Gatsby Africa aims to accelerate inclusive and resilient economic growth in East Africa by demonstrating how key sectors can be transformed.

Oxford HR has worked with the Gatsby Foundation, Gatsby Africa and Msingi over the past ten years, sourcing candidates for roles in London and East Africa.  This has been a successful long-term partnership and Oxford HR has completed over fifty successful placements. On this occasion, we worked with Gatsby to find a Regional HR Manager, Judith Sequeira. The brief was to find a senior East African HR professional for this new role, ideally a woman, and to focus the search on Tanzania, where the majority of Gatsby staff were located.  The search went smoothly and we identified a strong shortlist of Tanzanian HR experts, who underwent practical and psychometric testing.  Judith’s evident skills, international experience, and enthusiasm for the role made her an outstanding candidate.

Judith is a results-oriented senior HR executive with deep competency in developing and aligning HR strategy with overall business strategy and has held roles as HR consultant and Head of HR for both international corporates and non-profits in Tanzania. She is a qualified Senior HR Professional with a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Wooster, Ohio.

When asked why did she join Gatsby Africa, Judith said that her consultancy assignment was ending and this opportunity came along – “I think I’ve found the dream job and it came by accident!”. From the very beginning in her interaction with Gatsby, she loved the people, and that’s a reason she won’t leave for a long time. Gatsby is a place full of talented people, ambitious, with a purpose of doing better and doing more, which is felt at all levels. Coming from the banking and manufacturing sectors, working for an organisation whose ultimate goal is to impact the lives of people who are less privileged makes her very proud for having joined the team.

Judith see her role as a relationship manager between the employer and the employees. “Sometimes you have to take sides with the employees and sometimes with the employer, the overall purpose is to have a happy organisation – making sure that everyone at Gatsby lives the experience we promised them when we recruited them”. Judith understands the people she works with on the ground and acts as a bridge between them and the HQ, when policies are being made. Judith feels completely engaged, loves what she does, and feels she’s being challenged with substantial personal and professional growth over the last two years. One of the things she enjoys is the autonomy of the role – this is the first role she’s been in that’s reporting to someone who’s not in country and trusts her advice. which  enough t, which is invaluable, and seeks her advice. She uses this very sensibly.

As for Gatsby Africa, this year’s strategy is making sure that diversity is a priority, which has only been on the table, but it’s time to make it happen. Diversity meaning not only gender and ethnicity, but also education background, etc, making sure that creativity is enhanced. Another agenda item is safeguarding and making sure what the policy means for all staff, and that as an organisation we’re protecting the vulnerable people we work with. Finally, finding talent – Gatsby takes a lot of pride in investing a lot of resources to find the best suitable people to work with.

When asked about her experience with Oxford HR, we can’t but just let her say it: “I’m a big fan and I know I’m very biased, but I’ve had just the best experience and keep recommending Oxford HR – to those people who value quality and personalized service. The difference with Karen is that not only does she understand our organization very well, but she also takes keen personal interest in understanding the individuals that work for Gatsby and this just makes the experience all the more unique and effective. I love working with Oxford HR.”

And the future? Judith has always dreamed of working with a non-traditional HR department with a tech savvy organisation, like Google or Facebook. “Technology is not going anywhere” and she’d like to work with alternative tools. So far, nonetheless, Judith feels very valued as an employee at Gatsby, so you’ll be pleased to know that she won’t be leaving any time soon.