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International Women's Day 2023

Women's Day

7 March 2023 | by Alex Cuff

#InternationalWomensDay2023 is all about embracing equity. To celebrate this, we want to amplify the voices of five female leaders at Kroo who are smashing through the glass ceiling.

Hear their perspectives on women in tech, how Kroo is tackling barriers and the future of women in business.

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Angela Wakelin, Chief Operating Officer

Angela Wakelin, Chief Operating Officer

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a great reminder to ensure we champion equality in all aspects of life but especially in the workplace. It’s a day to highlight the fantastic qualities and achievements that women bring to our society and how important their differences are in building successful and diverse communities.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

The best businesses are built on the principles of diversity and respect for different perspectives. Healthy teams enable constructive challenge that comes from individuals having different ideas and beliefs that they are passionate about. Then finding that common ground that they all align to.

What strategies can work well to promote inclusion in the workplace?

Having very apparent diversity and inclusion at the very senior levels of an organisation is one way that will help to promote this through the workplace. In terms of attraction and recruitment, individuals need to clearly see that this is a business that supports diversity and inclusion at every interaction which should be clear in job adverts and throughout the interview process.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Be ambitious for yourself. Ambition can often be misinterpreted in women, and I strongly believe it should be encouraged and nurtured. Women so often lack the confidence to progress and excel in the workplace and often need encouragement and support to overcome this.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

This is a reminder that we should all embrace the differences that women bring to the world, in the same way as we should respect and celebrate all aspects of a diverse and inclusive culture. We all bring our own special qualities to this world which are individual and unique.

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Moyra O'Doherty, Chief of Staff

Moyra O'Doherty,
Chief of Staff

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to remember and celebrate the women in our lives — the women who have raised us, the ones we are raising, and the ones we love, look up to or lean on. It’s a day for all us to recognise and celebrate the women who have positively impacted us.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

A diverse workplace nurtures challenges and different ideas. It sparks new ideas and innovation and it is key to ensuring our business connects with and represents the customers we strive to serve.

What strategies can work well to promote inclusion in the workplace?

It’s critical to build inclusivity into our everyday thinking and work. We need to notice the diversity, or lack of it, during discussions and decisions, and take positive steps to make the changes if they are needed.  Improving inclusivity is not just a leadership challenge; we need to tackle it in our everyday thinking and behaviours to really drive change.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Aim to inspire the generation of female leaders that follow you. I think of the women who have inspired my career, their journeys and achievements demonstrate to me that I can do it too. We need to raise each other up and think about how we can encourage and inspire the women in our lives.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

Recently I was reminded of the power of a female role model. My 8 yr old niece, Caragh, was at long-jump practice and there was a female professional jumper training on the same track. The professional gave a few tips to the youngsters and Caragh was in awe. That morning she tried her hardest and achieved her longest jump. For me, International Women's Day is a reminder to embrace the idea that I can inspire the next generation and that it is something to aim for every day at work in Kroo.

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Joanna Pesantez, Head of Compliance

Joanna Pesantez,
Head of Compliance

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Growing up in Poland, International Women’s Day was one of the most important days in the calendar. It went beyond guaranteed sweets and flowers always provided by Dad and Grandad or the obligatory school performance from somewhat reluctant male school friends. It was about the feeling of solidarity with other women and girls, a shared understanding of what being a woman means, and all challenges and joys it brings.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

Diversity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. And it must go hand in hand with real inclusion. And in addition to it driving a positive change, it leads to better results. Having input from people with different backgrounds and experiences means better understanding, culture and approach to problem-solving, on all levels.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given in your career?

Success leaves a void, always look for new challenges.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Don’t accept the status quo, and always question the fairness of things. It is crazy to think how many things were considered acceptable even 10 years ago.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

Driving success for all.

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Nicola Vidal, Head of Marketing width=

Nicola Vidal, Head of Marketing

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, whether social, economic, cultural or political. However, there is still so much more to do, here we are in 2023 and we see a lot of inequality at work, in politics and in social and cultural environments. Let’s champion females and make a change.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?

Let’s face it, women and men are different which means they approach work and the workplace with different perspectives, ways of working, how they build relationships, etc. These differences should be taken into account when making decisions, employing staff, creating policies, and so on. In this day and age, it is proven that both genres are able to do the job equally, so they should be rewarded equally too.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given in your career?

Be you, don’t change who you are or how you present yourself just because you are a female.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Believe in yourself, and ignore those that tell you you can’t have it all. You can have a career as well as a family and you can make a difference. Don’t feel guilty for setting work/life boundaries and goals. Don’t be intimidated by a room full of males, you are where you are because you have proven yourself regardless of your gender

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Raphaelina Arthur, Head of Financial Crime & DMLRO

Raphaelina Arthur, Head of Financial Crime & DMLRO

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity and a reminder to celebrate the achievement of those who have championed the cause for equality in all facets of life whether it is cultural, social, economic or political. As well as an opportunity to continue to drive forward change and bring awareness to the cause.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given in your career?

This is not advice I’ve been given but something I read. Women are generally “socialised to be perfect” (Reshma Saujani), agreeable and liked. This results in women often avoiding risk and making decisions that we think others would agree with. We have to understand and accept that ultimately not everyone is going to like you or agree with your decisions. And that's okay. Be yourself!

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Keep your focus on the big picture and the vision. Keep integrity at the core of your decision-making. Don’t let the fear of failure or the risk of getting it wrong stop you from becoming successful.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?

Embracing equity means acknowledging and taking action. As a woman in leadership, in particular from an ethnic minority and a low socioeconomic background, you have the
ability to influence and drive change in your sphere and beyond. Embracing equity is not simply passive. It is continuously choosing to advocate, remove barriers to entry and provide opportunities which ultimately support the attainment of a diverse and inclusive ecosystem.