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Quick Start Guide To Creating A Workplace Diversity

Inversk Review

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Sylvia works for a software Developing company. A straight A student who studied Software engineering in university. Her track record speaks for itself as she has numerous accomplishments. Being a woman in male dominated industry, she can tell you the challenges she has faced are not for the weak hearted. Currently she is the only female in the company’s board. She is constantly frustrated when then board overlooks her suggestions as they make her feel like an outcast, a woman crazy enough to pursue a traditionally male dominated field. Sometimes Sylvia wishes that her board would have a fairer gender composition.

Reagan on the other hand is the CEO of a food processing company, 90% the managing board in which her sits in is composed of people from his tribe. The members are so comfortable that at times some sections of the board meetings are conducted in their mother tongue and those who don’t understand are forced to pretend they understand or seek clarification.

In both scenarios above, the issue of diversity at the top management is wanting and as much as the majority are enjoying, the minorities are suffering. This kind of suffering breads resentment as the channels of communication are managed by the majority or rather influenced by them. Diversity in an organization especially at the top management cannot be overlooked as it directly affects the organization and its performance. It brings good business as there is a multiplicity of viewpoints and cultures, it also drives innovation, improves decision-making, increases employee productivity and retention, and leads to better customer service.

Diversity is not only tied to race and gender. It is wide as it also involves economic status, age, educational background, cultural upbringing among others. So how can an organization ensure that there is diversity from the top management? This can be done by:

  • Going beyond compliance.

Let diversity be more than complying to industry standards or government laws. Look at the bigger picture bringing together people of varying backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems, you bring with them a range of work styles, thought processes, and perspectives. Take advantage of all of these, and you can spark creativity, improve efficiency, and get closer to your customers.

  • Identify New talent Sources

This means that for instance, if you traditionally employ university graduates then you may consider sourcing for labor from students in technical colleges. They will bring in the technical aspects of operating thus add to the intellect that the existing university sources bring. In this way, you will have both intellect and technical knowledge in the organization.

  • Address every Diversity issue

As diverse as your business may be, it is important to address any challenges that may come with this kind of workforce. This will ensure harmony and peaceful co-existence thrives among employees and management. It is important to realize that diversity does not start and end with hiring, it is a continuous process. This can be done by encouraging employees to embrace each other’s culture and learn to appreciate their diversity.

  • Create ways for interaction

Ensure that there are effective channels of communication among employees both at management and subordinate positions. This will reduce instances of isolation and discrimination in the workforce. Allow the employees to be able to showcase their diversity and be proud of it at the same time. This can be done through team building activities

  • Make Diversity Part of your Brand.

Show that your organization cares by promoting volunteerism among employees and providing corporate-sponsored initiatives to raise funds and awareness for different causes. Invest in diversity by offering internships and scholarships to people from underrepresented groups. And spread the word that your culture is diverse and inclusive through social media or traditional media by highlighting your efforts, awards, partnerships, and providing information that underscores your desire to provide the flexibility and tools required to guarantee success for all.

  • Diversity Policy

Include diversity goals in your mission and vision. This will keep the management focused on achieving diversity in the most effective and beneficial way to the organization. Commit to the process by having a blueprint how your organization plans to achieve unity in diversity.

In a nutshell, diversity is a journey not a destination therefore to achieve it and reap its benefits, the management and staff should commit themselves to the journey.

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Business

Uber Acquires Careem Networks At $3.1 Billion

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The announcement by Uber Technologies Inc. about their plans to acquire Careem Networks has materialized. Uber and Careem have reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisition of Careem is subject to applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to come to a close in Q1 2020.

Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Upon closing, Careem will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, preserving its brand. Careem co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha will lead the Careem business, which will report to its own board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem. Careem and Uber will operate their respective regional services and independent brands.

The shareholders in Careem who include the investment firm of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc have been instructed to agree to the terms of the transaction as soon as possible so that the deal can also be announced soon. The spokesman for Uber Matt Kallman chose not to comment and the spokesman for Careem was unavailable to share his input concerning the same.

Uber’s planned acquisition of Careem comes ahead of its imminent initial public offering, which could be one of the New York Stock Exchange’s biggest-ever listings. Uber is expected to publicly file for an IPO in April, kicking off a listing that could value the company at as much as $120 billion, people familiar with the plans have said previously.

The acquisition will come as a welcome boost for the Middle East’s nascent technology startup market and follows Amazon.com Inc.’s acquisition of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com for $580 million in 2017. With Arab governments seeking to diversify their oil-based economies, young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs are starting new businesses and getting investors to back them.

The value of Careem was estimated to be around $i billion towards the end of 2016 making it one of the most valuable technology startups in the middle east as per that time. Its backers also include STV, the venture capital fund launched by Saudi Telecom. Co., Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding Co., and Daimler AG.

The greater Middle East region is already seeing the economic and social benefits of rapid technology adoption and improved access to transportation. This transaction supports the collective ability of Careem and Uber to improve the region’s transportation infrastructure at scale and offer diverse mobility, delivery and payment options. It will speed up the delivery of digital services to people in the region through the development of a consumer-facing super-app that offers services such as Careem’s digital payment platform (Careem Pay) and last-mile delivery (Careem NOW).

This transaction brings together Uber’s global leadership and technical expertise with Careem’s regional technology infrastructure and proven ability to develop innovative local solutions. Both companies believe it will provide an opportunity to expand the variety and reliability of services offered, at a broader range of price points to serve more consumers. Similarly, for drivers and captains, the companies believe an increase in trip growth and improved services could provide better work opportunities as well as higher and more predictable earnings through greater utilisation of drivers’ time on the road.

 

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How Africa Can Compete in the era of Anti-globalization

Darshan Chandaria

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If there is one thing, we can be certain of in this day and age, its uncertainty. The rise of populism in the recent past came as a surprise to many with the phenomenon manifesting in two highly politicized events in 2016; those being Brexit in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in America. The world was taken aback by the heated arguments that ensued and resulted in two unlikely outcomes.

The top issues on the table in 2016 were immigration and the loss of national identity. This is quite understandable because people are worried about their jobs, wages, and the erosion of their culture and are seeking an alternative to what is the consequence of globalization.

During the second half of the 20th Century, world leaders were confronted with the challenge to discover new tools that would govern the global economy, environment and changing circumstances of modern life. Thus, began the process of reconstruction from the previous nation-state to an internationalized structure. Consequently, economic, political, cultural, legal and other aspects of society were forced to adapt to the realities of globalization. Essentially, this meant the elimination and weakening of various regulatory functions; free movement of people from country-to-country and the formation of trading blocks, all with the aim of global thinking and doing business freely.

The seeds of the anti-globalization movement became evident in 1999 when riots broke out during the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Seattle. The riots were led by an enraged group of opponents of international trade and the anti-globalization arguments; brought about by the institutionalization of the global financial system through institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the like. We must appreciate though, that anti-globalization has transformed into a more polarized movement from the days of the WTO Seattle riots. Anti-globalization has leaders questioning the unification of the world versus a nationalistic approach to global relations. What does this mean for Africa?

Protectionist Policies

Let me begin by citing an example of a recent move made by President Trump and the impact it has on Africa. Trump made a number of promises during the elections and one of them was an end to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He argued that the TPP agreement would have cost American’s their jobs and livelihood.

Prior to the formation of the TPP, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) had been in place since the year 2000, and was renewed for another 10 years in 2015, by President Obama.

AGOA enables African companies in the textile industry to export their finished products to the US market duty- free. The fact that it allows for 3rd party sourcing of fabric and still allows exportation to the US duty-free made it even more appealing to nations like Kenya, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mauritius and Madagascar that already have vibrant textile industries.

The TPP was going to offer the same opportunity to a hand full of Asian countries and Africa would have faced stiff competition from these markets. Sourcing fabric from 3rd parities would have resulted in long lead times, less value addition and the loss of opportunity in the American market for African manufacturers.

Asian products are preferable because they have more control over the factors of production, with more value addition than we do here in Africa. The reality of that matter is if Africa doesn’t improve in value addition in our products, we risk losing opportunities in the long run. In a sense this has bought Africa some time.

Many multinational companies are grappling with the future of business where nations are adopting more protectionist policies. This era calls for strategic thinking more than ever and high-level intelligence in order to identify emerging trends. In summary, business leaders need to adapt their operations to meet the challenges ahead in order to build robust businesses. Negotiation will be an important skill going forward and it will have to be up close and personal. This calls for an appreciation of people from different cultures and respect of the value systems they deem fundamental to their way of life. Back to the example I cited on the implications of the end of the TPP on Africa; protectionist policies are going to be a way of life in the business climate. Africa has a lot of work to do if we are going to compete globally any time soon.

As we move into a more self-regularized and protectionist business climate, Africa needs to reposition itself to offer tangible value to our trading partners. In order for us to attract investors we need to put regulations in place such as frameworks for trade that will integrate industries and assets to serve the goals of policy, in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Another aspect that needs improvement is the ability for people to understand the African business climate better. Kenya has been at the forefront in improving the ease of doing business index, however, more indices are required that show how the trade is expected to perform and other methods that enable investors to assess risks. Finally, we need to encourage more international cooperation through mutually beneficial partnerships with a long-term view that grows economies and ensure that growth is felt at the grassroots level – can we improve the lives of every African? This essentially means that Africa must develop long term plans dedicated to the development of its people.

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Is Everyone A Thief Waiting for the Opportunity?

Henry Ozianyi

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The employees and security personnel of a cash transportation company colluded to run away with cash on their way from the client’s office to the bank. However, one of them tipped the police with the view that the police should chase and shoot all the others and share the loot with him. Unfortunately, during the chase, he was one of those shot. The police were unable to stop the escape and three robbers successfully ran away with the money.

One of the robbers was apprehended and after interrogation, he revealed that the money was to be buried in some desolate piece of land belonging to a very old man. The commanding officer sent his best men, with the instruction to recover that money and bring it back for them to share at the police station.

When they got to the Old man’s home, they asked him where the money was and he said he had no idea. But he referred them to a nearby forest where he said he had spotted some digging activity. “Maybe the money you are looking for was being buried there,” said the old man. He requested that if they find the cash, they should at least consider sharing with him for he has helped them. They walked away, wondering why such an old man could be so timid to request for a share of the money.

In the forest, they found three people, sitting and relaxed, playing chess. They immediately pointed guns at them and asked them to show them where the money was. To which they promptly answered they had buried it fifteen feet underground.

The policemen thought of the daunting task of digging fifteen feet and decided it was better to strike a deal with the thieves. “How much money have you buried down there?” One policeman asked. “80 million shillings”. A thief responded. “Ok, you dig it out, we share equally”. The policemen knew they would walk away with a cool 50 million leaving the thieves with 30 million. They would, of course, report back to their senior that the operation was unsuccessful and keep the money.

After one hour of digging, the thieves said they were too hungry to continue with the job and they needed assistance. Two policemen were promptly sent to town to buy food and water, for the whole group. When they got to town, they agreed to additionally buy poison and lace the food so that all the others can die and they share the loot equally.

As the thieves continued to dig, the policemen decided to sit down and play the game of chess. The thieves thought, “there are only three policemen, we can ambush them as they are playing and slay all of them. When the others come back, we shoot them too, and keep the whole loot”.

They slew the three policemen, and waited for the other two to arrive, upon which they shot them. The robbers then took the poisoned food and indulged themselves and also died.

All this while, the old man was watching from his vantage point, and he came and dug five minutes and packed the whole loot in bags and took to his house.

Most governments come to power through a pledge to stop corruption. All oppositions worldwide will always find corruption in the existing government and exploit it to ascend to power. The players in the new government will quickly realize that they can personally gain from the national kitty.

Opportunities will present themselves such as Companies wishing to get contracts offering a huge cut for the government officials, projects whose accounting is not up to scratch and generally loopholes in the system that requires high levels of integrity and morality to overlook or seal, instead of exploiting.

The Moi government was corrupt through Goldenberg etc, the Kibaki government hatched the Anglo-leasing etc and UhuRuto government came to power on the promise to end corruption, however, what we hear now are deafening noises of who has stolen from Dams, NYS, Afya house, Youth fund the list is endless.

In reality, everyone is a thief, waiting for an opportunity to present itself. As stated by the Interior Cabinet Secretary recently, if the society is corrupt, and corruption permeates all sectors of the economy, it is quite difficult to end the vice in a few years. To win the fight, commitment at all levels especially the top level is required and everyone must be involved.

When we embezzle public funds that are meant for projects or completely siphon cash out of our parastatals and government-owned companies, aren’t we leaving our future governments to borrow from foreigners such as Chinese, Europeans, and Americans? When we borrow from these people, aren’t we leaving our future generations at their mercy? Aren’t these foreigners the old man in the story?

Immediately the top involves itself in corruption, it signals a free for all eating culture where there is no one standing on a moral high ground to tell the other it is wrong. The story above illustrates how a system can choke itself to extinction if corruption is not checked.

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