Jessica Camus

A Multi-Faceted Leader Helping Organizations To Strategically Address Social And Sustainability Risk

Women today may not always realize their full potential, but once unleashed, they have a clear path to success. When they discover themselves in a leadership position, it is impossible to dispute their capacity and skills. Jessica Camus, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Head of ESG at Diginex, is an inspirational female leader who has been steering Diginex towards a bright future. During the last 15 years, she has been driven by a passion for assisting organizations in proactively addressing sustainability-related risks and opportunities as a source of value creation.

As the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Head of ESG, her responsibilities include overseeing the work of the advisory and sustainability teams, collaborating closely with her colleagues in product and sales to improve their solutions, interacting with clients and partners, and providing thought leadership in the quickly evolving sustainability field. As a founding team member of Diginex, the diligent leader is proud to work alongside 80 purpose-driven and diverse, talented individuals.

Before joining Diginex, Jessica led her own strategy consulting practice, advising international organizations, governments, growth companies, and accelerators on scaling strategies for sustainability, social impact, and impact investments in frontier markets. Her first board position was as a Non-Executive Director of an agro-forestry company listed on the AIM markets of the London Stock Exchange at the age of 34 years.

Before this, she was elected as a Global Leadership Fellow and worked as an Associate Director at the World Economic Forum, where she facilitated public-private partnerships with a focus on gender parity, entrepreneurship, and innovation for senior executives and ministries around the world and in Davos. With Thomson Reuters, Jessica started her career as a Financial Market Executive.

Images from the 34th Annual Marine Money Week at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. Photo by David Butler II

Technological Solutions To Meet Sustainability Requirements

Diginex provides end-to-end technological solutions to meet sustainability requirements. Its innovative ESG reporting, supply chain due diligence, and climate SaaS solutions are designed to be accessible, intuitive, and scalable. Together with her team, Jessica makes sure that every one of their products is user-friendly, and also adheres to the highest security standards, and employs blockchain technology to protect client data and make it possible to provide audit trails that enable investor-grade data. Its products are also aligned with international standards and are certified by the leading ESG framework providers. Diginex’s objective is to enable small and mid-cap enterprises to easily exchange non-financial data with financial institutions and large brands, looking for scalable ways to undertake due diligence on their smaller business partners.

Our products are already being used by customers in over 30 countries and across a wide range of industries. Yet, as we strive towards democratizing sustainable reporting, it still feels like we are very much at the beginning of the journey, says Jessica, It’s the diversity of thought and skills, at the intersection of technology and sustainability, that makes Diginex an exceptional company.

Promote DE&I

Jessica proudly asserts, “The focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion is part of diginex’s DNA.” Diginex hires exceptionally talented people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, gender, and sexual orientation. Women are well represented on the executive team and throughout all ranks of the organization, including the company’s product and engineering teams. Diginex has always been great in championing the most innovative ideas, regardless of gender or level of seniority. “This goes to my own experience in the days of the early incepting diginexESG, where I pitched the idea internally. I received nothing but support from our Founder and leadership team,” says Jessica.

She further adds, “Beyond our own organizational boundaries, I am excited for the teams to be working on products that empower women in particular. To support brands in identifying the risk of gender-based violence and harassment in their supply chains, Diginex has recently launched a new Gender Module in its supply chain due diligence platform, diginexLUMEN.”

The tool helps suppliers carry out a self-diagnostic gender gap analysis – using a survey developed by Unilever and validated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). It empowers suppliers to assess gaps on gender equity issues, while crucially reaching workers and giving them a voice through the integrated worker voice tool, diginexAPPRISE.

Facing Challenges Head-on

According to Jessica, women tend to set high standards for themselves and believe that they need to run all dimensions of their work and life perfectly. When faced with obstacles, they blame themselves rather than looking at the reality that our societies still lack the appropriate support structures and face issues of perception and systemic challenges to equality.

It goes a long way to show that it is not perfection that gets you closer towards success and a happy balance. What it takes is stamina to work in the light of imperfection and discomfort towards goals that are continuously re-evaluated, yet clearly defined.

A few months ago, by a note, I received following an investor call from a black woman that was part of the investor team, which acknowledged how rarely she said in investor talks with other women of color on the other side. This is my experience too, and even more so underlines the importance for female and male leaders to continue to championing women and minority groups, to help break down the barriers in industries, such as technology and finance, that have traditionally been underrepresented by women,” shares Jessica.

Source Of Motivation

When asked to share her source of motivation, Jessica replied, “Today, my primary source of motivation are my two beautiful children, for whom I wish to serve as an example of being a “good global citizen.” The global health crisis exposed our vulnerability, the urgency of the climate crisis is looming, and political conflict and crisis are omnipresent, including here in Europe. Inaction is not an option, and I am a big believer that each one of us has a unique talent to bring to the table. Combining a diverse set of skills and perspectives will help unlock the much-needed innovation and progress towards a more sustainable world.

Future Plans

As a founding team member of Diginex, Jessica plans to continue to support the company’s growth by focusing intently on scaling its products and services across industries and sectors. She also wants to support female entrepreneurs, offering advice to a wider variety of C-level executives on how to successfully integrate sustainability at the top of the board agenda, and share her knowledge from working in this rapidly changing sustainability space. In line with her motto “life is a journey”, Jessica is looking forward to future travels, discovering new places and cultures, and fulfilling her commitment to life-long learning.

Valuable Advice

Being a successful women leader and seasoned professional, Jessica gives valuable advice, “I’d recommend to any female professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs to find what you are truly passionate about in the early years of your career. This will make it less likely to give up work entirely when kids are at a young age, which helps secure financial independence and avoid widening of the pay gap longer term. Rather invest in equal distribution of home choirs and building up a strong supporting network,  join an organization that caught up with the norms of working at more flexible hours and  remote, where possible.

She further adds, “I’d also encourage a greater emphasis on risk-taking. I believe it’s important to expose young female professionals and entrepreneurs to role models across a wide range of disciplines. Leadership can be found in the commitment of public sector leaders, to those steering fast-past entrepreneurial ventures all the way to sports.“ Jessica explains that she herself has always enjoyed reading and interacting with inspirational public figures and the many outstanding female leaders – some well-known, and others working in the shadows.  She said that if she had to highlight just one, it would be Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who in 2021 became the first African woman to hold the position of General Director at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala continues to be an inspiration to women all over the world as a global finance expert, economist, expert in international development, and mother of four kids.

When asked for advice on how to keep going when times get hard, Jessica replies: “It goes a long way to show that it is not perfection that gets you closer towards success and a happy balance. What it takes is stamina to work in the light of imperfection and discomfort towards goals that are continuously re-evaluated, yet clearly defined.

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