Yugrow founders believe in providing holistic career support for women to grow and thrive

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The company leverages tech to step into the gap that traditional methods of career advancement aren’t filling.

Described as Africa’s first behavioural tech platform, Yugrow prides itself in being a tech-safe space that empowers women to break barriers, operate with agency and authenticity, and thrive in their careers.

Research conducted by Yugrow highlighted an uncomfortable insight – that 82 percent of female employees hold back their contribution due to fear of judgment and failure, a missed opportunity for businesses to gain from the benefits of a diverse workforce.

The behavior tech platform was built on the back of deep research with women across industries, levels and countries on the African continent, revealing the real barriers that impact women’s ability to transition and/or thrive in leadership roles.

This research, together with the lived experiences of the co-founders, Kele Boakgomo (a former managing director at a leading global management consulting firm) and Yolanda Nobanda (an entrepreneur and strategic HR adviser, with experience spanning 13 African countries), shaped the design of a research-backed, hyper-personalised and intelligent solution that gets to the heart of the internal barriers that women battle, often in silence, so that they may drive their growth with renewed energy, stay engaged, operate at peak performance and contribute significantly in their roles.

Data-driven intelligence

“As women who had gone through a myriad of women development programmes, we were determined to build something that truly met the needs of women. Understanding that traditional and homogenous approaches have not yielded the impact that is required to see gender balanced workforces, we sharpened our focus on leveraging technology, to personalise this development experience to meet each woman where she is at,” noted Kele who is also the CEO.

“We honour the efforts and investment that many companies are making to support female talent, however we believe it is time for a step change in approaches, so that organisations may truly see an increase in levels of engagement, retention and promotion within the company’s ranks,” says Yolanda, COO.

Yugrow connects the dots across many disciplines in personal development, from talent assessment, coaching, learning and development and goal attainment and through its 12-month journey, offers a self-driven experience, that puts growth in the hands of the individual woman, while empowering the organisation with deep talent insights that enable it to get ahead of any talent risks and proactively manage this critical talent segment.

The downshifting of careers by women after the Covid-19 pandemic, together with a nearly 4,2% percent reversal in hiring of women into senior roles, is creating a gap in an already leaky pipeline.

The platform brings science and data-led engagement as well as innovation to the fore, helping women to build thriving careers and organisations to develop strategies to improve employee experience and gender equality.

A science of small actions

HR ecosystems need to expand their support to include critical soft skills development, as their research pointed to internal barriers as a significant limiting factor for women, says Kele.

Adding that myriad of challenges faced by women harms their mental health, notwithstanding the battle to overcome significant internal barriers such as self-doubt, self-criticism, and fear of failure, among others, often not spoken of, but evidenced by not fully benefiting from the full contribution of this talent segment.

“Our platform is working with corporations and combining technology and innovation to enable women to grow in their careers and their personal lives and unlock their full potential.”

One such company is Accenture which is their flagship client that came on board in 2021 when the global head of diversity and inclusion, who sits in New York, showed interest in the platform.

“This, for us, was a significant milestone and affirmation to being on the right track,” they say.

Yugrow’s 12-month journey is designed to support women to break barriers, and unlock their full potential now, so that they may contribute meaningfully in all roles they fulfil, and not wait for the positional titles to make an impact.

The app, which harnesses the latest research and behavioural change science, drives sustainable behaviour change at a personal level, bringing technology together with psychology. Ultimately, this allows women to bring their whole selves to work and contribute meaningfully to all areas of their lives – a turnkey for socio-economic change.

The feedback received from some global HR executives, states that the platform has accelerated their learning and development strategies, by offering a blended behaviour change experience, that is self-driven, powered by a global community and rich insights.

“Yugrow is a flagship programme for female talent at SA’s 2023 Top Employer, and we are truly humbled and excited to partner with more organisations on their DE&I efforts,” concluded Yolanda.

 

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