Building Our Own Table: Mary Waweru

Meet the founder of Crest Impact

Hello friends,

I always say racism is a global issue, so it’s a pleasure to introduce you to Mary Waweru, who has published some hard-hitting posts on LinkedIn and who is doing anti-racism work in Finland drawing in part on her own experience as a Kenyan immigrant to that country. Please meet Mary…

Mary, tell me briefly about your background prior to founding Crest Impact

In the beginning, being a Kenyan immigrant African woman and student in Finland, I felt trapped working in spaces and industries where I had first-hand experience with exploitation and underemployment. This created a need in me to change systems that oppressed people with a variety of identities and backgrounds. I saw xenophobia and racism in different settings and survived through low-paid jobs with a business degree and little relevant work experience.

After I completed my master's degree in business administration, I decided to start all over again with unpaid internships and training. I eventually had my big break in advertising where I started as project management trainee for 6 months and later became a Project Manager in content maintenance with multinationals including Nokia, Kone, Volvo, etc. Working as a Global Project Manager in the advertising world helped me develop my international, communications, organisation and leadership skills which I have transferred to my work as an entrepreneur.

Ever since I could remember, gender equity and human rights have been a core part of my beliefs which has made transitioning into anti-racism and social impact work on a full-time basis feel natural. This work is also one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have worked in various sectors including hospitality, recruitment and advertising and this current point I am in, is where I find my joy.

Give me the elevator pitch for Crest Impact

Crest Impact provides anti-racism, social impact, diversity, equity and inclusion training and consultation services to individuals and organisations.

And in more detail?

I have designed courses in anti-racism and neo-colonialism to educate the world on dismantling the systems of oppression that are embedded in our work and creating the inequities that exist all around us. I seek to guide people and organisations to building anti-oppressive systems that include and prioritise the safety of our global communities.

What inequity were you trying to redress/address, and why is this important?

Racism and neo-colonialism are some of our greatest challenges and as an African, I cannot just sit and watch this.

How’s it going? What has the response been?

The progress is there but slow. I am, however, focused and not giving up on this important cause.

What’s next for Crest Impact?

Partnerships and projects with Africa and the Global South in general are some of the things that keep me waiting excitedly. They will be happening soon!

In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?

I want to see a world where African women are leaders and system designers and no longer portrayed and used as objects of exploitation and neglect.

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to Mary’s work. To learn more, please check out her website and LinkedIn profile where you’ll find posts like:

Thanks for reading,

Sharon

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© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2024. All Rights Reserved.

I am an anti-racism educator and activist, the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

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