Adebola Osakwe joined KKR in 2015 and is a member of the Human Resources Team, where she leads the Firm’s Inclusion and Diversity efforts. Prior to joining KKR, Mrs. Osakwe was an executive director on Morgan Stanley’s diversity and inclusion team, where she spent almost 9 years. At Morgan Stanley, she served as head of diversity talent acquisition strategy partnering closely with the experienced and campus hiring teams. Prior to this role, she was a diversity coverage officer supporting the infrastructure and investment management businesses.
What about your career has surprised you the most?
I started my career in college admissions working for Barnard College followed by several years at New York University. As a college admissions counselor, I provided awareness and access to students interested in receiving a higher degree. At the time, I never imagined that I would find another role that provided me the same fulfillment and had similar impact. And I certainly never expected to find that in the world of finance! Over 15 years later in my career, I find myself pleasantly surprised in my current role as Head of Inclusion and Diversity at KKR. At KKR, I have the opportunity to focus on attracting, developing, promoting and retaining diverse talent because we recognize/understand the importance of having diverse teams.
What about the future excites you?
I am excited about the prospect of continuing to make a difference in the financial sector.
What about the future scares you?
As a mother of 3 young children (ages 10, 7 and 5) I wonder what the future holds for them. I want to make sure that I, along with my husband, raise good, kind-hearted, successful, hard-working, contributing members of society. It is important to me that they understand how important it is to give back.
Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?
Mika Brzezinski’s Knowing your Value is one of the most impactful books I have ever read. It was one of the first books that not only outlined the thematic challenges that women face with speaking up, asking for what they want and being direct but it provided relatable examples and specific language that could be used in various situations.
What tool do you use every day that is invaluable?
I could not live without my phone. Given my busy life, it helps me stay connected to my family, keeps me organized around their various schedules and allows me to stay informed of current events.
What does the word 'power' mean to you?
Power means coming from a place of strength and being able to influence change, make decisions and impact your environment in meaningful ways.
If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person, who would you want to invite?
If I could have dinner with one person it would be with Sheryl Sandberg. She has such an interesting background, remarkable career, and inspiring story.