when you will have so much on your plate and you will have to shelf some career leaps and bounds transiently.

 

32. Nkiru Pat Onusulu

Executive Director,
Soft Touch Cosmetics and Make Overs
LinkedIn Profile

Nkiru Pat Onusulu career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

The major challenge I encountered while trying to build a career was poor knowledge on how to run the business then. I made some mistakes that cost me money. Then the fear of uncertainty too contributed.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To an extent, gender Inequality has affected career choices in Nigeria because there are some areas that are totally forbidden to females to take up. Then if the lady is married, sometimes her husband forbids her from pursuing certain careers.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice to young females trying to build a successful career is to make sure they get adequate knowledge of how to run the business. They should be prepared to encounter losses. They shouldn't give up no matter what. Patience is key even when frustrated to quit.

 

33. Mary Alugbin

Project Engineer,
Addax Petroleum
LinkedIn Profile

Mary Alugbin career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

As a female Engineer, I have encountered numerous challenges on different projects and for different companies, I have worked, but looking beyond gender, one major challenge I encountered building a successful career in my field was getting a job as a permanent staff with an organization of my choice. In our country, if you do not graduate with a first class or a second class upper and you don’t have major connections, it is difficult to get the opportunity to be a permanent staff of an organization, as this comes with some benefits of company training, better welfare etc., but I made it a conscious effort to ignore this, be the best me I can be, I invested in training myself where required, I also ensured I used the “on the job” opportunities to learn as much as I could. I also have mentors (both Engineers and technicians) who helped me and are still helping me in my career journey.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Gender inequality has really affected career choices for females in Nigeria, especially in the engineering field and this starts from the home. Firstly, parents discourage their female children from studying Engineering as they label it as for men only. Secondly, even we female Engineers, don’t encourage younger ones as we make them feel that it’s a very difficult career and even choosing another career path immediately after the degree. Another challenge, we experience is gender inequality in the place of work, until you prove yourself in your area of specialization, you would keep struggling, so it takes diligence and hard work in the office place to rise above gender inequality.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Firstly, I’ll like the young females to know that Engineering is a very interesting and rewarding career path and it is not just for our male counterpart as stereotyped, it’s for anyone who loves innovation, design, seeing actualization of design. It is also not “difficult”, so they should not be afraid to venture into Engineering. Secondly, they should understand that your career path starts in the university. You must work hard to ensure you graduate with a good degree that would give you the platform to have good opportunities in this industry. For those who like me didn’t graduate with a 1st class or 2nd class upper, you must work hard, invest in yourself and don’t give up and believe me, you’ll do well eventually.

 

34. Engr. Enita Okonkwo

Infrastructure Engineer,
Primetech Design and Engineering Nigeria
LinkedIn Profile

Enita Okonkwo career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Building a career anywhere in the world, including Nigeria has its inherent challenges. However, I would admit that building a career as a woman in Nigeria has its added setbacks, but looking beyond gender there is so much that can be achieved and while I still find myself in process of growing and developing my career I would speak on my limited experience so as to help others.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To an extent

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

I would start by not necessarily highlighting on the challenges but speaking more about how to be more proactive so as to minimize the effects of challenges or adequately prepare you to tackle them as when they would arise. (As they will come).

 

35. Motolani Olaleye

Environmental Consultant,
PAMM Environmental Services Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Motolani Olaleye career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

In my field, there are various challenges. The major challenge was not being taken too seriously until proven capable of doing the job. As a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated field, everything has to be done with extra effort and the means to prove your capabilities in achieving and successfully completing a project.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

I think maybe a few years ago, it was a big issue for ladies to be found in some tough work settings, but the world at the moment is continually embracing females in sectors that were thought not ideal a few years ago. In this current age, there are huge encouragements for females to venture into desired careers.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice to young vision driven females who want to build a career is to ensure they have a passion for what they want, and for them to see themselves create a legacy in their chosen career.

 

36. Omotara Fagbuyi

Communication Consultant,
Sterling Bank Plc
LinkedIn Profile

Omotara Fagbuyi career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

I'd say self-realization. Understanding oneself enough to know what career suits your personality and will help project your strengths. This is the key to ultimate fulfilment while growing a career. It took a while for me to understand myself and the career path I wanted to embark on, but when I finally cracked it, I became fulfilled with every career decision I've taken ever since.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Times are better now and this is evident in the career choices of each gender. Today, men are hairstylists and fashion designers, women are surgeons, engineers, architects and the likes. So I believe it's all in the mind. You can be whatever you set your mind to be, stereotype or not.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Never be ashamed, Work hard, be humble, be kind but never be a fool. Believe in your self-worth, Never give up and Pray always.

 

37. Betty Afolabi

General Manager,
Bangadonase Nigeria Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Betty Afolabi career

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

You will hear people say that farming is a man's world. Meaning, women only carry the produce home and convert it into food. The major challenge I had was being heard and being endorsed as an aquaculturist. Whenever I was referred to consult for a fish farmer, you will hear things like "you are a female?", "are you sure you can do this?" So it took a lot of professionalism, hard work and persistence to be able to establish myself as a fish farmer and consultant. 

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Recent surveys have shown that women are marginalized in many decent career choices and are limited to trading and maybe teaching. So gender inequality has affected the career choices of females in Nigeria to a great extent. Women constitute half of Nigeria's population, they play vital roles as mothers, producers, managers, and community developers. Findings show that their contributions to the social and economic development of society are more than half as compared to that of men by virtue of their dual roles in the production and reproductions spheres. Despite all this, women continue to face disadvantage and discrimination in their area of life, especially in career choice. Even though some women are well represented in some position of responsibility, they are still discriminated against. Hence there is a need for the Nigerian government to focus on gender disparity problem. Although we have women now taking positions such as governors, farmers, producers, engineers and a host of others, we still have to work on being respected and not discriminated against, and being able to be in the decision-making board.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice to young girls seeking to develop their careers is to be persistent in doing what they are passionate about. They should not allow gender inequality and failure to devastate them. It is no longer a man's world, but a green vast land where anyone can harness and monetize their passion. Always have a plan so that when life tosses you around, you will have a plan b, c, and d. They should always have a support system, be it a family member, friends or colleague. People that will encourage them when things get inevitably rough. This will go a long way in helping them keep their footing, as they continue to move forward and successfully build their career even when things get tough.

 

38. Ruth Osaigbovo

Master Data Manager,
UAC Nigeria Plc
LinkedIn Profile

Ruth Osaigbovo career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

There are so many challenges affecting career choices in Nigeria. I will mention a few questions people ask themselves before choosing a career path: 1. Will I make as much money that can take care of my needs and wants. 2. Will this career fulfil my passion and drive in life. 3. Will this career secure a good future for me and my family? 4. Will I be able to make an impact in the world?

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

Gender inequality remains a global issue and more so in Africa. Most women are struggling to take care of their kids and husband but without the support of their spouses, they can't go far.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

My advice to all women is to see themselves as equal to their male counterparts. Women should hold on to their dignity and use their brains not their body. Women should also fulfil their responsibility whether they are married or single.

 

39. Rukayat Mope Azeez-Lawal

Higher Technical Officer,
Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency
LinkedIn Profile

Rukayat Mope Azeez-Lawal career advice MyJobMag

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

Actually, I am currently working with a government establishment where there is minimal or no gender discrimination. But there is caucus and also a general saying that "wait for your time"

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

It has really affected so much, I intend to switch to a private industry and the manager was bent on not recruiting female applicant, his excuses were if you employ a female staff in the next 9 months, she will be requesting for a maternity leave.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

The world is advancing, the world also needs the female to reach its full potential. As a young lady, keep on exploring, achieve all it requires to be on top of your career. One day very soon, you will be there.

 

40. Stephanie Obiano

COO,
FUR ALLE Limited
LinkedIn Profile

Stephanie Obiano career advice

a. What was the major challenge you encountered trying to build a successful career in Nigeria looking beyond gender?

1. Our industry is dominated by men, sometimes coming in contact with individuals that are used to dealing with men doubt your ability to deliver. They expect you to be involved in administrative roles and decision taking roles which they only see women handling. Breaking these barriers was one of the major challenges.

b. To what extent do you think gender inequality has affected career choices of females in Nigeria?

To a very large extent because there are professions dominated by men e.g. engineering. Sometimes seeing a girl child pick interests in certain professions, they are expected to pick courses related to the female gender thus shapening the girl child mentality to be only relevant in certain fields. Citing engineering as a case study, in a class you see a huge number of the male with respect to females. But this is changing gradually as technology advances.

c. What is your advice to young Nigerian females trying to build a successful career?

Follow your dream, follow your passion, never let anyone tell you, you can't achieve anything because you are female. You are more powerful than you think and you have the ability to be an entrepreneur, a pilot, an astronaut, a geologist, our first female president, a mother et al for you anything is possible.

Conclusion

As much as you can desire and work hard to achieve success, it is also very important for you to look forward to learning from people that have achieved greater career success than you in your field of interest. You cannot underestimate the power of mentoring and guidance, so it is necessary for you in your career journey to seek advice from people to better help you deal with challenges.

As Edmond Mbiaka puts it:  “You could be the next person to succeed if you choose to learn from successful people instead of being envious of them. Moreover, aren't they successful because they learned and continue to learn from others?” remember not to be too self-sufficient and keep an open mind towards learning and improvement.

If you find this resource helpful or you have a piece of advice, do well to drop your comment in the comment session.

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