At Kindred, we are passionate about Diversity and are committed to building a diverse team with an Inclusive and Equitable experience for all. We spoke to Gabriella Traversa who heads up our Group Reporting and Tax function about her journey with Kindred, diversity and building a vision for the future.
Tell us about your career at Kindred?
I started my career with Unibet in 2016 as a Group Head of Financial Reporting, just before we became Kindred Group. My role involves analysis of financial data and great coordination with various teams to ensure that our Group numbers are correct and that is accurately presented in our quarterly and annual reports.
Soon after I joined, I was given the opportunity to build our tax function, which now consists of a passionate group of experts responsible for the compliance and various taxes - from betting duties and VAT to corporation tax - in all the jurisdictions we operate in. The global macro tax environment has evolved significantly in recent years with increased regulation and scrutiny. There is also a heightened focus on the tech industry, as digital technology now allows businesses to operate in countries without a physical presence, which poses challenges for traditional taxation.
Also, the media spotlight on tax has resulted in increased reputational risk, requiring improved understanding, governance, and oversight of tax matters at senior levels within an organisation. My job is to ensure tax affairs and risks are being properly managed and aligned with the overall goals and strategy of the Group, with a clear view of our key stakeholders’ concerns and what it is expected to deliver.
When I joined, both group reporting and tax were newly created functions and contributing to their growth has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. I have the privilege to work with extremely talented and motivated people who I’ve learnt a lot from. Kindred is the place where ambitions and initiatives are welcomed, and people are encouraged to challenge themselves and others. "Never a boring day" is what we often say. This is what attracted me to Kindred four years ago and still does.
Tell us about yourself, what do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I am fully dedicated to my family, in particular to my energetic two-year-old who manages to always keep me busy! As an Italian, I have a true passion for good food and wine - the kitchen is the place where I spend most of my time when at home. Hosting dinners and cooking for friends and family while sipping good wine and chatting is pure joy and relaxation for me.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career so far?
Perhaps the biggest challenge I had to face was my return to work after maternity leave. I had to adapt to the significant changes that occurred during my absence. At the same time, I had to find a new way to balance my busy work schedule and my unchanged professional ambitions with a ‘new’ life at home with a baby. It wasn’t easy and took some adjusting, but my husband’s support was fundamental to my success.
One of our values is Dare To Challenge. What does that mean to you?
To me, ‘Dare to challenge’ is an encouragement to believe in yourself and think that you can do it! In my opinion, women sometimes don’t fully appreciate how resilient, problem-solving and determined they are. These are the perfect skills to succeed in our careers and life.
What do you think needs to improve to get more women into senior positions in business?
This is a mindset and a cultural change that is already happening. More people (men and women) speak up about equality and continue to raise awareness on the topic. However, we need more companies to lead the way and recruit more women into senior positions. Equality is not about a preference of a woman over a man, but is about giving fair chances to talented candidates (regardless of their gender) to succeed.
If you could give one piece of advice to other women looking to progress up the career ladder, what would it be?
Develop your long-term vision of what you want to achieve and who you want to be. The journey might be bumpy at times but always stay true to yourself and never let anybody else distract from your ambitions.