Wired-In webinar: The changing face of FinTech

computer development

In our latest Wired-In webinar, Nadia Edwards-Dashti, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer at Harrington Starr, explored the key findings from her widely successful book ‘FinTech Women Walk the Talk’ which contains insight from more than 150 FinTech experts, more than 100 of them are women.

Webinar transcript

Reece Baggott, Digital Marketing Lead at NorthRow: Hello, everyone. Good morning, and welcome to Wired-In. I’m your host today, Reece, the Digital Marketing Lead here at NorthRow, and I’m delighted to have you all with us. If you are new to the Wired-In series, this is a platform where we like to address challenges, emerging topics and trends across the Fin and RegTech space, and where we invite thought leaders such as our amazing guest today, Nadia Edwards-Dashti, who you should be able to see next to me, at the top of your screens. 

Nadia is going to be looking into ‘walking the talk’ for inclusion across the FinTech space and real deep-dive into women in FinTech with her amazing book. So I’m just gonna give a brief introduction into Nadia before we get going.

Nadia co-founded Harrington Starr in 2010, a leading financial technology recruitment firm, having recruited in Financial Services and technology for 18 years. Nadia is responsible for helping over 2,000 people find jobs. As Chief Customer Officer, she runs an amazing podcast series, and award winning, by the way, the D&I discussions. 

I highly recommend you go check that out, where she shares challenges and success stories of people that are also driving change across the industry. 

Nadia’s written a book, which is going to be talked about today, which is ‘FinTech Women Walk the Talk, Moving the Needle for Workplace Gender Equality in Financial Services Beyond’, which quotes 100 plus people from her podcast and, campaigns for gender equality and includes the award-winning “19% List”. 

Nadia has got a whole host of awards and accolades, which would probably fluster me reading them out so I’m going to avoid that for the minute! But you can check them out over on our landing page, where you signed up. It’s all over there!

But for now, it’s great to have you with us, Nadia and the floor is yours.

Nadia Edwards-Dashti, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer at Harrington Starr:

Thank you so much. Can you hear me OK, everyone?

Great. So, thank you so much for inviting me onto this, into this series. I think it’s such an important conversation for us all to be having. And everyone as I go through the presentation today, I really encourage as many questions as possible, but also any follow up that you want to do with me if there’s anything specific that you want to cover afterwards. 

But, I will be telling you the story of how I got to write my book, FinTech Women Walk the Talk. It was a real commitment to this industry and the people within this industry who are committed, day in day out, to driving better inclusion across our sector. A sector that’s notoriously struggled within this space with the historic troubles in technology, financial services, and that coming through into the world of FinTech. My passions and my commitments, I’m going to talk you through how I’ve turned that into real action to drive this industry to be better. 

And yes, I am. I’m a recruiter.

I’m a recruiter that has worked within this space since 2005. And I feel that’s given me a real privilege to be able to understand the reality of what has been going on. And you know, since 2005, when I left Uni and I started in the great wide world of work, I fell into recruitment. And one thing that I realised very, very quickly was that this industry was absolutely flooded with one particular demographic.

And there just weren’t that many of anybody else. And over the years of my career, what I’d love to see is some change, but not nearly enough change.

My journey to writing this book, FinTech Women Walk the Talk, was very much about me spending an entire career committed to talking to people across the sector, about what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, what’s working, and what more everybody can do.

And one thing that you will hear from me a lot in the next 20 minutes, is this phrase: “inclusion is about including everybody.”

Because we still face one of the biggest barriers when it comes to gender equality, when it comes to inclusion within the sector. And that big barrier is that there’s a large number of people that don’t believe the inclusion is up to them, to try and drive forward. 

And what often happens is we leave minorities to drive forward inclusion, minorities to drive forward gender equality, when we need the majority, We need everybody to be involved, because it is for the good of us all. 

So, thank you for the great introduction Reece, and essentially the book itself is exactly what Reece said. 

It ended up being me bringing to life over 120 podcasts that I had recorded at that date. 

And I’m going to tell you the story of each of those, each of those pods, how it’s grown to 120 to write the book. How it is now, currently, over 350 podcasts recorded, all with individuals across the financial technology space, telling their stories, their wins for inclusion, and challenges.

What anchored them? What helped them back? The things that they had to go through to drive this industry to be a better place, and most importantly, their advice on what we need to do, to not just talk about gender equality and not just talk about inclusion, but walk that talk and turn that talking to action.

And, you know, this week alone, I’ve spoken to so many individuals about the lack of change. And what I wanted to do was start with a few stats for you, just to really make us clear on the situation that we’re dealing with.

Right now, only 1.5% of the best-funded private FinTech firms globally are founded solely by women and receive just 1% of total FinTech venture funding. So, the next time someone says to you, or to any of you, aren’t we done with this? Haven’t, haven’t we achieved what we wanted to achieve? Absolutely not.

Why are you still going on about this, Nadia? Because we are not moving that needle forward, and my book was all about, how do we move the needle forward? How do we achieve equity in the workplace? How do we achieve parity? How do we ensure we achieve truly fair and inclusive environments? And we’ve still got a long way to go that everybody needs to be involved in.

Women only make up 11% of all board members and 19% of company executives. Less than 4% of women, globally, hold the title of Chief Innovation or Technology Officer.

Interestingly, there are higher percentages in Africa, and Wales are doing a brilliant job. I think they are nearly up to 20% on this, which is hugely different to the rest of the world, but we’ll go into that in a bit more detail.

And as of today, in the UK, only 26% of all STEM roles are filled by women. STEM, let me be clear on that, isn’t only technology roles, and I will come to talk about this in a bit more detail shortly.

There’s been lots of research done. I’ve read some really interesting work from PricewaterhouseCoopers and EY, and these were some of the statistics of many people surveyed. 71% of women who’ve worked in a tech company, identify that company with a ‘bro culture’. Around 72% of the female tech workforce feel constantly outnumbered in business meetings. No surprise there.

This is where we start to really get to the crux of it. 63% of the men interviewed within tech firms view their companies as equal employees regarding gender. This is a very, very key step that we need to look at. The quit rate of women in technology is almost twice as high as that of men.

So, this takes me to one of the biggest conversations I’ve had over the years. And I just want to quantify those conversations.

So, since 2005, I have worked in recruitment, talking to individuals about why they’re leaving their current role and what they want in their next role. I’m not somebody’s exit interview, and I talk to them in confidence. I’ve been building relationships for the past 18, nearly 19 years, with individuals across the sector, really scoping out and following them within their career, to understand who’s getting promoted and who’s not. Who’s receiving the pay rises and who’s not? Who are actually leaving the industry because they’ve had enough and who’s not? Who ends up moving into the CTO position and who hasn’t?

And, when you look at this, over the course of an 18 year career, the results are astounding. And, it’s these results I really want to hone in on.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to thousands of people, and I want to give you some, you know, quantity on that. And to qualify what I mean by that. I’ve now recorded 350 episodes of my podcast series. They fall into four categories. The women of FinTech, families of FinTech, talent of FinTech and humans of FinTech. We are talking about equality. We’re talking about inclusion. We’re talking about the challenges that people face.

But it is a podcast.

So not everybody is going to feel safe in our world that we live in to tell us everything on that podcast.

However, in the private conversations I have with people, I am hearing all of the feedback and all of the reasons, but most importantly, I’m also seeing what we need to do to drive change, and I get to see what really works.

As of now, one of my campaigns for gender equality is to give as many companies across the financial technology space, proper visibility of female technology talent. Because one of the biggest challenges I faced over the years as a recruiter, is when I speak to hiring managers, they often say “Oh, we would love to have hired a woman or affected our gender imbalance, but you know, they just don’t exist in DevOps, application, support, testing.” Whatever it may be.

And, you know, as a recruiter in this space, I know that’s ridiculous! Of course, women exist! Yes, there is a percentage deficit compared to their male counterparts, but women and non-binary individuals do exist within this space and do exist within those technology skill sets.

The biggest issue for me is debunking that myth, but also ensuring that we are retaining everybody within this space fairly, and that retention, across all of these conversations. I’ve had every single week here at Harrington Starr, I speak to, personally, every single one of the female, or non-binary candidates, that those consultants are representing. I don’t speak to them about specific roles, I speak to them about their experience within this industry.

That figure has now moved up to over a thousand in-person conversations that I’ve had over the past 2.5 years, with women and non-binary individuals about this industry. We then send out surveys upon surveys and have had 8,000 people respond to those surveys around why do people leave? Why do people stay, and how can we invest fairly into the people within our industry?

And this is a lot of the stuff that I want to share with you today, because the book itself was highlighting some of the big changes that we need to make. But also, the things that are working to drive things better, so that we reduce this quit rate. So that we understand what the real problem is. It’s not just in the attraction of women fairly to this space, but it’s also ensuring that they receive fair treatment, and therefore, will be retained, invested in, and be able to grow in this space.

So, within my book, one of my chapters, I dedicated it to this Dutch speaker, and this quote of his: “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

One of the first problems that we have to really tackle when it comes to the gender equality debate is this issue. So many times, when a woman leaves her job, it’s very, very easy for the company to say ‘this is why she left’. Her reasons, her personal drivers when we find it very difficult to look at the environment itself.

Were we a conducive environment for that individual to be successful?

And my belief, as a recruiter, is that, we will cover this, you have senior leadership, who hold a large amount of responsibility, You have every other person in the business, holding that same large amount of responsibility. And I will go through each and every point around what that can look like.

But, it all has to be underlined, for me, by this quote.

If there’s a flower in your garden, and it is wilting, and it is dying, and it is suffocating, you don’t shout at it, and say: “You are in the wrong, you need to change to bloom.” 

Instead, you watch for it, you feed it, you give it sunshine, and this, to me, as a recruiter, means that I am so wedded to the concept of how do we build better environments? How do we change the system?

Can we please stop blaming the individuals for not working out or for the individuals for just not fitting into tech or FinTech, and not wanting it, when we are not showcasing the very best of what this industry can be. The very best of this industry, I want us to remember where FinTech really came from, it was about appealing to the masses. It was about being able to say we don’t need to use these archaic systems of financial services.

These slow systems that were built for a certain demographic, by a certain demographic to enhance that certain demographic. FinTech is about challenging that. And actually, it’s about getting as many people, seeing that they can be a user of a FinTech system.

I know that you know that that comes out in many different shapes, ways, and forms. For me, appealing to the masses means being representative of the masses. And this is something that, I think, every business leader who is serious about their business, will agree with. We are holding ourselves back. 

If we do not have as many diverse opinions in a room when we are looking at products, when we are building that product, when we’re developing that product, when we’re checking that product, when we’re testing how to use that product, we are worse off, if we don’t have it.

One of the individuals that I interviewed on my Women of FinTech series, and quoted in the book, was Tina. Tina said that in one of her roles, she left because there was no one that looked like her in a senior position. When she joined her current firm, it was hugely important to see that there were people that she could identify with visibly that were being progressed within the business.You should definitely listen to Tina’s podcast because there’s a lot that goes with this.

It’s not just the visible representation. Everything that goes with it.

It was everything to do with how people get promoted, the promotion structure, wow people are recognised, how people are listened to.

And this is why, one of the key lessons from my book, having interviewed so many people, about why they leave, what would make them stay? What is going to be the best environment for them to be truly successful? This was a key, key point of it, and I always remember Tina, when I think about, what can I do as a recruiter to help businesses better invest in their staff, better retain their staff? 

Interestingly, one of the biggest things that have come out of the podcasts have been these gaps, right? And we talk a lot about the gender pay gap.

But the results of 2023, in financial services and insurance, was that there is a 22% pay gap in the UK. 7% is the average in the UK. We are the worst. And what are we doing about it?

There’s a leadership gap. There’s a policy and procedure gap and what I mean by this is when I said that the responsibility lies hugely within leadership, to bring in policies, to bring in structures for inclusion.

It can be so easily undermined by anybody influential on the floor within a business saying “I don’t agree with taking up that paternity policy leave” or questioning a new father saying “you’re taking that leave, are you taking your career seriously?”

These questions happen, and this is how you end up having a gap between senior leadership and everybody else. We need to be together on this, pushing forward knowing that this would be for the best for each and every one of us. And being able to confidently say why. I made the assumption in my book, and in my first page I wrote, “I will assume that you just get it.”

That diversity, its equity, and the inclusion of it, is something that you want to subscribe to, to make your business a stronger business, let alone, all the societal implications, let alone justice.

But that side of I’m just gonna assume you’re on this page, But if people are not, we need to go back and we need to really uncover what it is that people are driven by and why they feel so afraid of inclusion within their business. 

We see promotion gaps. We see recognition gaps, confidence gaps, hybrid working gaps, and we probably all saw and it was about a year ago now. It was huge in the newspaper, well, it’s always huge in the newspaper, the working from home debates and, you know, if you’re not in the office and you’re not seen, will that mean that you won’t get promoted?

Well, that’s a management issue, and we need to get better at that, and that has huge implications for the gender equality debate.

So let’s go to some of these solutions that I spoke about within the book. This book is not me telling everybody, this is what you need to do. This is me talking to 120 senior female leaders within this space, and a few allies and now, the next 200 pods I’ve recorded, they’ve got a much better gender balance. They’ve got a real, a real inclusion focus that’s beyond gender as a starting point. 

With all this knowledge that I have, I know that there’s two things we need to focus on. That’s advocacy and that’s allyship.

In the advocacy piece I want to talk about, is that we’re starting to reach a tipping point, but that tipping point isn’t going over. There are many companies who are signing up, and I definitely suggest all of these things should be done, to different internship programs that are specifically focused on social mobility.

There are many companies that are reaching out and partnering with different organisations who have dedicated their mission to driving inclusion and equality. Code First Girls is an amazing organisation, but they’ve now got many competitors. But Code First Girls is a brilliant organisation that’s investing in training women globally so they can have better opportunities within technology. Companies partnering with organisations like that.

Joining me on some of the events that I run, running your own events like this, incredibly important ways of showing your current staff that this is something that we believe we need to dedicate time to, but also, in terms of attracting staff and both sides of this is super important.

In reaching this tipping point, there are some other things that you can do. Employee resource groups, and building DEI committees; essentially looking at how do we build better psychological safety within our organisation and in external networking as well, in the industry so that we can talk about the issues rather than take those issues home and internalise them and perpetuate the problem.

This advocacy is about recognising three things. Three things that I always highlight for my podcast.

Again and again, we talk about money, the differences, and that 22% gender pay gap. Again and again, we talk about recognition and lack thereof when it comes to gender. And again and again, we talk about the promotion gap.

So, this money, recognition, and promotion, we know are not fair right now, because we have less leaders. Yes, we had less individuals coming into the system but more individuals leaving the system.

And one of the biggest reasons that I see is that they weren’t advocated for, they didn’t have one person in their team say: “Hey, how come she hasn’t been put forward for promotion? How come you haven’t considered her?” 

Yes, she may be quieter and I don’t want to jump into stereotypes, but there are many different personality types. Why is it that we see again and again, the extroverts who are super-duper good at presenting what they did in a project and how they ran that project. We see them often doing better within the workplace. The ones that have asked for pay rises 20 times compared to me, or, or someone similar to my personality type that would rather eat my own hands than ask about my own pay rise.

These are the issues that are holding us all back.

The lack of everyone saying “I believe this is my responsibility”, and therefore, once you have more people believing it’s their responsibility, more action can happen.

Some of these pictures are me just getting out there and having this conversation again and again and again. Writing in Forbes, writing in the Recruiter magazine to try and get all recruiters onto this bandwagon so that all recruiters see that this is our responsibility as well. 

We’re not just CV pumping machines, we should be talking to companies about how they can better their environments for everybody and for every candidate that we’re trying to get opportunities for.

But the biggest issue for me is getting everybody within that responsibility piece. This page is just to highlight that inclusion is about including everybody. Everybody’s perspective, everybody’s point of view, everybody feeling confident that they should be doing something about this because it’s a benefit to us all. We all need to look out for one another day in, day out. 

One of the pictures here is of a lady called Kate Bon, and in my book, I quoted her saying “A lot of women leave the industry because it’s death by a thousand paper cuts.” Every single one of those paper cuts that we all have a unique responsibility for stopping. So, if we don’t have an internship program, if you don’t have a clear, internal policy, what do you do when you witness bias?

It’s up to each, and every one of us put our hand up and say “well, why don’t we have that policy? Who is a bias champion within our business?” And what I mean by that, who is a senior person that can make change happen that everybody trusts and that you would go to and say, I’ve just witnessed bias and we need to do something about that. And for you to feel confident that that individual is going to actually make some change happen, and there will be consequences. 

Another individual on the screen, a lady called Felicitas Coulibaly, she said to me: “What we can’t do is wait for the woman who is sexually harassed to say, I have been a victim and I’ve been sexually harassed, or the black person say I have been a victim of racism for us to actually start doing something.” 

We need to all take responsibility. Each of us are witnesses, and we can’t be silent witnesses. We are witnesses and we are active participants in creating the best cultures that we can create. A culture in line with what the mission of FinTech is supposed to be about; driving forward inclusion and changing the status quo, challenging that status quo, and building something new. 

I mean, whoever thought that we’d be able to move away from cheque books? Well we did it. Whoever thought we would be able to transfer money as quickly as we do now? Or that the days of trading would go all the way down to one day for that money to go through? 

But why can’t we get this right? Because we are all not tied to this as a mission. And that’s why I constantly go on about it including everybody. Everybody needs to be tied to it.  Everyone has responsibility for this and to drive this forward. And it shouldn’t be that we think “Oh, I can’t say that I shouldn’t say that.” We should because everybody’s perspective is real and super important for this. 

Allyship is another thing that I talk about. When I did the book launch, I used that as a great way to get people to make pledges.

I’m really big on pledges, and I’d love for each of you to do this as well. There will be something that I’ve said today that will make you think “Do you know what? I should do more of that? Next time I see that happening in a meeting, I’m going to say, can we stop talking over her? It is her idea, let her say it.”

Or next time you’re in a meeting, when you hear someone repeat the exact idea that your female colleagues said but because that individual has a higher value or presence in the room, and we’ve all seen it, everyone goes “Oh well done, that was a great idea!” Well it wasn’t your idea, it was the female over there that came up with it. When are we going to get good at just calling out this behaviour that forms 1, 2, 3, 4, a thousand paper cuts?

Bloomberg did an article only a few weeks ago that the average tenure of a woman within the industry is eight years. And I’ve asked so many, why is that? Why is that? Why is that? Eight years to say “I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough, and I’m aware that I’m not gonna get promoted. I’m not gonna get recognised. I’m not gonna get that pay rise. Because it’s so easy to say no to me.” 

And we’ve got to stop this, and all of us have a responsibility to do that.

So when I think about allyship, it’s about making sure we’ve got really solid policies in place. Yes, that’s down to leadership, but it’s down to all of us to say “What is the paternity policy? What is the parental leave? What is the policy for mental health? What is the policy for flexi-time? How do we really support all our women returning after having babies? How do we support all families? How do we support caregivers?”

It goes on, and on, and on. And if we’re not driving that forward, how are we ever going to move forward together? There’s workshops, there’s training but all this can be undermined if we don’t have allyship, if we don’t all get into the same boat as one another on this. And this, this whole allyship piece is something that I always, always say in any of my talks: Who will you bring to the movement?

And I love being able to share that my CEO is a man from a privileged background. A private school educated man who, most people wouldn’t think, especially 10 years ago, especially 15 years ago, would be an active ally. He’s an active ally to me. It’s taken us many years for me to talk and explain and share my experiences with him.

But he is now in a position where he will go out to other men in the industry and talk about my work and what I’m doing, and what I am achieving to really bring inclusion as a responsibility for all to the fore and share experiences of so many individuals I’ve spoken to.

For him to be able to take that baton and take it to the next person, has been a huge impact to us as an industry. I always think, imagine if all of us were to do that. 

However many of you that are on this today, imagine if you each go to two people, someone that you know really does care about this but they don’t really know what to do, and help them with what to do. Someone who you think probably wouldn’t care about this. Well, we need them involved as well.

So how about we get them involved, and how about we talk to them about why this is important, and why it will be good for them. So, when I say, let’s walk the talk, call it out, or call in.

So, um, there was a great post recently about calling in, because it’s not just about cancel culture, and telling everybody that they are wrong. It’s about saying “Hey, can we talk about this, didn’t feel comfortable when you said this. I don’t think us as a business are doing our absolute best on this topic, how do we get better? Can I set up an employee resource group? Can I be part of the DEI committee? Can we look at how we can improve this, that and the other?”

Checking yourself is constantly looking to educate yourself. There are so many amazing men out there, who say to me “Oh, Nadia, I’d love to move more of an ally. I’m just not sure what to do.” Well, let’s make sure that you’re educating yourself. By saying that to me is a great first step, I can connect you with some brilliant people that will help you deal with whatever the specific issues are within your business.

Never assume. It’s about creating cultures of open discussion, and making sure that, you know, just because you look at me as a woman who’s recently had two babies, you don’t know my experience of that. We can’t assume that someone had a good time, a difficult time, a challenge, whatever it may be. It’s so important that we’re talking and understanding to make our environment better so that we can start slowing down this mass exodus of our women and non-binary individuals from the industry.

Don’t talk over people in meetings. Even I smile at it, you know, like it’s a little thing. It’s not a little thing, it’s a huge thing, but we’ve all been conditioned to think I shouldn’t say anything. We’ve got to stop being conditioned for that.

We’ve got to stop being silent witnesses, and get involved. Tipping the scale, for me, is about us saying “I need to have a system in place that I trust and believe in that will help us build better psychological safety, that will help us attract more women into the space, that will allow us to invest in our current women and non-binary and men within the business, within the industry to look at how do we drive this better.”

Only then will we look at schools, internships, going to talk at universities, being able to bring different types of perspectives and viewpoints into our company to make it stronger and better, to make a more equitable place. But, to do that, we need to question the way things have always been done in a place of psychological safety, where you don’t feel terrible for saying “I’m not sure we should do it this way.”

And if you do feel terrible for saying that out loud, and we need to make sure we’re talking to the management team to say “what do we do that we can encourage more people to bring in more perspectives” Because the mission is about making us all stronger together.

We can’t continue in FinTech, with the mission of FinTech with one arm behind our back, and that’s essentially how we’re working at the moment. We are not listening to the perspectives in the room that we have, and we’re not encouraging more of those perspectives to come in. So it is about challenging that system. 

My final, final point and I would love to take some questions. But, if I say to people, and I love doing this, wherever I go and speak to different different companies, I always say: “Name a famous female technologist, and everyone goes, err, erm!” 

Please remember these names. Ada Lovelace. Grace Hopper. Katherine Johnson – we all saw the film. Annie. Susan. Sheryl. 

We’ve got to remember that we are constantly shoved with images in the media, any newspaper, you pick up anything you look at online; we’re shoved with a biased perspective.

Inclusion feels like we’re going really outside of our comfort zone because our whole worlds have been built with a biased perspective. We need to bring ourselves out of that and bring other people out of that, so that all of us can pull together and be stronger. 

And that is, in short, my story of how FinTech women have been walking the talk. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak.

Reece B: That was amazing, Nadia. Lots of powerful stuff, lots of things to get your thoughts moving. And I think something that resonated with me is taking a step back and looking where things that came from and assessing, what was the purpose of FinTech?

All the things that you’ve said today are aligned with that, and I think we all need to do more. 

But we have had a few questions come in. A lot to do with what we’ve talked about today. 

“It’s a lonely place for female representation in FinTech. And it can be so lonely for so many women. And it makes finding mentoring challenging. How would you suggest that women in FinTech embrace mentorship?”

Nadia ED: I really love this question because there’s a number of organisations.  Like Minded Females is a company run by a lady called Sonya Barlow and she has built up a mentoring programme. So definitely follow her, follow them, they’ll get you connected.

Also, you can always come to me. The amount of women that I’m speaking to within this industry, on average, I’m speaking to 20 women looking for work a week and a lot of them are very senior women, so it would be up for mentoring. 

But also, women within their businesses, happy in their businesses, wanting to make their businesses better. Probably another 20-25. So that gives you an idea of how many people I’m speaking to, and many of them are up for mentoring. I think it’s a really good thing to be able to have a mentor outside of your business, or from one of the meet-ups that you’ve gone to because that’s how you just get better perspective and ideas to bring back into your company. The meet-ups I’d encourage you to go to. If you’re going on Eventbrite, you type in FinTech women, you will see there 2 or 3 things a month. I would definitely follow the European Women’s Payment Network as well. They have, if you can get out there, they’ve got their Global Summit in Vienna on the 2nd of October. They have a brilliant mentoring program as well. I think those are the places to start.

Reece B: Amazing stuff, like you said, perspective and getting that from outside the organisation is really good as well. We’ve had more of a, I guess, a comment on what you’ve just mentioned about women in FinTech. And one of our guests has mentioned Dame Steve Shirley, when she started her career in the late seventies, is a real trailblazer for females and FinTech, so one to check out for everyone who’s on the call and our thanks for that suggestion as well.

I’ll just jump in one more question. I see we’ve had one earlier on the stats, which I’ll forward to Nadia to have a bit more of a conversation about outside of this. “For women trying to break into the FinTech world, do you believe organisations should be put in a bigger emphasis on providing career progression opportunities? Which, of course, highlighted today, we should be. More to do with sponsorships.” Nadia, any thoughts on that?

Nadia ED: Yeah, so I’m super passionate about, you know, the allyship and within advocacy, actually holding the door open and encouraging someone who never would have thought that FinTech would be for them, but encouraging them to see what FinTech’s all about.

And actually, in one of the chapters in my book, I highlighted five CEOs or C-level individuals within FinTech, or founders whose educational background had nothing to do with computer science. And their previous jobs were not within FinTech before they became C-level or founder. Because I was trying to debunk the myth that you have to have done a computer science degree, or mathematics, or STEM degree, and to be able to work within the space. And actually, the power, again, is on perspective.

There’s an amazing woman in the States who is challenging how the States are so reliant on credit. And she’s basically building one of the first debit card companies over there. And she’s now this whizz with payments, on everything to do with US payments.

Three years ago, she was working in a media company, and she was like “but no one else could have done this, the way that I’ve done it, because I was like ‘Why are you not doing it that way?'” It is that whole ability to look at something and go, well, why? Why have you made that assumption? And that’s the way that we should do it, so, I’m a big proponent of this, sponsoring individuals.

I mentioned earlier, I also write for Forbes and my last article was on how to correctly, and successfully identify potential in an interview. Because what I do, when I talk to many of the hiring managers that I partner with when we are representing candidates, is to try and get them to focus on what someone will be able to do, and how you correctly, and successfully, assess that with an interview. 

Unfortunately, in our industry and many others, there’s an obsession with interviewing people for a job that was, and what they have proved to be able to do rather than what they could do in the future. And in our industry, when it’s changing as much as it is you need to, somebody who’s going to be addicted to continual learning and agile. I can definitely share that Forbes article with you because I think that would be something that you’ll find interesting.

Reece B: Amazing. Yeah, it’s not always about where you start but where you end up, and that’s really good stuff. I think we’ll draw the Q&A session to a close here. If you have any more questions, I’ll forward those on to Nadia. She’s highly engaged on LinkedIn, so please do go connect with her, get involved with the podcast, get involved with all the good stuff she mentioned today. If you don’t mind flicking the slide forward for me, Nadia.

As mentioned, this is a monthly series that we like to do called Wired-In. And we might try and get a double billing this month. If not, we’ll be back on your screens in October. But you can see our archive over on the NorthRow website, where we look into a range of topics as presented today. So, again, just once more for me, Nadia.

Shameless little plug again! If you are looking into AML compliance, onboarding monitoring, remediation, NorthRow do check off all of these things, so please do check us out on our website. Look at booking a demo or checking a few videos out, and that will be perfect. Once more for me.

A fantastic webinar, Nadia. Hope to connect with you in the future and collaborate with you more. But thank you to everyone who’s joined us today. I hope it’s impactful and meaningful and I’m sure you will be taking to apply to your own organisations! So a massive thank you, Nadia, and a massive thank you to everyone who’s joined us today.

Thanks, everyone.

Blog call to action - demo
Comments are closed.