Financial Times & HERoes Champions of Women in Business 2018 celebrates 100 senior female role models who help to increase gender diversity in the workplace.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Biola Alabi Media, Biola Alabi, has been named in the FT & Heroes 100 Female Executives list for 2018, in recognition of her tireless commitment to gender diversity and inclusion of women in the African workplace. The prestigious annual list celebrates female role models who are actively playing their part to increase gender diversity in the workplace. It also celebrates those working to increase the number of women in senior business roles.

A rare recognition

As the only Nigerian-based woman to make it to the global list, Alabi joins the ranks of some of the world’s most powerful female executives from global companies like Deloitte, IBM, Amazon, Mastercard, WPP, EY and more. With over 20 years in business, both in the US and Africa, Alabi has championed women in the corporate workplace. This, she has done through extensive networking and mentorship, as well as, leading by example; Alabi’s consultancy company has an all-female leadership team, and boasts over 75% female staff.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list
Biola Alabi, CEO & Managing Partner of Biola Alabi Media, makes it to FT’s Top 100 Global Female Executives list

As founder of Grooming for Greatness, a leadership development and mentorship program designed to harness and develop a new generation of African leaders, Alabi ensures a minimum of 70% female intake. She also provides professional and leadership development opportunities for aspiring women in Nigeria and across the continent.

Biola’s thoughts on the accolade

“I have always placed a strong emphasis on doing what I can to support and nurture talented women in business – through mentorship and creating opportunities for others to excel in business and the workplace across Africa. I am humbled and honored to be recognized alongside so many outstanding female executives who are championing gender diversity and inclusion. Yet, I am also aware of how much there still is to do to increase the representation of women in business at all levels.

‘Let me be frank; ‘Africa PLC’ cannot and will not advance at the pace it should, without the amplification of female roles in senior positions. Until we see parity in leadership teams and in the boardrooms, I will be resolute, and vocal in my mission to bring women to the forefront of corporate Africa,” says Alabi upon receiving the accolade.

The rich profile of Biola Alabi

Currently a non-executive Board Member of Unilever Nigeria, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Alabi was the Managing Director for M-Net Africa for over five years.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list
Photo Credit:

During this period, she headed an 80% female executive team before venturing into the realm of entrepreneurship; building on her business and entertainment background to launch Biola Alabi Media, as well as move into movie production.

In the last two years alone, she has produced two of Nollywood’s biggest recent hits, Lara and the Beat (2018) and Banana Island Ghost (2017). She is also the Executive Producer of Nigeria’s no.1 food travel documentary-series Bukas and Joints, currently airing across Africa and in the USA.

Biola Alabi Named in Financial Times’ Top 100 Global Female Executives list
Photo from food travel documentary series, Bukas & Joints

Biola previously worked for Sesame workshop, the producers of globally renowned children’s program Sesame Street, where she surrounded herself with strong female leaders that encouraged and supported her.

She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader as well as, a Yale Greenberg World Fellow. In 2012, Forbes Africa named her one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa. And in 2013, she was AABLA West African Business Woman of the Year.

Founder of INvolve and HERoes, Suki Sandhu says, “these lists have been created with one aim – to create gender parity in workplaces across the globe.

“The role models we’re recognizing aren’t just those who have achieved success themselves. They’re those who are committed to lifting others with them as they climb, and ultimately fueling the female talent pipeline.”

All of the 2018 Champions of Women in Business were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by the FT & HERoes judging panel.




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