Fintech Exec Kahina Van Dyke Once Turned Down a Role to Make Her Manager Feel Better


Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is Kahina Van Dyke, who’s been a consumer finance and financial technology executive with Citi, Mastercard, and Facebook.

Kahina Van Dyke

Board Director, Progressive

My first job was a paper delivery girl at 14.

My big break came when I packed my bags, left everyone I knew, and moved overseas in my 20s.

I’ve had to work hardest at separating failing and failure.

I never imagined I would keep re-imagining my possible.

I wish I’d learned sooner to take bigger risks and ignore advice from people who will never “get” me.

The risk I regret not taking is in my first international assignment. I was offered a breakthrough CEO role and said no to make my manager feel better.

If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent moving (biking/hiking) through nature in the morning, lying on the beach in the afternoon, and eating dinner under the stars with my peeps.

Being a great mom while creating a new equitable, resilient and inclusive global leadership model keeps me up at night.

When I’m struggling, I say to myself, “One spoonful at a time. Fear will not keep you safe. You are descended from warriors.”

I am unapologetically different.


Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.

Kahina Van Dyke will be a speaker at the 2020 Women of Power Summit, March 5-8 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Register here to join us!





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