How do you intend to ensure the business continues to thrive?
By being flexible and observant to the needs of my clients. Constantly seeking new opportunities; exploring new ideas to help expand the business.
Aside from property, what have been your smartest investments?
Training events and workshops. A good example was when I visited the Google Digital Garage in 2015. I still can’t get over how much I gained and learnt; and the difference it has made to my business has been amazing. They literally had Google experts sit with you and go through any questions you had. I still utilise a lot of what I learnt that day in my business and even when I work with my clients.
What do you identify as some of the prevailing issues that women face in business and in senior positions?
The main issue is balancing everything that comes with being a woman and still having the career you want without having to give up either. We need to get to a point where we can make these choices without feeling the need to compromise.
I also feel that most women feel the need to fit into a pre-defined box when they become senior leaders. I’ve seen women who feel they must appear a certain way, speak a certain way to blend in with other leaders or be taken seriously. For example, some women feel it’s not possible to be emotional/informal as a senior leader, you almost have to assume a no-nonsense/formal nature the moment you become a leader.
Do you find that ethnicity is a factor at all or is it a level playing field (of discrimination, for example) for women from all backgrounds?
I’ve seen situations where a person’s ethnicity has led to them being discriminated but I’ve also seen situations where a person is favoured because of their ethnicity so I’ll say its 50-50.
I advocate that people rise above the negativity that comes with discrimination and its likes. As difficult as it may be, we have to fight and win – the best way to succeed and win despite all the setbacks.
Have you experienced any scenarios where women have been subject to some type of discrimination, or an incident where gender or ethnicity was a distinguishing or significant factor?
Yes I have. I won’t mention names but I was once asked during a job interview if I had any plans to get married or have a baby within the next few years. I guess they weren’t ready to hire someone who would have to go on maternity leave so soon L
How important is the ‘women in leadership’ agenda to you (i) personally (ii) your organisation? And how are you pushing it forward (i) personally (ii) through the organisation?
I think the women in leadership agenda is very important because from what we’ve seen so far based on research, the figures are shocking. There just aren’t enough women in leadership positions.
It’s important to me and my organisation because without a fair number of women in leadership positions, it just means decisions are being made that affect me and my organisation on every level, which aren’t taking women and the issues that concern us into consideration. More women in leadership means younger ones will have a wide choice when it comes to picking mentors and looking for inspiration.
Being a business owner and leader, I am contributing to the growing number of women who are driving the ‘women in leadership’ agenda directly and indirectly. My position means I can speak about this topic as often as possible and keep it at the forefront of people’s minds. I’m also conscious of the ‘women in leadership’ agenda in all aspects of the organisation and its structure.
Which other businesses and, or business woman do you admire and why?
I really admire Uche Pedro, the founder of Bella Naija. I literally watched Bella Naija grow from a blog to an inspiring and informative entertainment portal. I admire women who are driven to grow businesses that will outlive them. What Uche has done with Bella Naija is indeed admirable and she is definitely one woman to watch.
With all your career accomplishments, what are the principles, philosophies and guidelines that have brought you this far? What do you live by?
Consistency, learning from every experience, take each day as it comes and trusting my instincts. What do I live by – Take each day as a new opportunity to make a difference. Use your 24 hours wisely.
What is your end goal? And what’s next for your business?
The ultimate goal is to become the number one resource for anything to do with weddings. We also hope to set up a specialist branding and consulting agency for businesses in the wedding industry in the near future.