What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
My Journey to People Ops was really unprecedented, my mind was set on being an investment banker but God definitely had other plans. So after an internship at a Teleco, my erstwhile manager was convinced it was my strong suit and took me under her tutelage. When I look back now, it honestly was the most primo decision ever. My role gives a unique perspective into the business and a strong understanding of priorities and challenges, this way deep and meaningful impact and influence is possible.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Helping teams embrace change with grace and ease.
Change is a shapeshifter, the unknown brings about feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. But whether managerial, structural or process change, people ops plays a significant role in galvanising employee happiness and cooperation through change. Also, constantly upskilling to meet the changing needs of the business.
The solution? There’s no single right answer. But an effort to communicate frequently and transparently before, during, and after times of change is a good place to start. Provide fair warning of changes to come, and equip everyone with the competencies they’ll need to deal with change.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments or contributions in your field?
My proudest contributions in recent times have centred around:
Cultivating Purpose Culture and Value by collectively establishing and radiating Fincra’s purpose, taking employee experience to the next level and rebalancing talent resources while mapping talent to value.
Also, fostering decision-making and optimising structure. How? By driving strategic workforce planning and talent magnetism, simplifying all aspects of the employee life cycle, growth and performance management, and playing the role of both driver and facilitator by capturing speed in decision-making and execution.
What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing women in management positions?
Being a woman in management, you must be able to work under stress and use psychological qualities that allow you to expand your own capabilities.
We all have many inner barriers. First, it is the framework of social stereotypes and our beliefs about ourselves. Culturally, we’ve been conditioned since childhood to conform and agree; that’s hardly a personality trait for success in big business. Top management requires “grit”.
There are a number of psychological traits that often prevent women from being effective managers. This is primarily emotionality, a tendency to doubt our actions, kindness (often perceived as weakness), etc that prevent us from making unpopular decisions.
At the same time, women have a whole set of traits that help us stay successful in management. We are very persistent, open to new experiences, hardworking, energetic, responsible, sociable and organised.
Overcoming perfectionist tendencies and imposter syndrome. Sometimes, it shows up as being unable to internalise accomplishments. One can easily overcome this by first getting to the root of why this belief exists, then adjusting by making accurate assessments and getting feedback from other leaders to confirm strengths. Speaking of challenges, many women also struggle with garnering support from other women. My advice to us women is to support and empower each other, we must be just, and show togetherness and excellence.
What advice would you give to women who are just starting their careers?
-Cultivate Confidence: Confidence is a better predictor of career success than competence. That’s not to say that competence isn’t important, research shows that confidence makes up 79% of your gravitas.
-Play to your strengths, listen and improve on what others tell you that you are good at. Pay attention to what’s on your calendar that excites you.
-Unhook from criticism and praise, find self-confidence from within.
How do you think we can promote greater diversity and inclusivity in management positions?
An interesting way we have reinforced this is through the creation of more Inclusive workplace policies, empowering managers with behavioural skills that will contribute to building an inclusive culture and more importantly, holding leaders accountable for the progress.
What steps are you taking to encourage more women?
At an organisational level, with the CEO at the forefront of this campaign, advocating for a balanced gender ratio, and intentionality in our everyday decisions as it affects the personal lives of the men and women at Fincra.