As the new Head of Balance Sheet Management at Nedbank Namibia, Taleni Nengola leads a team of four, and she is responsible for ensuring strategic balance sheet management, monitoring liquidity risk, capital management, and interest rate risk in the banking book as well as foreign exchange risk.
Her team fulfils the regulatory reporting function within the Nedbank Namibia Finance Department, which involves compiling regulatory submissions as well as ensuring compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements.
Nengola said she wants to optimise the talents of her new team in service of achieving their aligned business goals and believes every team member brings a unique strength to the table.
“As a leader, I try to identify these strengths and learn as much as I can about my team. It is important to me that they also feel valued by the department and Nedbank Namibia as a whole,” she says.
In her new role, she aims to maintain authenticity as a leader, noting that it “is the sweet spot where your core values align with what you do. I am driven to continue building a career where that is the case because it will push me to show up fully every day”.
Nengola recalls that her motivations to join the finance industry originated in its innovative nature and the vast opportunities for growth offered by the industry.
The changing landscape of the Namibian finance industry also excites her, especially the gender-representative appointments made at the top level.
“I am very inspired by the fact that four of the top five commercial banks in Namibia are led by female managing directors at the moment, and we also have a woman as deputy governor at the Bank of Namibia for the first time in our country’s history.”
She cautions, however, that we cannot become complacent, noting that although it shows how Namibia continues to gain significant ground in addressing gender inequality in the workplace, there is still a long way to go in achieving this worldwide.
Navigating leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic has caused Nengola to self-reflect on the meaning of work.
She advised that despite several damaging socio-economic effects, the pandemic presented an opportunity for all to interrogate their careers and themselves.
“Do less of what brings you little or no joy, and more of what lights you up. You have to take good care of your body and mind.”
According to The World’s Women 2020, published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, women held only 28% of managerial positions globally in 2019 – nearly the same proportion as in 1995.
“Only 18% of enterprises surveyed had a female chief executive officer in 2020,” noted Nengola.