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’m Winnie Sun, managing partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners and a CNBC Digital Council member. You can also find me on Forbes and the Fox television program Good Day Los Angeles where I’m a personal finance contributor.
I moved into the financial industry early on with the hopes of increasing financial literacy to help my own family better manage their finances. Now, having counseled clients for almost 20 years, I realize how much opportunity there is in sharing financial concepts and empowerment on public platforms such as at large conferences, television programs, radio, podcasts, video, and especially social media.
2. What does being a woman in Fintech mean to you?
You know, as a woman who has started several companies and has always been an entrepreneur, I never gave much thought to being a woman. But as a woman in the financial industry, well, you recognize quite quickly how differently you are treated by your peers. Early on, I knew that I needed to change and leave a hostile environment in order to survive in this business.
In this business, you need to focus and stay away from the noise and drama. I have always chosen to focus on what I needed to do to enhance the lives of our clients, our team, and our company. That’s what we need to do. Change a situation that doesn’t work for you.
When my husband and I wanted to start a family, it became acutely clear how much more challenging it was to juggle both kids and work, but it never seemed like a disadvantage.
Do I think are too few women in the financial industry? Yes, of course. Are there too few women leading in this industry? Yes, of course also. But, I will say, for me, being a woman in this industry has certainly been an advantage. If you focus on the positive, you can stand out and have a voice.
3. What challenges do you think women face in Fintech?
Women in the financial industry have always been challenged by the lack of positive women role models in leadership roles and even in our peer groups.
Additionally, one of the big ones is the lack of a true maternity (or paternity) leave program. Today’s financial advisor is a whole person who wants a quality of life with their families as well as being a consultant at work partnering with clients. If you want to attract good quality talent who have the desire to build a life in this industry, you have to change the cold environment this industry has traditionally been. Encourage people to share, work together, and change with the times. You need to invite quality of life, invest in family time, encourage your advisors to have a life beyond work. Bring in relevant technology and tools quickly. This is the only way to continue to attract the next generation of talented individuals to join our industry.
4. What advice would you give to other women starting out and growing their careers in Fintech?
My advice for women who are just getting started in this industry would be to get a seat at the table first. Once you’re in, start to get to know others who are practicing in a way that aligns with your value system and business integrity. Listen, take notes, and participate in conversations. Eventually, when you’re ready, make your voice heard.
Women make up half of the population and our future daughters, sisters, granddaughters, friends, and colleagues need you to play an active, meaningful role in the future of the financial industry. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy and fulfilled in your work. If it doesn’t feel like a fit or feel good in your soul, look at ways to better your current situation. Don’t give up. We have the ability to make a financial difference in so many people and generations’ lives if just given the chance. It’s a great industry, so see how you can help make a better environment for our next generation.
5. What are 3 keywords to describe Fintech for 2019?
Inspiration, pivot, collaboration