• Monday, June 24, 2024
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“I believe every woman should have a family office” – Gbeminiyi Shoda

“I believe every woman should have a family office.” Gbeminiyi Shoda

Gbeminiyi Shoda is a seasoned Legal Practitioner with solid and progressive experience in all facets of Corporate and Commercial Law Practice. She began her career 10 years ago in a law firm in Lagos and is currently the managing director of Structure HQ, a company that is providing corporate and commercial solutions for individuals and innovative businesses. Before becoming the managing director of Structure HQ, Gbeminiyi Shoda joined VFD Group Plc in 2015 providing leadership and directions to the Legal, Compliance and Company secretariat department across diverse sectors. Gbeminiyi is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Section of Business Law, Nigerian Bar Association (SBL, NBA), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Institute of Directors (IOD) and a sponsored individual of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She is a graduate of Lagos State University and has a BL from the Nigeria Law School. This interview gives legal and financial to women and shares navigating her career and about the women in her life that inspire her.

1)How have you broken the bias in your career?

In April 2021, I founded my own start-up, Structure HQ (SHQ). SHQ is a firm that provides corporate and commercial solutions to innovative individuals and existing businesses. And for all the general bias that exists in a field largely dominated by males, SHQ is female-led. What’s more? Over time, I have come to realise that the notion of “women not supporting women” is a myth. Dubbed as the “power of the pack,” female collaboration where properly harnessed, trumps female competition.

Also, as far as gender goes, the corporate world is an unbalanced terrain. It is a lopsided structure that easily favours men. Conversely, I became Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser at 25. At a company that, at the time, majorly had men on its board and its management team. I held the position for over 5 years – testament to how much I invested in hard work and ensured that I never compromised on excellence.

2) Who inspires you?

The women in my family- my mother and sister. Amazons! Tough and dogged as they come. Growing up, I watched them set aside illogical biases and go on to be all they wanted to be. My mother would always impress on me the need to “just get up and get it done.” My mother rose to the peak of her career, fighting and winning many corporate battles, before retiring as a Deputy Director.

Even today, many decades on, my sister’s take on life has not changed, and has instead been a consistently positive one. This outlook on life has placed me on my toes, on the lookout for how to make things work, no matter how broken they are.

3)What has been the most difficult aspect of your career and how have you overcome it?

It is no child’s play to convert a centuries’ old dinosaur into a modern structure. The legal industry is fraught with stereotypes and outdated sentiments. It celebrates ageism. Being a young female professional with a robust, fast career has been challenging. Starting out, it always came up.

To overcome:

I had to force respect by the quality of my work delivery, seamless execution, and the uncompromised standards of my practice.

In addition, I have had to be assertive whilst remaining respectful and firm in all dealings. I have converted underestimation to strength.

4) As a lawyer what advice do you have for women as it pertains to legal documents such as wills?

To start with, I believe every woman should have a family office. I believe that this ensures a deliberate effort into wealth creation and security, ultimately. Be savvy, be deliberate about wealth, and securing it by catering to their loved ones (beneficiaries).

Legal documents, such as wills, aren’t the exclusive preserve of men, especially after the women have driven relentlessly towards acquiring their own wealth. Women must ensure to secure their assets and make deliberate efforts to mandate that they go to their intended heirs.

5) What advice do you have for your women looking to work in legal services?

Whatever age you decide to start working, you can do it. Your dreams are valid. Be consistent, irrespective of the naysayers. Stay the course and trust the process.

6) If you could tell your 16-year-old self-something, what would you say?

At 16, I was fresh out of secondary school- worried and anxious about what the future held for me. Exactly 16 years after, I am glad for the conscious efforts I put in. Enjoy your life. Most of the things you’re worried about won’t matter many years from now. Enjoy the current season. It’s a matter of time, before it yields something productive. Don’t beat yourself up. Live a fun-filled, disciplined, positive life and shun all tendencies to overthink, worry or fall for stereotypes.