Women Breaking Ceilings Series: Meet Anthonia Agbonifo
Highlighting Anthonia Agbonifo, the Executive Director of Food Concepts Plc. and an ICAN prize winner.
Meet Anthonia Agbonifo
My Name is Anthonia Agbonifo, I am a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with over 18 years of extensive and diversified working experience in auditing, accounting, treasury, risk management, IFRS, finance, tax, administration, budgeting, forecasting and advisory services. My experience cuts across the oil and gas industry, manufacturing industry, financial services, quick service restaurants, bakery, farm, power, utilities, mining, audit management, Sarbanes Oxley review, process review/design, evaluation and implementation of internal control and accounting systems/processes. I am an ICAN prize winner and have an MBA with Merit from the University of Liverpool UK. I am also a fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants. I worked with Akintola Williams Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, in Senior Management Positions before Joining Food Concepts Plc in 2014 as the Group CFO. I sit on the board of Food Concepts Plc as an Executive director and I am also the divisional managing director of the Shared Services division overseeing the finance, business intelligence, tax, treasury, risk, process, compliance, administration, legal, quality, IT and marketing departments. I am also a serving member of the audit committee of a sister company.
I got into the Food Science Field because this was one of the opportunities that came up at a point in my career when I needed to address the work life balance issues I had. Prior to joining Food Concepts Plc, I worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers and due to the multiple deadlines of the various clients that I was overseeing, and my internal responsibilities at PwC, my family relationships were strained. At that time, I had three options to pursue, one was to remain in PwC with a thriving career on the path to partnership, second to accept a finance director/ CFO position with a bank and the third was the Group CFO position at Food Concepts Plc. I opted for the third because of the proximity to my house. Food Concepts Plc is based on the mainland while the others were based on the Island.
Yes, there were initial challenges driven by people’s resistance to change and getting people to embrace processes and procedures and to do things differently.
I will like to chain the perception that women cannot attain leadership positions because it is a man’s world. Hard work and excellence are not gender bias.
Yes, Jesus Christ is my role model. This is because he was so great and yet very humble. Jesus in the scriptures teaches about the need to strive for perfection.
It has not been an easy journey, however to effectively manage my role in Food Concepts Plc as well as my family and personal life, I had to get support at the home front and ensure that I have a capable team within Food Concepts Plc. I monitor and provide objective feedback to my team so that they can always deliver their best.
Women doing things against a perceived norm that they cannot do those things and breaking through barriers to be at the peak of their careers.
My advice for young girls is to be the best at whatever they do because hard work is an international currency which is recognized everywhere. My advice is also for girls to remain focused on their goals and avoid distractions as they progress towards achieving their goals.