In typical Ozow fashion, we’ve broken the mould yet again. This time, by strengthening our board with two new appointments: Rutendo Hlatshwayo (Chief Legal Officer at Ozow) and Oriel Pays (Chief People Officer at Ozow). These women bring with them a wealth of experience, track records of success and unique takes on the future of Ozow.
Their appointments do more than just bring incredible minds to the board. They are signs of the emerging tech landscape, showing there is space for women and people of colour at the summit of the industry.
On this point, Hlatshwayo says:
“My appointment also shows so many young legal minds that their careers don’t have to follow a linear path. Tech is growing at a phenomenal rate – with this growth comes a plethora of opportunity for those eager to carve out a path in this exciting field – especially women of colour.”
Oriel Pays agrees with this sentiment:
“Technology doesn’t see race, age or gender, but rather capability. What’s great about this is that there are no limitations on where the best talent may come from. This has created a more level playing field and has allowed incredibly talented women to become captains of industry.”
Thomas Pays, CEO and co-founder of Ozow, resonates with the thought:
“It’s not about filling any quotas. We’ve recognised the true value that diversity brings. Creating an inclusive and truly representative team of exceptional talent across our entire business has been instrumental to our success.”
In general, there is a considerable lack of diverse representation at board level. The World Economic Forum shows that, on average, women only represent 30% of company boards globally. In South Africa, this sits at a staggeringly low 13%. However, according to Forbes, inclusion and diversity are key to success on a global scale.
Ozow isn’t the first business in the world to see the value of leaders being female and of colour. However, more need to follow suit. There needs to be a considerable shift across the world in the ways companies are run.
After all, the world is changing. People no longer think or behave the same as they did 10 years ago, never mind further back in history. Having new minds with varying backgrounds, upbringings, and personalities allows companies to put themselves in the driving seat, and steer the evolution that is going on around us.
More opportunities must be given to those who have not been able to reach the heights Ozow’s new board members have. More visibility has to be given to those whose triumphs have proven them to be more than capable of being titans of industry.