This interview is part of a series of interviews featuring female Fintech leaders globally. LATTICE80, in partnership with Miss Kaya, recently published our Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 list.The effort reflects our efforts in women empowerment and support in a field where women continue to be underrepresented. Check out the full list for 2018 here as well.
Miss Kaya is a lifestyle driven financial platform for the modern woman that aims to empower them to carve their own financial freedom through technologically-empowered financial tools. The mission is to provide the modern women globally with the support, resources, and community they need to live the lifestyle that they want.
Disclaimer: The interviews are published on a rolling basis and the order by which they are published by no means representative of any rankings.
1.Tell us more about what you do and how did you move into Fintech?
I have spent my career in the technology and financial services industries. I am a computer engineer by training, but have worked for most of my career in corporate strategy and marketing roles within financial services. I recognised fintech as having the potential to substantially disrupt the traditional world of banking as early as in 2010, and I have gone on to tweet, blog and speak about it since. My initial focus was to educate the masses on fintech, now my focus is, as the fintech industry matures, on helping the parties collaborate better.
I run a research company focused on fintech, called Burnmark. I am also part of the Think Forward Initiative from ING Group, teach fintech at courses around the world including at Harvard University, and write columns, blogs and books on the topic.
2. What does being a woman in fintech mean to you?
I have always been a rare woman in my peer groups – from my computer engineering class to my MBA to my career with financial service firms. I never noticed it though – the influencers for me were people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc in the 90s, and I was never bothered about being the only woman in the room, especially in senior leadership meetings. However, supporting other women in fintech has become more important as I have become more visible in the industry. I believe the best way to support is to teach young girls across the UK (below the age of 15) how to obtain a meaningful career in technology and finance. I do that by speaking at various girls’ schools around the UK as part of Speakers4Schools.
3. What challenges do you think women face in Fintech?
I genuinely believe that talking about challenges is irrelevant – every job, every career, every life faces its own set of challenges. How we overcome these challenges is what makes us successful or unique. Women are naturally built with resilience and a penchant for hard work, and I think it stands us in good stead to face any challenge that comes our way!
4. What advice would you give to other women starting out and growing their careers in Fintech?
- Figure out ways to stand out in a group, by identifying your own unique strengths and skills
- Always be willing to learn and to grow
- Never assume that people will hand opportunities to you – you need to ask for them
- Be authentic. Have your own strong voice, be it in social media or internally in an organisation.
5. What are 3 keywords to describe Fintech for 2019?
Significant, Collaborative, B2B