Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, the Marketing Graduate Flying the HR Flag

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During the industrial revolution, human resource managers were called employment managers. Their general role was to keep their workforce under control by settling arguments, negotiating pay and hiring new personnel when others left. Lately, there has been a significant shift in the role of human resource. HR managers have moved beyond just keeping their workforce under control. Today, they are facilitators of employee success, and they utilise technology to get there.

Hannah Ashiokai Akrong is an accomplished human resource professional with over 16 years of progressive global HR experience in Ghana, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Hannah started her career with Multimedia Broadcasting Company, Ghana, before joining Ernst & Young, where she worked in a consulting capacity with their HR Advisory team.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, USA and the IAG School of Business, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

Ashiokai is currently the Human Resource Director for Vodafone, Ghana where she sets the overall HR strategy for the organisation and also has direct oversight of Fleet, Property and Health and Safety.

Prior to that, she was a Senior Global HR Manager, with Honeywell, USA, a Fortune 100 company where she had global HR management responsibility for teams in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

She has also worked with Medtronic, a world leader in medical device technology in various functional and business partner HR roles across various divisions of the company in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

With a background in Marketing, one would wonder how Hannah landed herself as an HR person. “I actually fell into HR by chance rather than design. My background is Marketing, BSC marketing from the University of Ghana, School of Administration. I worked in Marketing with Multimedia Broadcasting Company after University. However, I always wanted to work with a multinational and an opportunity came up to do that with Ernst&Young but it happened to be in HR Consulting and I jumped at the chance. That’s where my HR career took off. I loved what I was doing but decided that in order to progress to where I wanted to be in the field, I needed to get an education behind it. I, therefore, left Ghana to the United States to the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management for a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. I haven’t looked back since”, she recalls.

Indeed getting out of her comfort zone has put her on a high pedestal. In 2018 Ashiokai was listed among the Top 50 HR Leaders in Ghana during the unveiling of Ghana Top 50 HR Leaders by instinct Wave.

It is Hannah’s wishes that everyone is given equal access to the best education because that according to her levels the playing field, eradicates cancer, diabetes, sickle cell and all other life threatening diseases , Most importantly her wish is to be a billionaire philanthropist!

Ashiokai believes that life is too short to spend it in one place and loves to travel the world and make new memories with her 6-year-old daughter, OT.

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