Financial Times lists Biola Alabi in its Top 100 Global Female Executives
Biola Alabi, the Chief Executive Officer of Biola Alabi Media, has been listed in the FT & HERoes 100 Female Executives 2018 list.
The list highlights women in executive positions across the globe who are working to achieve gender equality in the workplace and support women in senior roles.
Alabi, who has more than 20 years of experience across the continent and in the US, is the only Nigeria-based executive featured in the list.
The media group features an all-female leadership team and more than 75% of its employees are female.
“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,” stated Alabi.
“I am humbled and honoured to be recognised 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”.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.