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Sujimoto & Women: How Sujimoto Women are Breaking the Bias in a Male Dominated Industry
By on March 10th, 2022. NEWS

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In a world where over 80% are men and an industry highly dominated by men, it is rare to find women taking charge. According to Ray Sedey, “females make up 47% of the country’s total workforce but only 9% are in the construction industry.” However, it is such a breath of fresh air to note that Sujimoto Group is dominated by women. With women holding approximately 57% of the executive positions, Sujimoto Group has already broken the bias by providing a level playing field to everyone irrespective of gender.

Speaking with the Executive Director of Sujimoto Group – Hafsat Yusuf, she narrated her experience on how she started her career at Sujimoto as a sales executive. She said, “I was a timid youth corper who saw an ad and decided to “try my luck”. I was interviewed and got the role as a sales executive. I quickly realized there was a massive opportunity there because I saw people rise rapidly, for example, there was a janitor who became the head of admin. When the GMD says, anybody can come from Ikorodu to Ikoyi, he means it. He gives everyone equal opportunity to rise, it is only left for you to identify the opportunity and grab it – which is what I did. Now I can say, I went from being a timid youth corper who couldn’t sell a pen to the confident Executive Director of the No.1 luxury real estate and construction industry in Africa and I sell multi-million dollar properties.”

Dom Perignons and Fillet Mignons was how the GMD of Sujimoto Group – Mr. Sijibomi Ogundele went all out to celebrate and appreciate the women of Sujimoto. The idea was make sure the ladies knew that he recognized their hard-work, and talent and he appreciates their efforts. He also wanted to create an avenue where everyone could air their opinions and proffer ideas on how to intensify productivity.

At the dinner, the ladies took turns at introducing themselves to each other, as they were all chosen from different departments. Speaking about the ladies chosen, Mr. Sijibomi Ogundele said “I specifically handpicked each of the ladies here today because I see my mother in every one of them. The woman who raised me to be tenacious and imbibed in me strong work ethics, a woman who I have known to work early and close late, and that is why I believe so much in each of them as leaders in their departments. I am confident in their abilities to be more and do more, which is why we have a silent unofficial HR policy of hiring more women because I see them as trustworthy, dedicated, and patient (with respect to all the men).”

The night got emotional for all as the ladies shared their experiences in Sujimoto and what the company means to them. One of the ladies – Dayo, the lead architect who started out as an intern and has been in the company for over four (4) years got teary-eyed as she recanted her story on how she started working at Sujimoto and the progress she had made so far. She said “I had never met Mr. Suji, I didn’t even know if they had any vacancies, I just summoned the courage to send him a DM on instagram and before I knew it, I was called in to have a meeting with Mr. Suji. Now, I use the word meeting because it wasn’t a typical interview, it was more like a talk and what blew my mind was, the talk wasn’t even about what I had on my resume. It was purely about passion, if I understood the brand and his willingness to take a chance on me and for that sir, I am very grateful because that one talk changed my whole life completely.”

Responding to Dayo, Mr. Sijibomi noted “I say hire the best of the best, only quality people, but sometimes, these people don’t come in looking like the potential they possess. Sometimes, I have to dig deep, recognize the potential and make sure it is groomed and utilized. I make it a point to not always look at what is written on the CV, but would rather employ the person that has the passion for the job. When I was starting out, I didn’t have a powerful uncle or a rich aunty, I didn’t even have a college degree at the time, but someone took a chance on me. I have vowed to always make sure I find the diamonds in the rough and polish them till they are shining stars. I am grateful for the caliber of people I have working with me right now, yes they still have a long way to go but I am proud of the progress they have made so far.”

There was a lot to eat and drink at the dinner, in Mr. Sijibomi’s words “order anything you like, the entire menu is open for you but also make sure you order what you know oh!” this statement made everyone laugh and the GMD went on to crack a few more jokes, citing how he used to baby sit one of his nieces and how she would cry a lot but now she is forming “big girl”. There were bottles of Dom Perignon, fillet mignon, an array of lamb chops, pasta, cocktails and desserts flowing around the table. Everyone looked in awe as the Sujimoto Queens had the most amazing night in celebration of the International Women’s Day.

The night closed with the GMD giving a vote of thanks to everyone in attendance, urging everyone to keep up the good work and also intensify their efforts and above all he advised every woman out there to remember how smart they are, “it is not just about the capacity of your looks but the magnitude of your brains and how you can utilize it in solving the world’s problems. If your looks get you in the door, no problem, but make sure your brains keep you in the room and above all make more sales.”

Sujimoto is a luxury real estate and construction company that is dedicated to redefining the luxury real estate industry with transformative experiences through intricately designed architecture. Our services cater to those who have a refined taste for the finer things in life and value opulence in its truest and rarest form.

From foundation to chandelier, we search globally for the world’s most renowned thought leaders in architecture, art and innovation in designing the masterpieces we create. Associated exclusively with bespoke and iconic structures, we offer a lifestyle only the Sujimoto brand can deliver.

Visit our website; www.sujimotonig.com for more information.

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