At Silver & Riley, our strongest value is supporting women. We do this in several ways, including our Buy 1, Give 5 program that awards 5% of revenue to women entrepreneurs. The women of the week series will highlight, celebrate and tell the story of the amazing women in our Silver & Riley community and their diverse career fields, while inspiring a community of women by showcasing what's possible. To be considered for a woman of the week feature, please email us at hello@silverandriley.com.

 


Week of November 20th - Dr. Amira Ogunleye

Dr. Amira Ogunleye is our woman of the week. We are excited to kick off our Woman of the Week feature with Dr. Amira Ogunleye, cosmetic dentist extraordinaire. We sat down with Dr. Amira to discuss her career amongst other things.

 

Describe your career and what inspired you towards it?        
I am a cosmetic dentist. My father was very strict growing up and academics were a top priority. He was very set on me either going to dental school, medical school, or Law school. I went on to dental school reluctantly but I always have felt like God knows best and has our steps ordered. My decision to go to dental school was the best decision ever and my passion for dentistry and love for my craft is a true blessing. 

What gets you most excited about your career?      
When I complete smile makeovers! There is nothing like changing someone’s life through their smile. It often becomes very emotional because in that moment you realize the power of PURPOSE and how God uses your talents to bless others.
 
What motivates you? How do you balance it all?                  
I am most motivated by women all over the world, who fight battles we don’t know about, struggles we don’t see and barriers we can’t imagine. Women who push through, fight, use their voice or platform to make change, women who lift as they climb and make an impact on the world. Seeing women stand in places confidently that the world isn’t used to motivates me to do my part, to push harder, to lift others, to be a voice and to make change. 

What has been your biggest career lesson learned?                    
Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. When you truly care about people, when they can see it from your work ethic, your compassion, your attention to detail… the trust will come. Be so good at whatever it is you are doing that if people want what you have, they must come to you to get it. 

What is particularly challenging about your career and how do you navigate through those obstacles?  
Only 5% of all dentists are black and the number is smaller for women. That said, it has often been challenging trying to “prove” my knowledge or worth in this arena. Till this day, we are sadly still judged by the color of our skin. This was very challenging for me in my early career because all I wanted to do was practice dentistry and to feel judged or less than by patients was very hurtful. I began to channel that anger towards excellence. Excellence is a great deterrent to racism and sexism. When you are truly great at what you do, when you fight to become the BEST at it, you realize that your work speaks volumes before any of the superficial. You care less about what other people think and more of the greatness you are creating. 

What advice would you give to someone considering your career field? 
It’s not easy at all! The road here is challenging but it is worth it. Young children need to see people who look like them in all places especially at the top, so as you work towards becoming your best and top level of your career, understand that it is so much bigger than you. 

What is your favorite Silver & Riley product and why?         
That’s hard! I love so many of the pieces. I love the executive bag because it's so boss, so classy and so strong. It commands the room with sophistication and elegance and mannnnn does it hold a lot of stuff.