Anuli Ola-Olaniyi : Helping young women get employed with H.E.I.R

The indefatigable Anuli Ola-Olaniyi is a social entrepreneur , project manager, blogger and a contributor for several online platforms . Apart from being a mum and wife she runs HEIR. An organisation that helps prepare young women for successful careers. Apart from extensive work experience in the UK and Nigeria she delivers cutting edge training that has elevated people both in their professional and personal life. She blogs on www.heir.com.ng. Let’s learn more about this amazing woman.

 

Anuli tell us a little about your growing up years and educational background  (to give us some insight into your life and what has made you so outstanding). 

I grew up in a family of 8. First daughter and first born, so you can imagine the leadership traits I was born with (laughs). My early years education was in a military school as well as my college years. I went on to study Psychology for my first degree and then went on to get a Masters in Human Resource Management

I took on the challenge to be certified in Project Management and have worked professionally with this for over a decade. My most recent learning is getting certified in Digital Skills and working towards my PMP certification.

 

You have an interesting CV: Thomas Reuters, LSE etc… Tell us what you learnt from all these experiences

Thank you, living and working in the United Kingdom was a lovely opportunity I am grateful for. Developing professional experience in the United Kingdom also gave me a sense of ‘can do’ attitude. I worked with the best companies and best teams and I always took opportunities to add value and stay relevant. I learnt how to provide solutions, complain less, be a team player working towards the same goal and most importantly, to be irreplaceble and indispensable.

I apply my learning across what I do currently. I support in the running of my family businesses, one of which is in the Hospitality Industry. I take and make decisions that impact the businesses and my experiences, both home and abroad, are really helping a great deal.

Now let’s talk about HEIR how it was conceived and all you have been able to accomplish via this organization

HEIR is a social enterprise founded to support young women in careers. HEIR actually stands of HARDWORK, EQUALITY, INTELLIGENCE, RESPECT.

The current unemployment statistics like everything else has women as the most negatively impacted. For instance according to a report by NBS unemployment for women was at 15.9% and 12% for men. Under employment for women was at 22.9% and men was 16.7%. I have sat down and interviewed many young women  between the ages of 18 and 35 and I always leave with a feeling of sadness towards the outcomes of some of their interviews. Most lack basic interview skills and have no idea what it means to make a long lasting impression, let alone secure a job and build a successful career.

HEIR was born out of my need to close a gap and provide solutions to the unemployable status of youth, especially young women. Like I always say that if everyone is an employer, who will be the employee? So, my role is to prepare a people who are employable and can grow a career so when those jobs start showing up, they will be well prepared and ready to occupy the leadership positions and decision making positions. This is done primarily through the Hire Me Bootcamp. We have another product we are working on launching within the year and it is also service oriented towards the young women and men  from a career perspective.

Sounds amazing! Are there any notable success stories from these young women you have helped that you would like to share? 

Absolutely. We measure success by how many young women begin to get called for interviews (that were never called before) and eventually secure a role based on our support. We have successfully held 3 Hire Me Bootcamps in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) since our inception only 12 months ago and have had an average of 25 young women in each session. More than 20% have gotten jobs after attending our Hire Me Bootcamp.

I have also participated as a Digital Skills Trainer, with SDG partnership with Google and Mind The Gap NG. Many success stories resulting from this is documented on MTG’s website. We provide other areas of support from our platform such as mentoring and we find that this is really one area young women need immerse support. One of our most recent success story is a young lady who got accepted to the YALI Network and another who just got elected as a school prefect. This is to show you our diverse support platform and how are target audience benefit from our mission you can also visit our Facebook page, @HEIRWOMAN to see stories of  documented beneficiaries as well.

One of the excuses a lot of young women give is motherhood…being a mum yourself can you give us practical advice on how you have been able to juggle a thriving career and motherhood 

 To be honest Chioma, the reason is real (laughs).  I have learnt that any reason is a good reason but is that reason enough to keep you content? My love and practice of Project Management has enabled me have a rudimented lifestyle. Yes, everything has its priority and I must find a way around it because I need to meet my goals to achieve my purpose. I don’t have it all worked out so, everyday is different for me as a Mum and Wife.

One thing I enjoy and relish is the support of family but it does not negate my responsibility as a Mom and Wife.  I do what I need to do, when I need to do it. It takes practice for those ladies who may feel the need to do this. Consistency and ensuring you manage time for the right and appropriate things will help in trying to achieving some type of balancing act that works for you and your family.

 

I find that as women many times we undersell ourselves, something I call “forming” humble while men seem more confident and oversell themselves. What’s your take on this and how can more women be encouraged to be confident without necessarily coming off as arrogant. 

Hmm. That is a tricky but good question Chioma.

I guess my background hasn’t enabled me see such behaviours. I have been in very competitive environments so, if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game on, chances are that you will be lost in the crowd. Nonetheless, the cultural mindset serves as a breeding ground for mediocrity and so, women are not given the push they need for fear of coming off ‘arrogant’

I propose that women should be supportive of each other. We should work hard to change the narrative that we don’t support and ensure we are really our sister’s keepers by sharing, learning and providing high standard platforms for women to learn to lead and lead successfully.

For the young woman who is frustrated at being able to get a job what advice do you have to make her stand out.Also apart from your trainings do you offer bespoke sessions where you can counsel such women ?

 The young woman who is frustrated needs to connect with us at HEIR. We have our Facebook and Twiitter active. Better still, contact me. Yes, I offer bespoke sessions and it’s in this type of sessions that we can build confidence and support for all women.

 

This is very girly question but truth is alot of women are interested in looking good and you seem to have that all sorted out. Define your style 

(Laughing) Chioma, I try and it’s not by power nor might. Thank you for the compliment it takes a lot of effort. I watch what I consume physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. I exercise so fitness is part of my life now. My style is what suits my body-type. I love wearing items that give me the sort of impression that anyone would want to talk to me.

 

How do you refresh and rejuvenate yourself ?

Rejuvenation is essential for everyone. I love spending time away doing nothing. I will often pick up a good read during those periods but really, my mind, body and soul should be in recovery when I am away. Other ways I relax are by binge watching a good TV Drama and hanging out having good and intellectual conversations with loads and loads of laughter in between.

Anuli  thanks for talking with us, I’m sure our readers will have learnt a lot!

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