For Mothers’ Day, we celebrate five female executives and entrepreneurs who have successfully combined full-time jobs and motherhood, beating the odds to get to the top of their chosen fields despite how sometimes society makes it difficult for women to be in positions of power.
Being a mother can as well be a full-time job, especially in African societies where there are set duties in the household traditionally designated to women. Running a full-time career or profession together with motherhood can be very tasking, but some women make it look effortless.
On Mothers’ Day, we celebrate a few of these women who have proven that all women regardless of their ambitions can soar high in their chosen careers and successfully manage their homes.
Owen Diana Omogiafo
Mrs Owen Diana Omogiafo is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation Nigeria. She was appointed in March 2020. Prior to her appointment as MD/CEO, she was a board member of Transnational Corporation Nigeria and also a board member and Transcorp hotels Nigeria one of the assets of Transnational Corporation.
She was born in Benin Nigeria and attended the University of Benin where she had her first degree in Anthropology and Sociology before getting a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She also studied at the Lagos business school and IESE Business School, Spain.
She is married to Mr Osato Omogiafo and together they have three children.
Mrs Tara Durotoye is a lawyer and the Chief Executive Officer of the pioneer make-up brand in Nigeria, House of Tara which she first launched in 1999. She set up make-up studios using international standards and established the first make-up in Nigeria. She has over 23 stores, a vast range of products and 10,000 representatives all around Africa.
She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and attended Lagos State University where she graduated with a law degree. Immediately after her graduation she set up the House of Tara beauty studios and grew it into the powerhouse that it is today. She has won several awards such as the Africa SMME Award, Entrepreneur Award, and was listed on the Forbes list amongst the top 50 powerful women in Africa.
She is married to Mr Fela Durotoye and together they have three children.
Mrs Oluwatomi Somefun is the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of Unity Bank one of the pioneer commercial banks in Nigeria. She was appointed MD/CEO in 2015 and holds the position till present. Before working as MD/CEO of Unity Bank, she worked at Peat Marwick and co. where she started her career and at Arthur Anderson LLP (now KPMG).
She was born in Nigeria and had her first degree in English at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is also an Alumni of Havard University and the University of Columbia Business School. She is a mother and a grandmother.
Ireti Samuel Ogbu
Mrs Ireti Samuel Ogbu is the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of Citibank Nigeria. She became MD/CEO on August 2020. Prior to being appointed the MD/CEO, she was Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Head, Payments and Receivables, Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG) based in London, UK. She has also been on the Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited for the last 5 years as a non-Executive Director.
She obtained a BA Hons Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University, UK and has an MBA from the University of Bradford, UK.
She is married and a mother to two children.
Mrs Halima Buba is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sun trust bank Nigeria. She became MD/CEO in January 2021. Before her appointment as MD/CEO she worked in Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc in various capacities and was co-founder of TAJ consortium and the deputy general manager in Ecobank Nigeria.
She graduated from the University of Maiduguri with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA. She is an alumnus of Lagos Business School and she sits on the board of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
She is a senior Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, The Chartered Institute of Finance; Control of Nigeria (CIFN), Institute of Capital Market Registrars of Nigeria (ICMR) and Institute of Loan & Risk Management of Nigeria (ILRM). She is also an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), and has sat in the Board of Adamawa Homes; Savings Ltd.
She is married with children.