“You are No Less Than Anyone Else” — An IWD Interview with Yvonne on Equity & Diversity.
Indicina’s culture has been of excellence and diversity, where talents are nurtured to blossom, and every team member knows how valuable their contributions are. If you’ve ever met our CEO, Yvonne, you would have experienced this in one form or another. For a lot of Indicina employees, it was within the 20 minutes she spent with them during the final stage of their hiring process.
With a background in Software Engineering, and time spent working at Pan-African Banking Group to drive inclusion within a few key markets, she conceived and birthed Indicina. Over time, she has proven not only to embrace equity but has also built a conducive environment where women can thrive.
In this interview with her, she speaks more about how she has been able to achieve this and the challenges she has encountered being a leader.
Miriam: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to becoming Indicina’s CEO?
I started my career as a Software Engineer. I loved the mix of creativity and problem-solving that tech offered. After an MBA, I switched to Financial Services working with a Pan-African Banking Group to drive inclusion within a few key markets. I founded Indicina to tackle a specific problem within African financial services that leverages my tech background.
M: What are some of the measures that you have put in place to encourage everyone at Indicina to embrace equity?
Instilling a culture where diverse opinions are deliberately sought is a key lever for us at Indicina. Practically, this includes encouraging cross-functional teams on key projects. This also allows team members to deepen their understanding of projects outside of their direct domain.
M: What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in leadership roles throughout your career?
Female founders are less likely to overlap with investor networks, which don’t currently share their worldview. I have benefitted from male founder friends doing warm investor intros. However, this isn’t the norm. Investor networks need to be more open and diverse.
M: What does embracing equity mean to you?
The world needs to appreciate the full humanity of everyone, especially women. Embracing equity means we level the playing field to allow for fair access to opportunities, treatment, and access.
M: For some tea, what are some of your favourite things about being a female leader in a country like Nigeria? Are there any positives to be leveraged by more women?
African female founders are building important tech companies. In addition, they have deep domain knowledge which is an important lever for success in our markets. The start-ups they’re working on present huge investment opportunities.
M: Given the opportunity to build a utopian world from the ground up, where equity is embraced and everyone feels included. How would you approach it?
JAMB question. Lol The biggest lever is in influencing how people think about equity. A utopian world means we all have the same starting position. The next best thing is that everyone appreciates diversity and is intellectually aware of why equity is important.
M: What areas do you think lack equity the most, and what can society do to change that?
Unfortunately, the problem is pervasive. Most segments of society still systematically deny women an equal playing field. We in leadership positions should continuously work to ensure our sphere of influence is equitable.
In conclusion, we asked her a question we believed the response would inspire women aspiring to become leaders that will shape the future of our society and ecosystem.
M: What advice would you give to other women who aspire to leadership positions?
You are no less than anyone else.
A powerful end to a rewarding interview session.
We absolutely enjoyed speaking with our CEO, Yvonne, and digging into her world of knowledge and experience regarding equity and diversity culture. We hope this little interview inspires women to always keep their heads up, and leaders to continually strive towards building a culture that is more equitable for women.