Defining moments interview series: Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the World Bank | UKView profile
If there’s one thing that stands out in Dr Sandie Okoro’s remarkable career, it isn’t the lawyer’s determination or refusal to take “no” for an answer, or even the series of against-the-odds overachievements that saw her, the British daughter of first-generation immigrants, become Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the World Bank Group in 2017.
Creating cultural change. That’s what I do on top of my legal job.
Saying what you think – in a polite and respectful manner – is really important.
That sense of being your own judge and yardstick is a lesson Okoro learned from her mother, who came to the UK from Trinidad to study nursing. “She always told me to be the best version of myself, never a second-rate version of somebody else, and not to let someone’s poor opinion of you be your own poor opinion of yourself.”
Okoro believes passionately that everybody has a voice and a sense of agency, but that we don’t always have the opportunity to use them. “That’s why I’m very lucky with the job that I have now,” she says, talking about her current role, not just as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the World Bank Group, but as a leader within the organisation with responsibility for driving change on matters of equality and race.
Award-winning broadcaster and journalist, Aasmah Mir, talks to business leaders and industry innovators about the crucial moments of their lives and careers.