Reflections During Women’s History Month
By: Ronke Majekodunmi, Director of Product Management, Promevo
Every life has hardship and adversity. Even so, these difficulties come with the eruption of possibilities to contend with the hard times. In many instances in my life, my self-doubt, anxiety, fear, and frustration wanted to put out my light, but I never gave in because the people in my life continued to raise me up, even when I didn’t necessarily want it. As a result, I can do the same for others and pave their way, making their journey even a little bit easier.
I write this blog with profound humility and gratitude. I am grateful for the things that I have, whether I realize them or not, and thankful to have the privilege to take things for granted.
I stand on the shoulders of women who are and were the embodiment of grace, strength, and brilliance. Women whose sacrifices and courage make it possible for me to speak up at every table and lead the way I do. These women used their voices to transform lives and bring about change, so I could have a seat at the table, creating opportunities when there were none. This is my purpose, so I, along with countless women, can move closer to shattering the glass ceiling or, at the very least, put a substantial noticeable dent in the ceiling.
Why my walk must be purposeful
I have had various setbacks in my professional and personal life that have led to my voice being muted, creating a sense of self-doubt, anxiety, and fear. Yet, in those defining moments when I think it is time to give up, I have four astonishing women mentors and countless women who have had my back, comforted me, and helped me find my voice again. They hold my hand and encourage me to persevere, pushing me back towards the light, cheering me on, and encouraging me to channel my inner grace, strength, and resilience to become the woman I am today with my individuality, distinctiveness, and success story.
I’m deeply appreciative of the opportunity that these women have made possible for me. My story, in all its complicated brilliance, is only feasible because these remarkable, exceptional women met the moment with rectitude, excellence, gracefulness, and gentleness. They paid it forward by mentoring, shaping, and molding me into the woman I am today.
They have paved the way for me to share what I’ve learned through blogs, interviews, speaking opportunities, and my podcast series ‘Product Magic’. As a result, I can provide insights into my career, successes, and failures as a product leader to inspire others to become leaders and be the best versions of themselves in product management.
Their foundation makes what was once impossible to be possible for Ronke Majekodunmi to have a voice and thrive, to be able to tell my story and not have anyone else do it for me. For this extraordinary opportunity and privilege bestowed upon me, I will ensure my walk in this universe will be purposeful.
When my final chapter is written, it will not matter if I outperformed my colleagues, how many meetings I attended, how successful my product vision was, how I worked every day, or the amount of revenue I helped to generate. It will not even be on the radar. What will be necessary is the lives that I impacted for the better, how I helped the next generation attain their achievements, the relationships I cultivated, the difference I made in my loved ones’ lives, and the positive influence that I had on the lives of my colleagues and friends. Most of all, the kindness I have shown to strangers I met along the way will matter the most. So, as I am still weaving, writing, and editing my life story, I would instead do it through purpose-driven leadership.
Defining purpose-driven leadership
Purpose-driven leadership to me means I am constantly looking over my shoulder, and when I do, I see my grandmother, who was an orphan raised by her grandmother. I see the love of my life, and I see my siblings, mentors, and allies all cheering me on. But I also see the next generation of women leaders making their journey more accessible, so they can pay it forward, develop, and inspire the women coming up behind them.
This means I have a role in the stories of other women, to help them excel and achieve the impossible so they can go even further than my generation. I will continue to use my leadership voice to promote the importance of hiring, to retain, and promoting women from diverse backgrounds for the reason that their disparate voices will bring attributes, distinct viewpoints, and innovative concepts that we will need to build the products that will shape our communities for years to come. However, those products can only become successful if hiring diverse and empowering women is a conscious effort within any organization’s structure.
Empowering the next generation of women
Studies have shown that organizations that take the time to motivate and empower women make it feasible for them to trust, be respected, and stay more engaged. Likewise, they are more inclined to stay and grow their careers in companies where they can relate to their allies, coaches, and mentors. Seeing other women in leadership has profound psychological outcomes, allowing them to see who they can become in the future.
I get excited about supporting young girls in grade school, women starting their careers, or even the women I work with daily. Then, see how those actions can lead to more significant statistics of women reaching the C-Suite or even becoming founders of their own organizations.
I am passing on the exceptional gift that has been bestowed upon me. I am paying it back by safeguarding that I listen and offer assistance and advice to young women inside and outside my organization. In addition, I continue to enthuse and support the women I work with inside and outside my department.
Sometimes people come into your life and embed themselves in a way that changes your purpose. Apart from my mentors, I am surrounded and carried by incredible women. They have played a role in the story of my life and my successes and continue to help me transcend even what I think I am capable of. They push me into the light so I can go further and help carry the next generation of women to their success.
Therefore, my daily motivation is to make the journey easier for the women coming behind me. Where there are opportunities, I strive to make it easier for them to attain them. Where there are no opportunities, well, I will help to construct them. This is why my walk in this universe must be purposeful.
About the author
Ronke has been in the world of Product Management for years now, and she has never looked back. Curating products that help bring a company’s vision to life is what she loves to do. Throughout the years, she has led successful teams that develop outstanding, customer-centric products and continues to do so as Director of Product Management at Promevo.
Fun Fact about Ronke: She’s obsessed with the show How I Met Your Father.