Kemi Waterton-Zhou is the dynamic and energetic Deputy Company Secretary at Checkout.com. Checkout.com’s platform integrates electronic payments, analytics, and fraud monitoring into one platform. The London-headquartered company processes payments for big clients like Pizza Hut and H&M.
Kemi’s trajectory through corporate manifested after returning to the University of Northampton to pursue her master’s degree in Corporate Governance & Leadership. It was there that she learned about the company secretarial route. Kemi became interested after taking a Company Secretarial Practice module and knew it would be a great fit for her.
While still in school, Kemi found a position as an assistant company secretary at an accountancy firm. Upon her 2015 graduation, she stayed committed to her goals and worked in various industry spaces before eventually landing her role at Checkout.com in 2021 during the pandemic.
In her current role, Kemi is able to bridge the gap between different functions and departments to achieve best practices in Governance. Her talent even earned her the DMJ HOT 100 in Governance award earlier this year. Kemi’s also concerned with being a source of inspiration for young Black professionals and currently manages and leads an all-Black team that she believes will achieve corporate success.
BYP: What do you love most about your job?
Kemi: I like the interaction with various departments and stakeholders and the variety of my role. I enjoy facilitating major projects and getting the necessary approvals required by the Corporate body. Being a sounding board for governance-related matters is another aspect of my job I love.
BYP: What advice would you give someone dealing with imposture syndrome?
Kemi: There were moments where I doubted myself throughout my career, but I remind myself that I am in my position because I showcased my abilities and I am capable of doing the job. Focusing on the tasks at hand and honing your skills is a big way to deflect your doubts. Also, having that belief in yourself is vital. There will be doubts, but you have to look at your accomplishments and know they chose you out of everyone because of your capabilities.
BYP: Were you able to have a Black role model in your field?
Kemi: Not within my immediate environment. I try to be an example to those that I manage. My team currently looks like me, and I look like them. So, it has been nice to be a role model for someone else. One of the aspects I look for is how I can encourage and mentor people like me within the governance profession.
BYP: How important is your network?
Kemi: Having people you can bounce ideas off is very important. Discussing and sharing ideas ensure you’re thinking in the correct space and looking at the right things. People interpret, see, read or hear things differently, so having a soundboard is helpful.
BYP: What key takeaways could you give?
Kemi: Whatever you are looking to achieve, hone your skills, get a network and enjoy the process. Enjoying the process is crucial. Remember to celebrate how far you have come. Believe in yourself and never be afraid to ask questions or ask for feedback because that is how you grow.
To learn more about Checkout.com or apply for their available opportunities, click here.