“I help women rise and organisations to build diverse leadership teams" Dr. Anino Emuwa, Managing Director, Avandis Consulting, Founder, 100 Women@Davos
Global award-winning women’s leadership and ED&I expert, and international management consultant, Dr. Anino Emuwa, is a former corporate banker who works at the intersection of entrepreneurship, emerging technologies and ED&I. She sits on several global boards, and works to advance gender diversity in business leadership through the networks she founded - including 100 Women @Davos.
Growing up, we were encouraged to strive for excellence and to believe we could be anything we wanted to be as long as we worked hard. This greatly influenced and shaped my approach to life. I was inspired to go into banking while at boarding school in England when I interviewed a director of an investment bank as part of a sixth-form project. I went on to study monetary economics at the LSE and then secured a role at Citibank to become a corporate banker.
After years in banking, living in several countries in Africa, and working with entrepreneurs, I noticed that a common problem they face was accessing loans. I realised this must be hampering the development of the private sector across the continent and I undertook research into overcoming obstacles to financing smaller businesses and earned a doctorate from Nottingham Business School.
I had also begun to run seminars for women entrepreneurs to help them strengthen their management skills and I found the women gained, not just from the content of the seminars, but from the networking, collaborating, and support from their peers. This lead to my work in women’s leadership and the founding of two communities – 100 Women @ Davos and Africa Women CEOs Network with over 5,000 women leaders in 32 countries
After relocating to France and earning my doctorate with the intention of providing consultancy services to financial institutions to help them improve their capacity for lending to smaller businesses, I discovered that these business leaders required management development training. I founded Avandis Consulting to help bridge this gap.
I currently serve on several global boards including the Geneva-based Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030, founded by Cartier and Kering, set up to achieve sustainability and inclusion goals aligned to the UN SDGs. I am also a member of the board of Governors of the Nottingham Trent University and I Chair the board of a high growth Y-Combinator funded tech venture.
My earliest interactions with IoD started when visiting the UK from Nigeria as a child. My mother, a lawyer, was a Fellow, and life-long member of the IoD. I knew from then it was the place I wanted to be affiliated with from my mother’s experience. In my twenty years as a member of the IoD, I have benefitted from the IoD’s fantastic training and membership diversity, recently attending the Role of the Chair course. 116 Pall Mall is centrally located and a great functional venue for meetings when I am in London.
I am a member of the IoD’s Expert Advisory Group on Inclusion and Diversity which supported the IoD’s Policy Unit as part of the Shinkwin Commission. We advised on best practices to help smaller businesses embed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policies into their organisations. I am also a special advisor to the IoD’s Glass Ceiling group, which brings together like-minded people engaged in furthering the interest of women in business. I firmly believe that EDI has to be a strategic issue for organisations, not simply relegated to HR.
I work to facilitate women’s rise to international and global leadership positions through the peer communities I founded where women can support each other in decision making, access cutting edge leadership development skills and access to business opportunities. Their voices are amplified, and they contribute their expertise and influencing policy and decision-making from board room to global gatherings of world leaders.
As an international management consultant, I specialise in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion advising boards and executives on becoming future forward through building diverse teams, talent acquisition and retention, as well as harnessing creativity and innovation for growth. Helping women to power their careers, whether through one-on-one executive consulting or as a group through our communities, as well as helping organisations to develop more inclusive executive teams and boards and tap into growth opportunities.
I believe we will contribute to economic and social development through gender balanced leadership. I give of my time being a Cartier Women’s judge and mentor of high-impact female entrepreneurs.
The IoD Business Paper – The Future of Business: harnessing diverse talent for Success, a practical guide for Employers – provides an achievable roadmap for smaller businesses ready to embed ED&I and can be found here.