As International Women’s Week comes to an end, when the world comes together to celebrate women “breaking the bias,” (this year’s theme) we thought it necessary to celebrate a total reflection of Nigerian women, who, in addition to being a major corporate executive, is a passionate mother and wife.
In today’s corporate world, maintaining a work-life balance is always a hot topic, especially for women who bear children, nurse them and are very often the primary caregivers of those children.
Many women have had to sacrifice their careers for their families or defer their career dreams to a time when the kids are older and a bit more independent. So it is noteworthy to see women who have not only balanced their careers and personal lives but have also excelled and got to the height of their careers while being fully involved in caring for their families.
Dupe Olusola, the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hilton, is one such woman. Described by Venture Africa as a “woman on the rise in business, and a stickler for high standards,” she is known for her administrative skills, and her passion for women leadership, both in business and in the corporate world.
She became the second female MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels on 12th February 2020. Her work-life balance, despite her many appointments and high administrative duties, makes her a force and an inspiration for women who want to have it all. She has shown us that African women do not have to give up family for a career and that with hard work and dedication, the two can co-exist.
Her academic journey
Dupe was born in 1974 in Lagos State, Nigeria. In 1985, she was enrolled in Queens College, an all-girls college in Lagos, and in 1991 she graduated and obtained her GCE O Levels.
- In 1993, after her college education, Dupe enrolled at the University of Leicester, the United Kingdom where she studied Economics and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1996.
- That same year, she obtained her master’s degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury where she got her M.A in Developing Economics.
Journey into the corporate world
- Dupe Olusola started out at Bloomberg, a software, data and media company, while still in the United Kingdom.
- Her next job was with Northern Trust, an investment bank in London, after which she returned to Nigeria to start what would be an amazing corporate career.
- In Nigeria, she worked at Sectrust (now Afriinvest), before leaving to resume a position as an SME Manager at private equity firm, African Capital Alliance, a position she held for five years.
- In 2008, she resumed at United Bank for Africa in Investor relations, then moved to Transcorp Nigeria in 2010, where she took a position as Director of Resources for 4 years and 10 months.
Dupe Olusola, the ebony-skinned charismatic executive, was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Teragro, an Agribusiness subsidiary of Transcorp Nigeria. She functioned in the position for a year and six months and was named on Ventures Africa’s 10 Most Influential Nigerian CEOs.
- In 2016, she returned to UBA where she served in the capacity of Head, Embassies, Multilateral and Development Organization, and Group Head Marketing.
- After working for UBA for three years and seven months, she returned to Transcorp in 2020 where she was appointed MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels, making her the second female MD of the company.
Achievements and Recognitions
As the CEO of Teragro, she achieved major milestones.
- She was responsible for the acquisition of two farmlands in Benue state Nigeria, which were used for citrus farming.
- She also brokered a deal between Coca-Cola and Teragro to produce for Five Alive Pulpy Orange Juice, making the company the sole source of local material for the juice.
In her current position as MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels:
- She launched Aura by Transcorp, a digital platform that connects people to unique accommodation, great food, and experience. The platform, which is a new subsidiary of Transcorp, was launched as part of its asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality for all to experience.
For her immense contribution to the corporate world, she has received several recognitions:
- She was listed in YNaija’s 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria.
- In 2014, she was named on Venture Africa’s 10 most influential CEOs.
- She was listed as top 4 women in Africa in the Strategic women in Africa Award (SAWIL) in 2021.
Modupe, a family woman
Modupe married her husband, Lanre Olusola, a life coach, in 1999 and she is a mother of two daughters. While many would expect that her work and ambition would prevent her from having any social life, that is not the case.
The Chief Executive Officer makes out time to have an active social life; she spends time with her family and is very active on social media platforms, especially Instagram where she posts pictures and Reels looking good in pairs of six-inch heels.
She is quoted to have said “Slow down and enjoy your time at the university. If you’re not sure about something, ask questions. When in difficulty, don’t give up.”
She has an interest in volunteering as she founded a non-profit organization, Forty for Good in January 2014.
Not only does she have a passion for women affairs and empowerment, particularly about women being in leadership positions, but she is also passionate about the economic development of developing countries.