Francesca is the Founder of Leading Ladies Africa; a women empowerment non-profit that celebrates the lives of African women, and promotes leadership, diversity and gender inclusion. She equips African women with the skills they need to succeed in life and business. She does this through effective mentoring, organizing capacity building events, and showcasing the achievements of successful women to inspire others. She’s deeply committed to ensuring that African women achieve their set goals in life.
She’s also a Public Relations and Communications expert with over 10 years’ experience spanning corporate relations, corporate reputation management, event architecture, media management and content development; with the last four further spent deepening her expertise in online engagement, content development and strategic events management.
Francesca is the convener of the LLA 100 Women Gala – an annual event that recognizes the achievements of Nigerian women in the fields of Governance, Enterprise, Business and Advocacy. The LLA 100 Women Gala is focused on promoting Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, especially as it pertains to women of African descent.
A proud alumnus of the China Europe International Business School, Francesca also sits on the board of The Future Project, organizers of the Future Awards Africa, and has also recently been actively involved in raising funds and creating awareness for breast and cervical cancer through an annual personal project called Fashion Fantasia!
She is a writer, and has published several non-fiction and fiction pieces, which have been widely published on local and international media platforms. She’s working on her collection of short stories, which should be published soon.
She loves to travel, meet people, and eat – in that particular order.
Who is Francesca Uriri?
Francesca Uriri is the Founder of Leading Ladies Africa, a women-focused non-profit that promotes Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion for women of African descent. I’m also a PR & Communications Expert with over 10 years’ experience spanning corporate reputation management, media strategy and engagement, event architecture and crisis management.
What are the necessary skills required to be a communications professional?
Passion. Drive. Discipline. Focus. Being Knowledgeable and approachable. Having good writing and listening skills, and being able to spot opportunities for leveraging and building positive stories.
What are you passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about a lot of things to be completely honest. God, Women Empowerment, Books, People,Travel, Food, Photography, Art, Faith.
The list is inexhaustible. I find that if you are naturally curious, then you will find yourself exhibiting passion for a lot of things. The trick- or should I say skill, is being able to direct or re-direct the passion, so that it is something useful.
What inspired the creation of the platform “Leading Ladies Africa”?
I created LLA, primarily because I wanted to create a community of equipped and inspired women. I wanted to inspire fellow women to do phenomenal things by the stories and lives of other incredible women. Our mandate is to build the next generation of African Female Leaders and changemakers in all the major socio-economic sectors by 2030. That’s a pretty ambitious goal, but we are committed to doing it one woman at a time.
What is one bad habit you are committed to changing?
I need to stop over-processing/over-thinking things. Analysis/paralysis sometimes prevents me from making big(ger) moves. I am learning to live life more faithfully – essentially understanding and believing that God’s got me, no matter what. What’s that quote by Rumi? “Live life like everything is rigged in your favour.” Yea, I should learn to be that way more often. J
Any Role Model(s)? (If yes who and why)
Too numerous to mention, and I love different women for different reasons. But I’ll try. Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, Tara Fela Durotoye, Hillary Clinton, Pastor Nike Adeyemi, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Pastor Funke Felix-Adejumo, Aishah Ahmad, Adesuwa Oyenokwe, Ini Abimbola – any woman who is living out her life in full colour, and making impact and touching lives, is definitely a role model for me.
What is the most important lesson being life has taught you so far?
That life can happen really fast, that I must strive to remain joyful and hopeful always, and that I possess incredible reserves of grit and fortitude.
What is your take on “women supporting women”?
That it’s not just a cute trend or hashtag. That it actually exists. And that most of the people who have been instrumental in my life are women. So I’m a living testimony of #womensupportingwomen
What is your favourite Quote?
Fear is not as powerful as faith. And what can’t defeat God, can never defeat
me. That’s two quotes, I know. Lol!
Advice for young females looking to take up a career in PR & Communications:
If you have interests in writing, meeting people and being creative, then go for it. You will need to work on your craft constantly to perfect it, but don’t be afraid of the hard work or stress – because those moments will come – but it will all pay off. Finally, have a goal, and let that drive you.
Time travel or teleportation?
None. I’d rather spend my time travelling in real time.
If you could have two female billionaires (Living or dead) to dinner, who would they be?
Ahhh! That’s easy. It’d be Oprah and maybe Sheila Johnson (Co-Founder of BET Networks). And just to make the conversation lively, I’d also have J.K Rowling. Sorry, I know you said two. I generally like to break rules. Lol!
What would you like to be remembered for?
As a woman who LIVED!!!!