In recognition of International Women’s Day 2022, we sat down with the Women of Micdee to learn about their views on leadership, their professional motivations, and the decisions that have gotten them to where they are today.

In today’s interview, we shine the spotlight on Bolatito Olayode, our Human Resources Officer:

In your experience, what do you think makes a great leader?

I think the ability to respect people for who they are and what their opinions are. The ability to understand who your subordinates are and to continue teaching them how they can be better versions of themselves.

Also, you need to give them the opportunity to show themselves. Give them little tasks and let it be obvious that you weren’t the one who did them, and teach them how to be better and learn better.

What do you think professional women today will look back on and wish they had known or done differently five years from now?

I think we will only need to look back to continually review how well we have used our spaces. Looking back at five years ago there are some things I would have done differently; both in my personal and my professional lives. There are some steps I should have taken which I am taking now, but with the state of the economy and what is happening today, if I had done those things at that time when I had that space to do them, I would not be looking back.

So, I think it is just to review and then get better.

As of now, I feel like women already understand the power that we have and what we can do, so it’s just to improve on it.

In line with this year’s IWD campaign theme, how you do intend to #breakthebias in the workplace and in life generally?

I think it’s just continuing to represent women. I think we’ve gone past the point where there’s gender inequality that we used to deal with, so we just need to promote the fact that women can do more.

There is a space we need to carve out for ourselves and even though it may be small at first, it can get bigger if everybody understands that we can be leaders in our fields regardless of the fact that we are female or married or have children - balancing all these factors and putting ourselves first as important people in every sector we are in.

Over the years, have you encountered any barriers to your success or growth as a woman?

No. I have had people who have been like my backbone over the years who already knew me and knew that I was capable. These people could see what I couldn’t see in myself at a very young age and they continued to teach me and help me work through my mistakes.

So, I didn’t really have barriers. What I had was supportive people who gave me the zeal to prove them right and do all I had to.

Was it always part of your plan to become a leader?

Yes. When I started my career, I could see my manager at that time; the way she behaved, how she carried herself, and the way she led everybody, and I always wanted to get to that position.

My position is one that is about impact. You impact people in the workplace and this is where people spend half of their lives so you need to understand these people and make them better. You need to try as much as possible to make them comfortable because what happens here affects their outside lives.

What are some of the traits you admire amongst the women you’ve worked with?

The ability to give others the opportunity to make a change and take initiative.

My former boss would give me documents to draft and when I come back to her she would say, “Bola I want you to think more than me.” Those times used to stress me in the beginning because she had taste and would always say, “this is not what I want,” and you would just have to give her the best.

They always appreciate the work you do and let you know when you’ve done well. They would always give opportunities and prime you for success.

What is the greatest risk you’ve undertaken in your career?

I think that would be moving from a very comfortable environment to a sector I knew nothing about.

What has helped you build confidence professionally?

Experience. The fact that I started and learnt from the beginning has given me confidence.

Also, the fact that I had people supporting me helped build me up.