How do we create working environments that cater to the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees, and particularly to women? EJS Center Chief Operating Officer, Amini Kajunju, discussed this and other key questions with African women leaders from the worlds of journalism, entrepreneurship, and healthcare on a recent panel hosted by Forbes Woman Africa.
Entitled ‘The Happiness Quotient: Humanizing Commerce,’ the discussion was part of the 2022 Leading Women Summit and invited participants to share their expertise in improving working conditions for both women and men despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Asked about the effect of the pandemic on women’s advancement in Africa, Ms. Kajunju pointed out that the only way forward for the continent is to continue transforming employment conditions and improving prospects for women:
“Underemployment, unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, climate change, digital access — all of these affect women and their ability to participate in our economy… The fundamentals that we have to invest in education, we have to invest in healthcare, we have to invest in basic infrastructure, we have to invest in digital access.”
Ms. Kajunju added that the pandemic has been an important learning curve for both employers and employees, as it has opened the door for new, more flexible ways of working. This, she hoped, will create incentives for companies to pay attention to their employees’ wellbeing and provide them with opportunities to grow.
Successful women leaders, Ms. Kajunju argued, are in a perfect position to adapt to such fundamental shifts in the workplace. They “bring the ability to communicate with empathy and to understand the motivation of everybody in the room,” which allows them to create effective and nurturing new environments for employees.
Ms. Kajunju was joined in the discussion by Linda Mthenjane, Clinical Psychologist and Managing Director of The Space Between Us, Gugulethu Mfuphi, Broadcaster and Financial Journalist, and Joana Gyan Cudjoe, CEO of the Golden Empire Legacy.
Watch the full panel discussion here.