5 Nigerian Companies with the Most Powerful Women on ...
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Companies - July 4, 2023

5 Nigerian Companies with the Most Powerful Women on Their Boards

Nigeria, a vibrant and diverse country in West Africa, is home to a growing number of companies that are breaking barriers and promoting gender equality by empowering women in leadership positions.

In recent years, several Nigerian companies have made significant strides in fostering gender diversity on their boards, with women taking up influential roles and making their voices heard in the corporate world. 

This article highlights five Nigerian companies with the most powerful women on their boards, showcasing their remarkable contributions to their respective industries and setting inspiring examples for future generations.

United Bank of Africa, UBA

The United Bank of Africa, UBA is a Multinational pan-African financial services group headquartered in Lagos Island, with subsidiaries in 20 African countries and offices in London, Paris and New York. 

UBA was ranked in a recent report by Agusto Consulting as one of the Nigerian companies with the highest number of women on their boards. This is in line with their commitment to ensuring equality for both men and women. One of the powerful women on the board is Erelu Angela Adebayo.

Erelu Adebayo holds a Bachelor of Science honours in Social Science and a Master in Business Administration. She occupied the position of the First Lady of Ekiti State from 1999 to 2003 and has previously served on the boards of several organisations.

Before joining UBA as Non-Executive Director, Erelu served on the boards of  Dangote Foundation, DN Meyer Plc, Afriland Properties and Wemabod Estates. She is also the founder of the Erelu Adebayo Foundation and Erelu Adebayo Children’s Home. 

Lafarge Africa

Lafarge Africa is a member of the Holicm Group, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. It serves Nigeria with a wide range of building and construction solutions designed to meet housing and construction needs.

One powerful woman on its board is Elenda Giwa-Amu. Elenda is an interior designer who serves as the CEO of Chandrea Lifestyle Limited. Before joining Lafarge Africa, she served as the former Executive Secretary, of the Cross River State Carnival Commission. 

Elenda is also the prime driver of Calabar Carnival, which is regarded as Cross River State’s most enduring brand. The carnival is famous for having over 19,000 participants for five years. She also previously occupied the Head of Private Banking position at Chartered Bank now Stanbic IBTC.

Guinness Nigeria

Guinness Nigeria is a Nigerian-based subsidiary of Diageo Plc of the United Kingdom was incorporated in 1962 with the building of a brewery in Ikeja. The Nigerian brewery has five powerful women on its board of directors. 

One such is Tariye Gbadegesin, an investment professional with over 20 years of experience in finance, principal investments and infrastructure. Tariye who sits as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment LTD has mobilised over $3 billion of capital for infrastructure projects across the African continent.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings

Another Nigerian company that has powerful women on its board of directors is Stanbic IBTC Holdings. The financial service company which offers transactional banking, saving, borrowing, lending, investment, insurance, risk management, etc. 

One such is Rabi Isma, an Independent Non-Executive Director on the bank’s board. Rabi has previously held positions like Director of HR Business Partnering & Health and Safety at Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (operators of 9Mobile), HR Consultant and Lead (international assignment) at Etisalat Sri Lanka and Director of Leadership and Organization Development at Etisalat Nigeria.

Nigerian Breweries

Described as the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries also has five powerful women on its board. Amongst them is Juliet Anammah, the immediate past chief executive officer of Jumia Nigeria. 

Anammah has over 30 years of professional experience covering consulting, consumer goods, sales, marketing, e-commerce and sustainability. She occupies the Chair Nigeria and Chief Group Sustainability Officer, Jumia, having previously held the role of CEO, Jumia.

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