Owen Omogiafo: a true pioneer who will never be held back

Becoming one of Africa Top 100 female CEOs before the age of 40 is not a small thing under any circumstances. Add that to the fact that she also became the youngest CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the first and youngest woman to lead Transcorp Plc, and you can see a woman who continues to raise the bar and break all standards. glass ceilings. We are talking about nothing less than the incomparable Owen Omogiafo.

She is a Harvard-trained executive, a certified Change Manager from the Prosci Institute, USA, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of People and Development, UK.

Let’s learn more about her fascinating story and how she steadily rose through the ranks to become one of Nigeria’s top CEOs.

An interesting and educational child.

Owen Diana Elaiho was born on May 28, 1980 in Benin City (now Edo State). She recalled having a great childhood. And this was partly due to her privileged background.

Yes, he was born into a wealthy family, so much so that he would later say this: “my spoon was so silver it was almost platinum”. But within a few years, the family’s fortunes turned upside down after his father lost everything he had except her sanity, his dignity, and his family.

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The change was so fast that Owen would later recount how she and her siblings had to walk from one side of the school to the other, sometimes having to turn around on the bus in order to save some money for snacks. Despite that, her parents never compromised her education.

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Owen attended the University of Benin UDSS Demonstration Secondary School (UNIBEN), Benin City, and then attended the University of Benin where he earned a B.Sc. in Sociology and Anthropology. She proceeded to the London School of Economics and Political Science to obtain an MA in Human Resources. She would later attend the Lagos Business School and IESE Business School, in Spain, to hone her business skills and acumen.

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Your career growth path

Owen officially began her career as a relationship manager at Bond Bank in 2003, and after a year there, she moved to Accenture to become an Organizational and Human Performance Consultant (specializing in Change Management). While at Accenture, she covered various projects and clients in the public and private sectors and various industries.

In 2008, Owen left to join the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as a Human Resources Advisor to the GMD/CEO, and her professional training accelerated. About working with Tony Elumelu (TOE), Omogiafo said that she had to temporarily fill the position of someone who went on maternity leave, and she took it very seriously. She was going to be released for four months and when the four months were up, she was forced to stay in the executive office of the UBA.

After serving at UBA for two years, Omogiafo moved to Heirs Holdings Ltd, where she was Human Resources Director and Resource Director, responsible for establishing structures for optimal human and machine engagement and deployment within the group.

She went from that point to becoming Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in 2010. She was an integral part of the team that oversaw the $100 million Program aimed at identifying, mentoring, and funding 10,000 entrepreneurs in more than of the next decade.

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On the growth of her career, Owen Omogiafo would say “from my initial roles as Director of Human Resources to the turning point in my career when I was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) and subsequently Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Tony Foundation Elumelu, this has been my story. I was able to raise my hand and say I can do it when every opportunity presented itself, and from there, I justified the confidence of those who said go ahead by getting the job done.”

She admits that she is a product of the mentors she has had at different stages of her life. “I had multiple mentors at every stage of my life, from my college days to now. I am lucky to be mentored by one of Africa’s best products, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, President of Transcorp and Heirs Holdings.”

In 2018, Omogiafo left the Tony Elumelu Foundation to take up the role of CEO at the Nigerian Transnational Corporation (Transcorp Plc), a significant feat in her career narrative. Her hard work paid off again when she was announced as the new Chairman/CMO of Transcorp Plc in February 2020. In this role, she had to oversee a company with a shareholder base of approximately 300,000 investors and interests in the energy, energy, hospitality and agricultural sector.

Transcorp Plc includes Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja; Transcorp Hotels, Calabar; Teragro Commodities Limited, operator of the Teragro Benfruit Plant, the first juice concentrate plant of its kind in Nigeria; Transcorp Power and Transcorp Energy Limited.

Owen Omogiafo is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Directors (IoD), as well as a member of the Avon Healthcare Board, where he sits on the Board of the Finance, Investment and Risk Committee and the Audit and Governance Board, as a No executive.

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Omogiafo is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) in Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK and a Certified Change Manager of the Prosci Institute, USA. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD) of Nigeria.

Owen Omogiafo Acknowledgments

One of his interview quotes says, “When you miss milestones, don’t dismiss the goal entirely, rather take stock and continue the journey.” This is a reflection of the focus and courage with which she pursues her goals, and the result looks good in her career.

All of her career successes have not been easy, as she has had to manage various personal and family challenges while pursuing a demanding career. But one thing continually stands out in his story. She says “I can” and her results agree with her. Omogiafo is still considered one of Nigeria’s youngest yet outstanding CEOs, and her bullish consistency in her career development over the past two decades remains commendable.

Business Day (Nigeria) Women’s Hub also named her among the 50 Most Inspirational Nigerian Women. Omogiafo made it to the YNaija – Power List for Corporate Nigeria in 2018, as well as the 50 Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria (put together by Leading Ladies Africa).