Research shows that construction has remained a male dominant sector across the world. This is why it excites us at Dutum Construction to see outstanding women who are adding value to the Nigerian construction Industry.
We’re honoring Women’s History Month and showcasing the achievements of inspiring women professionals in this sector. In no particular order, this is
1. Abimbola Windapo
In 1987 Abimbola Windapo graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) as the first woman to study building. In 2020 she got an ad hominem promotion to a full professorship from the University of Cape Town (UCT), which made her become the first woman professor in the field of construction management in South Africa and Nigeria.
She has made numerous important contributions to the construction industry, including research into sustainable contractor development and serving as the chairperson of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment’s (EBE) Transformation Committee in UCT from 2015 to 2017.
According to the University of Cape Town news, further contributions and recognition include graduating five Ph.D. researchers and receiving the 2020 National Science and Technology Forum-South32 Award in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category.
2. Olajumoke Adenowo
Olajumoke is an award-winning Architect, Laureate, Philanthropist, Author, Arbitrator, and Radio Host. She was awarded her Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Obafemi Awolowo University. After which she started her career at FMA Architects Ltd. This is where she had the privilege of designing the Federal Ministry of Finance building in Abuja
In 1994 she founded AD Consulting, a Nigerian-based architecture and design firm. As an architect, Olajumoke has designed over 70 buildings. Her portfolio includes a host of multi-national and Nigerian clients including Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Sterling Bank Plc. Intercontinental Bank Plc. Projects by AD Consulting
In 2012, she won her first International Award. This was awarded to her at the International Property Awards for the Best Public Service Architecture. Some other awards she has won include:
- African Property Awards (Best Mixed-Use Architecture)
- Three IDEA Awards: Best Commercial Designer 2012, Best Interior Architect 2013, and Best Institutional Architect 2014 (The first time a Nigerian woman was given an award in pure Architecture).
In 2018 she was recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as one of the most inspirational women in architecture today.
3. Tosin Oshinowo
Tosin is an Architect, Designer, Creative Entrepreneur, Culture Enthusiast, History Junkie, and Mother. She is a graduate of Architecture from Kingston College London and has a master’s degree in Urban Designs from University College London.
Tosin had worked as a project architect in various firms and projects across Europe and Africa, before establishing CmDesign Atelier where she’s currently serving as principal architect.
According to livingspace.net, her firm was barely 4 years old when Tosin and her team worked on the design of Maryland Mall. The first indigenously designed shopping mall in the country. To date, she is internationally recognized for her unique work on the design of the Maryland Mall in Lagos. Tosin is also the Founder and Chief Executive of House of Lines. A Nigerian lifestyle and furniture design brand.
4. Olayinka Ogunsulire
Olayinka Ogunsulire is the Managing Director of Orange Island Development Company. The company was incorporated as a special purpose company for the reclamation, dredging, development, and ownership of the Orange Island Project.
According to the company website, she is a real estate professional with a background in property investment and development. Prior to joining Orange Island Development Company, she served as CEO of Heirs Real Estate and ARM Properties Plc. She also worked with Capital Alliance Nigeria as a Vice President in charge of the real estate fund and managed the property portfolios of the National Bank of Nigeria and UBA Trustees Limited. She is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. And is one of the leading property development professionals in Nigeria.
Related: Breaking the bias in the construction industry
5. Torkwase Iyortyer
Mercy Torkwase Iyortyer is a Nigerian woman of many firsts.
According to an article published by Guardian: She is the first female quantity surveyor in the northern region of Nigeria. She was the first female chairperson of a chapter in the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (FCT Chapter). She was also the Pioneer and Founding Chairperson of the Women Association of Quantity Surveyors (WAQSN). It doesn’t stop there; she was the first woman to represent the Institute on the Council of the African Association of Quantity Surveyors, also the first woman to be elected into the position of the Deputy President of the NIQS unopposed.
Torkwase rounded it off by becoming the first-ever female president of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. She served from 2015 – 2017.
She worked in the public sector and rose to the rank of an Assistant Chief Quantity Surveyor with the Federal Capital Development Authority, Abuja, before retiring in 1991 to start her own business in the private sector with Zihabit Limited. She is also the Principal Partner of MTI Partnership, a Quantity Surveying Consulting firm.
6. Becky Damilola Oke
Becky Damilola-Oke is the Managing Director/CEO at Bstan Construction Group.
She had her first degree in civil engineering and her second degree in Construction Management. She is a certified member of COREN, Project Management Institute (PMI), quality assurance & quality control QA/QC. She is also a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). With over fourteen years of experience from working with different construction and real estate organizations, she has contributed largely to the service that BSTAN Group provides
As part of the women adding value to the Nigerian construction industry, She provides jobs for some of the numerous Nigerian graduates and as a result, she currently has about 150 staff spread across BSTAN offices across the country.
7. Funke Opeke
Funke Opeke is an electrical engineer and a telecommunications expert. She obtained a first degree in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York.
She is the founder of Main Street Technologies and CEO of MainOne, formerly Main One Cable Company. She launched the company in 2010 and has led it to become a leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa. According to the company website, she returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States. Prior to her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. Subsequent to MTN, Ms. Opeke advised Transcorp on the acquisition of NITEL and briefly served as the interim Chief Operating Officer, post-acquisition of NITEL.
8. Mayen Adetiba
Mayen Adetiba studied Civil Engineering at Columbia University and went on to get her master’s degree at Cornell University. She was elected President of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria and was Vice-President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers on three occasions. She was also the first woman to be elected to the Executive Committee of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
She practiced as an engineer for over three decades. During this period, she was part of a team filled with Americans and Europeans that built the quarters for legislators in Victoria Island, Lagos. Some of her projects include FESTAC ’77 and a building for Alhaji Umaru Saro in Ikoyi. She also constructed the Shepherdhill Baptist Church; the building is the biggest Baptist church in Nigeria. It was inaugurated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. For about three years, she was the Chairperson of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme on roads and bridges.
It is time to celebrate and appreciate women in the Nigerian construction industry for their contributions. Do you have the profile of any outstanding women adding value to the Nigerian construction industry that is not on this list? Kindly mention them.
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