These women have been able to break the barriers and are been celebrated for their accomplishments, recognized for changing narratives and making room for other women to thrive through their various endeavors.
In celebration of International Women’s Month, we highlight these women who are using their platforms to embrace equity.
Esther is the founder of Women of Rubies, a newspaper columnist, author, public relations and media strategist, and women’s advocate. She uses her online platform as a storyteller to highlight the contributions of Nigerian-Canadian women across the country.
Her work as a community builder and activist has been instrumental in helping to bridge the gap between the Nigerian and Canadian communities, creating a sense of belonging and connection for those who have immigrated to Canada. As a gifted storyteller, Esther uses her storytelling skills to raise awareness about social issues and inspire others to take action.
Esther’s stories often focus on the experiences of women, particularly those of Nigerian-Canadian women, and the unique challenges they face as immigrants in Canada.
She also anchors a talk show, “Get Talking with Esther” an online talk show aimed at helping individuals put their thoughts to words, promote positive living, and find their voices
Esther recently authored her second book “How To Make Affirmations Work For You”, a self-help book to help folks disrupt negative thinking habits and build a new route in their brain for positive thoughts through daily positive affirmations. She is one of the 100 Most Influential Female Founders in Africa.
2. Brenda Okorogba
Brenda Okorogba is an award-winning service and learning experience designer. She has a gift for creating targeted public services and learning solutions that address relevant classroom, workplace, community, career, and business needs in advancing opportunities for equity-deserving groups in particular.
Her client-centered approach and dignity-informed methodologies have resulted in over $40 million in grants for nonprofits, small business owners, and startup entrepreneurs. Students have successfully secured more than $80.4M in college funding, transitioned into dynamic career paths, learned specialized skills, built positive personal identities, increased their social and emotional learning skills, and improved their leadership abilities.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of social-impact-driven Canadian Charitable organizations where she contributes her time and ideas on issues focused on gender equity and social inclusion, youth education and employment, workforce development, immigrant women, affordable healthcare, and housing.
2. Omoshalewa Onayemi
Omoshalewa Onayemi is a Tri-qualified lawyer licensed to practice in Alberta, Ontario, and Nigeria, she currently works at a global recruitment firm and handles all the commercial and legal operations of the business Canada-wide. She is a serial entrepreneur, a blogger, an influencer, and a career woman.
Omoshalewa’s passion for fashion and food led her into establishing businesses, @kz_by_shally, which is a one-stop hub for all things fashion and accessories, @the_yum_cuisine, a food blogging page where she also sells e-meal plans and e-recipes and blogs about all things motherhood from bump to birth and beyond, on her page @mumsaffair_ng
Shally O” as she is fondly called by many, is also a community personality who dedicates her time to promoting and creating visibility for Nigerian businesses in Canada through her platform @naijapreneurcanada.
3. Dr. Kelechi Okoro
Kelechi Okoro is a multi-talented, multi-award-winning, and versatile Medical Doctor with an impeccable track record in civic and entrepreneurial activities. She is a Sustainable Development Goals advocate, with a focus on SDG 3: Good Health and Well being and SDG 4: Quality Education, and SDG 5: Gender equality.
She Is the convener of the “Pay Attention to Her (PATH) project which focuses on menstrual, sexual, and reproductive health for women and girls, especially in underserved communities.
PATH is a project of Heal for Africa initiative, (HFAI) a Non-Governmental Organization “committed to transforming Africa one community at a time. Other projects by HFAI include “SDGs Tutor” to accelerate knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals, “Heal The Slums” providing health, education, and advocacy for livelihood in underserved communities and “Help Free Zone” project, a Hepatitis sensitization, screening, and vaccination exercise.
Through her “Healthertainer” brand, She has recorded massive successes in effective health communications, reaching millions across various social media platforms, thereby increasing health literacy and influencing Nigerians and beyond to make healthier decisions. She has worked with notable international brands such as MTN, TECNO, Three Crowns, Arla Dano, Leadway Insurance, Dettol, GSK, Roche Diagnostics, Ariel, Etc
She also founded “Health Hub Africa” which houses top health influencers, innovators, start-up founders, and many other outliers in Africa, collaborating and creating innovative solutions in the health sector.
She is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for health and social development in Nigeria.
Outside the hospital and civic space, she also does public speaking, compering corporate events, and volunteers with other non-profit organizations to propagate other worthy causes.
4. Larmmy Ogidan-Odeseye
Larmmy Ogidan-Odeseye is a wife, mom, Senior Software Analyst, Business Strategist, fitness coach, real estate investor, and entrepreneur. The Obafemi Awolowo University-trained Zoologist is also the CEO of JeLarmmy Enterprises, JeLarmmy Homes, and the newly established JeLarmmy Travel companies.
Larmmy’s passion for issues centered on mental health nudged her to become a co-founder of HeartCafe, an NGO focused on mental health awareness. As a fast-rising Twitter influencer with over 50 thousand followers, Larmmy a.k.a Chelsea Godmother co-hosts a Twitter Space session called HeartCafe every Friday at 5 pm on her Twitter page with her co-founder/psychotherapist, Dedoyin Ajayi, through Heartcafe they have helped over 160 individuals receive free therapy sessions.
Larmmy is also a trustee of ProjectHope, an organization focused on philanthropy, providing skills acquisition platforms to individuals, scholarships, and community development.
This mom of three kids wears many hats. As a Nigerian living in the USA, she has a full-time job as a senior software analyst, two consulting side jobs in I.T., and was recently an Executive Producer for the short film “Mirror” currently streaming on Youtube.
5. Gusi Tobby Lordwilliams
Gusi Tobby Lord Williams, fondly called Lord T of Impact is the founder of one of Africa’s fastest-growing female volunteering networks “Girlhub Africa”. Toby is also a talk show host and a professional make-up artist. The young serial entrepreneur is very passionate about creating more opportunities for African women and is dedicated to her humanitarian service and believes women are a treasure trove of possibilities.
She started her career in the sector as a volunteer and Research Development Support Specialist with the United Nations Volunteers Corp through Girl Hub Africa, where she was responsible for facilitating volunteers training and recruitment for organizations, providing direct demand-driven technical assistance and corporate social responsibility services to private sector-led firms in Nigeria.
Through Girl Hub Africa, she has led over ten thousand volunteers across Nigeria, within an astonishing two years of starting from different works of life, with more than five thousand youths benefitting from this initiative through gainful employment.
The Law graduate from the University of Benin is a multi-award recipient. She recently received an award as the top 100 most Influential African, and she is a notable alumnus of the GOTNI leadership center.
Toby enjoys connecting young people to local and global opportunities where they can excel in their careers, personal brands, and their businesses and she is committed to strengthening organizational systems, building capacity, and fostering sustainable growth of young people through innovative volunteering and development support.
6. Ariyike Akinbobola
Ariyike Akinbobola has a Certificate in Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice from Harvard X and she also coaches Immigrant families relocating abroad on expectations and how to navigate their new reality she consults for aspiring authors who want to learn how to self-publish their books on Amazon.
Through her Ariyike Arise Initiative Africa, she has helped to fund the education of Children in disadvantaged communities in Africa.
In 2020, they donated one thousand facemasks to People in disadvantaged communities in Ajegunle, Lagos, Nigeria. She believes the world would be a better place if everyone did more for others.
In 2021, Ariyike Akinbobola became the first winner of the Immigrant Leader Award at the Universal Women’s Network Women of Inspiration Award.
As an advocate for Female Genital Mutilation abandonment in Nigeria, she volunteered as a digital advocate for UNFPA/ UNICEF and was recognized as the UNFPA / UNICEF Frown Award – Female Genital Mutilation Abandonment Advocate of the Year amongst other recognitions.
Ariyike also volunteers as a Literacy Ambassador for Project 99A in Canada and a Mentor with the Canadian Multicultural Group.
Her books, Beautifully Coloured and The Cost of Our Lives, both Amazon Bestselling books are available on Amazon. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, dancing, meeting new people, and creating content on her YouTube channel. Ariyike is married with Children.
8. Nnenna Uboma
Nnenna Uboma is also an Analytics Senior leader and has over 20 years of experience leading high-performing analytical teams to develop industry-edge solutions in one of the leading financial institutions in Canada. Her passion for tutoring and coaching analytical professionals over the past decade made her a sought-after speaker at different conferences across the globe. She has mentored many successful professionals in Analytics.
The Amazon whose teenage daughter is the CEO of Beyond Math spends her spare time nurturing High School kids in Leadership and Entrepreneurship skills. Nnenna was recently recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women.
Nnenna Uboma is the Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) of Beyond Math, It provides a strong foundation for STEM-based education and the capability to excel in a mathematical and quantitative discipline.
Beyond Math offers classroom franchising to undergraduate students empowering them on their first step into entrepreneurship. Nnenna is an Analytics Senior leader and has over 20 years of experience leading high-performing analytical teams to develop industry-edge solutions. Nnenna is known for her “Can do” attitude and ability to think out of the box.
Nnenna has grown a passion for tutoring and coaching analytical professionals over the past decade. She has mentored many successful professionals in Analytics Nnenna spends her spare time nurturing High School kids in Leadership and Entrepreneurship skills. She was recently recognized for her work at the 100 ABC.
9. Winifred Njoguani
Winifred Njoaguani is a multi-talented and experienced customer relations officer, a communication media creative, and an audio, visual, and text content creator.
The host of The Word of Wini Podcast, she is passionate about equity for females all over the world, creating content for female-based platforms like The Girl Power media.
10. Maryam Muritala
Maryam Muritala is an internationally trained Lawyer who was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008. She worked in the Corporate Sector with various companies with a huge focus on Business and Technology law before relocating out of Nigeria. She is also a seasoned and Award-winning Entrepreneur, who has helped individuals launch successful businesses across five continents through Canada Vendors, a Business Development and Advertising Company using digital marketing tools to give structured visibility to businesses across Canada and the diaspora.
At Canada Vendors, they offer Business Development Consultations and Solutions, Advertise brands using digital technology, connect service providers with prospective clients, and host Business Networking Events. Between 2020 and 2022 during the lockdown, we interviewed 255 Small businesses across various communities in Canada offering support for successfully hosting BRAND EXPO in 2021 and 2022
Canada Vendors launched a mini-series on youtube in 2021 titled “THE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY” spotlighting business owners across communities in Canada, so far we have interviewed entrepreneurs from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Alberta.
The series is ongoing and they hope to spotlight more entrepreneurs across Canada.
11. Mariam Adeyemi
Mariam Adeyemi is the founder of TechaVilly, a technology training platform aimed at empowering the black community through skills and knowledge transfer. She founded the company alongside her college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is also a tech enthusiast and currently works at Amazon USA.
Techavilly was founded in 2020 and has trained over 10,000 black people from 2020 to date, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market.
Mariam has worked in reputable companies. She moved to the United States of America in 2017 to improve her skills to remain relevant in the job market. She got her master’s degree in Business Analytics from Texas A&M University in Texas and was privileged to work in companies like Samsung Electronics America and other mid-sized companies in the United States.
She is the first female EdTech (Educational Technology) founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa. She is committed to bridging parent-teacher communication while developing and transforming the child in the process. According to Mariam; The goal is to expand across African schools and integrate technology into the school curriculum. Discord App is gradually expanding, and penetration is improving. It is currently available for download on Google Play and App Store.
12. Deborah Ojo
Deborah Ojo started as a class teacher before she established DeborahHomes, a company she built on the core values of honesty and integrity spiced with an uncompromising stand on professionalism. The amazing entrepreneur who is also known for their strategic and focused approach is a real estate agent with RE/MAX, the largest Real Estate company in Canada.
With over 10 years of experience In the Real Estate sector, she has taught over 63 seminars and counting to minority communities on how to Own their piece of real estate free of charge as a way to give back to those communities and help women who have passion for the business find their path and earn a living.
Deborah Ojo has built a solid foundation of clients in her community through her p, professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment to always putting her client’s needs first.
13. Omobabirin Adeola Osideko
Omobabinrin Adeola is a trained Accountant, chartered in Nigeria, the UK, and Canada, she works full-time with the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, as a finance professional.
MINTA (Mummy In the Abroad) otherwise called by her fans, is a First-class graduate of Accounting and holds an MSc in Accounting from the prestigious University of London. Senior Director of Crystal Edge Professional Services (a training and branding consulting company), she is a personal development coach, branding expert and social media influencer. An international and TEDx speaker, she has spoken in different countries (online and offline) and has published six books and 14 e-books.
She has successfully coached over 10,000 people in personal development and branding. Over the last three years, Adeola has helped individuals and business owners build strong and reputable brands online and offline. She is also the founder of Coached By Omobabinrin, a Facebook community of over 20,000 members.
14. Iretioluwa Akerele
Iretioluwa Akerele is a Cybersecurity career coach and mentor who has a reach of over 40,000 people across her social media platforms. She is an advisory board member of Cybersafe Foundation and the founder of Cybarik Limited, United Kingdom, she also founded a Cybersecurity community named Cyblack for African Cybersecurity students in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Akerele uses her social media handles to support Cybersecurity beginners and enthusiasts. In the space of one year, she has provided three batches of cybersecurity virtual internships for beginners in the field. Iretioluwa is a cybersecurity specialist who is passionate about bringing topical issues in Cybersecurity to the forefront.
She co-hosts a monthly Twitter space where she uses her influence to provide opportunities to people interested in the Cybersecurity field. She won the Young CISO of the Year award and End-user advocacy for situational awareness in March 2022.
15. Nantale Muwonge
Natale is an award-winning digital marketing strategist, storyteller, and founder of Black Girl PR. She has helped 2,500 plus entrepreneurs increase their market share over the last two years. She educates them on marketing and digital PR best practices and provides them with an action plan to increase their visibility, so they reach more people to have a bigger impact.
Nantale created Black Girl PR after she suffered a car accident, the pandemic pushed her to get serious about her purpose, and she switched her focus to supporting Black women looking to make an impact beyond what we can conceive.
16. Monisola Bukola
Monisola is the founder and CEO of Sugartowndesserts, a fast-growing cakes, and desserts catering brand that provides custom cakes, desserts & chocolate-covered treats for all occasions and celebrations. The brand, which has since grown in leaps and bounds, is known for its unique tastes, colorful designs, and customer-centric offerings, which stand them out from the pack.
She holds a BSc in Statistics from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria. Monisola is revered for her commitment to excellence, eye for detail, and innovative ideas. In 2023, Women of Rubies named her among the Top 22 Inspiring Women to Watch. She has also been invited to speak at various conferences and events about her experiences as an entrepreneur.
Though the inspiring damsel faced numerous challenges when starting her business, however, she persisted and was able to overcome them through hard work and willpower. Her ultimate dream is to grow Sugartowndesserts, own her own bakery/dessert bar, and establish it as a leading cake & desserts catering brand across Canada. She is also looking to explore new business opportunities and give back to women who desire to impact society.
17. Blessing Timidi Digha
Blessing Timidi Digha has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Female Genital Mutilation. She is a community-based researcher with over 20 years of experience working on issues centered on Gender-Based Violence. She does a lot of counseling around Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and is very vast at the work she does.
Blessing works with individuals, communities, stakeholders, gatekeepers, organizations and most importantly, policymakers, using community mobilization and engagement techniques for social justice. She has played different roles in the success of different policies in Africa (particularly in Nigeria) and Canada, through high-level meetings, sensitization, training, and contributions.
One thing that makes Blessing happy is seeing young feminists she had mentored over the years make giant strides and contribute to the conversations, policies, and rights of girls and women globally. She works part-time with the Nigerian community in Canada providing support, client management, and referrals in a prominent non-profit organization, and works in the movie industry building and rigging sets.
18. Blessing Agu
Blessing studied Music at the University of Nigeria Nsukka because of her love and passion for music, she started singing at age eight. At 13, she became the choirmaster of St. Columba’s Catholic Youth Choir, and at 15, she became the church choirmaster.
At the University of Nigeria, she represented the Music Department at events within and outside the institution.
The American-based artiste is currently a graduate student in the Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame, She possessed a Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and has worked as a Vocal and Dance teacher at Lekki British School, a Lecturer at St. Gregory Diploma School of Pastoral Music, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, a dance teacher at Learning Ladder Montessori, and a faculty member at HYMNODIA (a reality show centered around the singing of hymns and worship songs).
Blessing has performed at musical concerts and corporate events and played lead roles in operas and operettas with the Comic Opera House, MUSON (Music Society of Nigeria), AMEMUSO (Abuja Metropolitan Music Society), and the Department of Music, University of Nigeria, and different parts of the world. The beautiful singer serenaded the audience with her rendition of the National Anthem at a recent event in Canada.
19. Reni Odetoyinbo
Odetoyinbo is a Nigerian-Canada-based financial content creator, she began sharing resources on personal finance and career development through her YouTube channel, xoReni, during the pandemic.
At 23, she purchased her first home, and her DM was filled with questions on “how she made it”, she then realized she could carve out a niche for herself in the Financial Literacy space.
Odetoyinbo credits the skills she developed at Schulich for kickstarting her content strategy journey. She left her marketing manager role at BMO to pursue her content strategy and speaking dreams full-time.
She was named among #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2022.
20. Chioma Ogamba
The company before it became fully licensed served as a pro bono consultation and guidance service in 2016. Kisha Immigration is affiliated with the Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). The organization renders services such as immigration and citizenship consulting, business immigration, citizenship and residency by investment, settlement consulting, and lots more.
Chioma Ogamba studied Applied Business Computing in the United Kingdom and graduated with First class Honors. The visionary amazon also got educated in four countries: Nigeria, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Being an ardent believer in personal development and never-ending improvement, she immigrated to Canada as a permanent residence, then acquired degrees in Canadian Immigration Consulting, Information Technology, and an MBA (Business administration), graduating at the top of her class with a perfect CGPA of 4.0/4.0 in all three.
21. Joyce Agbanobi
Joyce is the Technical Program Manager Lead at Microsoft with over 7 years + of experience in e-commerce sectors. She is also the Co-Founder of the Black Woman Paving Ways, a platform that aims at closing the digital divide and increasing the percentage of women in STEM, through building initiatives to help women upskill for the future and Matching newbies to their dream Mentors across different Fortune 500 companies.
She founded BWPW with her grad school friend Lola Quadri who is also in the tech sector. Black Woman Paving Ways was created in November 2020 and since then, they have helped 4,000+ women find their unique paths in technology, gain skills for the future, get matched to technical experts, and get their dream jobs.
The goal of her company was not only to bring women into technology but also to make sure they are uniquely skilled and indispensable in their roles. Joyce is passionate and committed to closing the gender gap for women of color in technology.
22. Nkechi Ahanor Wilson
Nkechi wears many hats, she is an award-winning celebrity wig artist, hair artist, and hair vendor based in Canada. A humanitarian, the convener of “THE EMPOWERED WOMAN SUMMIT”
Nkechi is a certified psychologist, a certified aesthetician, and a business mogul with a decade of entrepreneurship. She is a public speaker, lover of God and humanity, and passionate about empowering women all over the world using innovative technology and hands-on skill set and training to build a wholesome woman who could stand the test of time. Nkechi is the owner CACOSA brand, which consists of hair and Skincare, and Shoreline Pacific International.