Morenike Ajayi (B.sc, M.BA, FCPFA, Prince 2) is a Multiple award winner, a chartered Accountant, Author, Inspirational public speaker, Executive producer and TV presenter. She is happily married to Kenny and they have a son.
Abandoned by her dad when she was 18 months old, her mum was left to single handedly raise her and her sister alone, under tough financial conditions in Nigeria, having relocated from the UK at a tender age of 9 years.
Her mum was a firm believer in education, so home taught Morenike as she could not afford primary education. Morenike later got admission into one of the best secondary schools in Nigeria, which was heavily subsidised by the government but full of children from very privilege backgrounds. Suddenly, she found herself in an intimidating environment and felt like a misfit. As a result, she became so timid, lacked self confidence and underachieved academically.
Age 21 was a Ah!Ah! moment for Morenike… she discovered her God given purpose. This drove her towards pursuing a career in Computer Science and then Accountancy. Her pursuit required faith, determination and resilience to overcome various hurdles over time, including redundancy and stagnation in her career, prior to arriving at her current role. Now, she holds a full time role as a Commercial & Finance director within the financial services.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Yes, I did but this was after my first degree, which was B.Sc Computer Science. I always wanted a career that involved numbers, some logic and rewarding financially.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
- Initially it took over 70 applications to secure a finance graduate training role
- I have been made redundant twice in my 22 years of working as an accountant
- Faced the a glass ceiling mid point in my career for 5 years
- Faced rejection and relegation in my career
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
My current role being the ‘Commercial & Financial Director’ for the London Pensions Fund Authority, an appointment I secured last year September 2019.
My TV show on Sky 193 ‘Career Nuggets”, which has been running for 5 years now.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Determination, Determination, Determination
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I love mentoring and I believe it is highly needed in the career space.
I currently mentor a group of 20 ladies and also been a mentor for the Cherie Blair foundation.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
Robust Policies & Practises in place.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Dream big, Believe in Yourself and Just Go for it.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Be an inspiration to others and help others progress in their career journey. I believe that every one can achieve their career dreams with the right support and given the right opportunity. I look forward to working and being available to work with anyone who desires career progressions.
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