Agnes Gathaiya has been named amongst the top 200 women in the Global Fintech power list, making her one of only six Africans on the list.
Ms. Gathaiya, who heads Integrated Payment Services Limited (IPSL)- popularly known as Pesalink – said the recognition reveals major gains made in Kenya to champion career advancement of women professionals in non-traditional areas.
“Unlike Yesteryears, when cultural biases sealed women’s fate to a few careers, the current girl generation must pursue an open- ended chase for any career they are passionate about,’’ She said.
The 200 women in Fintech Powerlist celebrated Ms. Gathaiya for driving change in the Fintech space through mentoring and setting up support groups to share experiences of voluntary work.
Ms. Gathaiya, who holds a Bachelor of Science (Economics) from Bryn Mawr College in the US and a Masters from USIU- Kenya, said, “Leadership knows no gender but is value-based adding she has always worked in male-dominated environments.
The IPSL CEO said she has been part of the formation of two forums, Hernovation where they equip women in tech with soft skills needed to ascend to leadership. “We work very well but on reaching junior managerial positions, we slow down. We train women on negotiation skills, public speaking for self-expression, personal finance management and techniques for better mental health among other things.
“I am also a member of and sit on the Board of African Women in Fintech & Payments where we emphasize that all payment products developed must not only be financially inclusive but must be women- friendly, “she said.
Ms. Gathaiya is unhappy that while men and women do similar jobs, in most cases, men earn more even when women work extra hard. The new conversation is for companies to increase job opportunities for women which has been proved to be good for business.
“The most successful firms in the world have high number of women at all cadres and have created resilient programmes that understand women needs. They provide women with paid leave to start families or get children and then allow them to come back after some time. That is the future, “she said.
She challenged women in senior positions to create network forums to nature women in low cadres to advance their careers. She said as a successful woman, her vision is to drive profits for her employers while putting in place institutional mechanisms that drive their success in an organic way.
“Problems abound everywhere and it is up to our girls to moot solutions that they are passionate about. Pursue any career that not only earns you an income but provides you with an opportunity to improve society,” she asserted.
Ms. Gathaiya was part of the inaugural 2010 Business Daily Top 40 under 40 Women cohort. She also served as one of the judges last year.
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