Patricia is an exceptional leader with a strong sense of ethics. She oversees Human Resources across the Group.
She got her first degree in English and Literature and a Master’s Degree in English and Literature as well. Her second Master’s Degree is in Employment Relations & Law. Patricia has over 20 years of experience across 19 countries. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a life member of the Institute of Directors, UK and served as a member of the UK employment tribunals.
Patricia definitely had a lot of encouraging words
What difficulties or barriers have you faced becoming a successful career woman?
As a black female who spent the first 25 years of my career in a white, male-dominated environment, the choice was to avoid focusing on racism or sexism & the proverbial glass ceiling, but work extra hard to hone in on the competencies expected of the dominant culture, thereby standing out not for my colour or gender, but because one also displayed the competences some had reserved for certain groups in the society. With such, it becomes difficult to be ignored or by-passed. I became an Executive Director in my thirties in the City of London.
What’s the hardest thing about being a woman at the top?
Being a woman is gratifying and purposeful. So every woman ought to write a letter of appreciation to her Creator who made them in a superior way. William Golding [British Author – 1911-1993] puts it better:
“I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!’
So again, we must not focus on the hardest things but on the best things about being a woman
After all the success in your career, what keeps you going or inspires you to do more?
It is almost criminal to have so much to give and not deploy to good use.
When I was relocating back to Nigeria, my Italian Friend – a Scholar of Leadership and Greek Philosophy and a Life Coach – sent me a note entitled the “Slide for a new Life” and it reads: “Dear Patricia, Splendid Plan and please consider for the future an activity with two elements: pleasure for you and impact on humanity. We have to leave this planet one cent of millimeter better than when we came in”.
I am therefore not done until I am able to mark myself against these parameters.
How can successful women use their voices and influence to help other women?
All women should amplify their God-given talents and strengths to navigate through, and conquer man-made barriers. We can start by inculcating strong principles into our little sons and daughters as soon as they can speak and reason.
Successful women (and men for that matter) can mentor younger women (and men) – helping them see possibilities, understand the power of emotional intelligence.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
We must recognize a few basic principles. In juggling, some balls will get dropped at some time; all balls are not equal at all times. An important one today may be less so tomorrow; it is all seasonal.
Therefore, as a juggler, I keep an eye on the most important ball(s) at any given time to avoid the season’s important balls being dropped.
We must accept that given the digital revolution, compartmentalization of work and life is no longer realistic. Work-life integration is the new normal.
Finally, God bestowed upon the woman, the ability to multi-task – for like the swan, we glide elegantly and gracefully on the surface while paddling ferociously beneath the waters.
What’s your current favourite song?
Quite a few – but let’s go for Thinking out Loud by ED SHEERAN.