Kudi, Organically Growing a Safe Place for All Employees To Thrive
As an advocate for women in my personal and professional life, I have always considered it important that the companies I partner with or work for bear a culture that empowers everyone to be all they can be, particularly women.
So when I made the transition from Kuda Bank to Kudi some six months ago, this was definitely a key consideration. During my time here, I have seen that Kudi is uniquely positioned to truly include, empower, and provide opportunities for women, even beyond its employees.
Through our Agency Banking platform, we enable women around the country to manage their businesses on their own terms and create the lives they want.
As Vice President, I wondered if we could optimise the experience of the women who had partnered with us. In our public foras and through private questionnaires, I have listened to their needs in order to help level the playing field and ensure they have the tools required to compete favourably in what has been dubbed a ‘man’s world’. It turns out, they didn’t require my support in any particular way.
By their own admission, our products and solutions had already been designed to meet their needs. Their challenges were generic, same as the men. This reminded me of an article I had read some time ago titled Successful by Design: Why Creating Financial Products with Women in Mind Is a Win-Win about women-centred designs. The premise of the article was that when financial products are designed for women, men like them, but the reverse is not the case.
My female partners praised our solutions as women-friendly. With 41% of our staff being female and a healthy representation in product management, we have a balanced contribution of ideas that makes our solutions and products suitable for all genders. This balance in our design structure and culture has been organic.
Having worked across global brands in the past fifteen years, I have seen these organisations evolve to include more women in management. This is fantastic. The global campaigns to break the bias and create more opportunities for women are slowly but surely taking root and systemic bias is changing.
And then we have the Startups. Organisations like Kudi who began their journey amidst the heavy gender bias conversations, have been somewhat sensitised to the bias that exists and are building their teams from the ground up within a structure designed to embrace the best hands, whatever their gender.
Do we have it all figured out? Not quite. Are we the picture of gender equality? Not yet. We do however have a culture that enables our women to feel like humans, be seen, heard, valued and respected. Today, with less than five percent of our female workforce boasting of families of their own, we are already thinking through how to grow with our women. What would be their needs as they evolve as women? How can we help them thrive if they choose to become working moms?
At Kudi, whether for our employees or our agents, we believe that the work we do should open doors and not create barriers. So on a day like this one, when women are being celebrated all over the world, I doff my hat to this company and I am keen to continue the work we do in breaking the bias and paving the way for even more women to thrive.