Adenike Adebola; Marketing And Innovation Director Guinness Nigeria Plc: Empowering A New Generation Of Women Leaders!

Adenike Adebola; Marketing And Innovation Director Guinness Nigeria Plc.

“We should be resolute ambassadors of “pulling the woman back up.” Do it again and again for yourself and every woman that needs to hear it, let us drown the voices that are saying no!” – Adebola Adenike.

Adenike proudly takes her place as one of Nigeria’s power women shattering glass ceilings and it’s no surprise! Particularly intentional about encouraging the women around her to speak up, be fearless, take up opportunities and trust in the skills and talents that they bring to the table. In the same vein, encouraging them to be more demanding of themselves and of the influences they surround themselves with.” this boss lady with eyes ever set on #womensupportingwomen not just as a slogan, has applaudably been able to carry others along on her success journey.

Armed with an ever inquisitive mind, always drawn to a challenge to ensure solutions to problems, Adenike Adebola first got into the Marketing world when she started work with UAC, Mr Biggs, after leaving school. She was appointed Brand Manager after spending the first 3 or so years in operations, she fell in love with Marketing right away. Today, it’s been 20+ years of operating in the marketing function and being exposed to local, regional and global roles, yet the excitement hasn’t dampened one bit. She is proudly described as an accomplished marketer with proven record in marketing strategy and business leadership.

Adenike Adebola, boasting of robust experience spanning Commercial Capability training, Brand Marketing, Innovations and Customer Marketing is current Marketing & Innovations Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc. She is tasked with the responsibility for the Total Beverage Alcohol Marketing Strategy from Reserve through IPS, Mainstream Spirits, Stout, Lagers and Non-Alcoholic brands, joined the top Organisation in August 2005 as Brand Manager.

Prior to her appointment as Marketing And Innovation Director Guinness Nigeria Plc, Adenike who served in several capacities both locally and internationally, was most recently Portfolio Director, Spirits. Prior to that, she was based in London accountable for Guinness’ communications for Africa. She was also responsible for Diageo’s non-alcoholic agenda for Africa spanning 15 countries, leading the new market expansion, innovation and content creation.

She joined Guinness Nigeria in 2005 as a Brand Manager from UACN, with an HND in Food Technology from the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, she also holds a Postgraduate Degree in Management from the University of Calabar and an MBA from the University of Manchester, UK.

She is currently a member of Diageo’s global task force on Inclusivity and Diversity, leading a new wave of brand accountability and participation with tackling negative female stereotypes in the media and in advertising.

Adenike is married to Toyin and they have 3 children.

On being woman and challenges in the career world:

“I think the challenges are mostly the same, and while there may be dimensions that are unique to females, they are disappearing in a lot of organizations. I work for Guinness for instance and Diversity and Inclusion is something that we are very big on. Apart from the demands of family life where in Nigeria (where I come from), we are more traditional and it, therefore, feels like the woman needs more than 24 hours in a day to keep up and match up, and of course the occasional boys club behaviour there isn’t really any major difference. My view though is: if there is a men club, then create a women’s club that provides opportunities for growth and advancement. Also, its important to find creative ways to extend your capacity with traditional home responsibilities so that 24 hours is no longer such a barrier, giving you space and freedom to thrive at being yourself.” Adenike says.

On woman attaining senior positions in the career world:

I have the desire to see women be the best version of themselves. This may not be a popular opinion, but I do think many times, we women, are the ones that discount ourselves. Sometimes as girls, perhaps through circumstances or otherwise, we may believe that we need to settle for less or maybe we have been shut down once or twice and we think it is a reflection of ourselves; so, we don’t want to try again. But actually, it is a matter of opinion of that one person. We should reach out and push harder and just keep going further in spite of this. Of course, for companies, some organisations are just traditional and feel that women will go on maternity leave and have sick children, etc. They forget that the children were born by one man and woman. They also discount the many verified case studies that prove that companies, with a more diverse and inclusive leadership and culture, perform better in the long run. I think things will change as more companies begin to wake up to this reality. For us in Guinness Nigeria as an example, there is a deliberate effort to ensure that we embed diversity and inclusion right across our organisation, from sales to marketing to supply. We understand that this plays a huge part in getting us to our ambition to be the most trusted and respected company in Nigeria and we are committed to it.

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