This October at The Fintech Times is all about the incredible women working in the fintech industry. With women still forming only around 30 per cent of the workforce, it’s important to spotlight those who are working to make a change and blazing a path for those to follow.
Here, we speak to Chinaza Nduka-Dike, Dani Fava, Justina Tartilaite, Sarah Wielens and Amanda Bennett as they share how they are championing women in the fintech industry.
Chinaza Nduka-Dike, head of people operations at TeamApt
“Women are too often left underserved in the tech sector. In Nigeria – where a lot of our global team is based – women have historically been considered “homemakers” while technical roles were seen as a man’s job. We’re passionate about lowering the barriers for entry for female engineers and take an active approach in bringing them into our business.
“TeamApt runs an annual ‘Women in Tech’ paid internship programme to kickstart the careers of some of the best global tech talent. The programme provides a structured learning environment for women to nurture their skills and apply themselves autonomously in a startup environment, with the opportunity to join as full-time engineers at the end of the programme.
Eighty per cent of last year’s cohort remained in our developer team, and are still driving change today. These kinds of initiatives have been proven to give women 10 times the earning potential than they would have had previously.
“More broadly, we also recognise that many women have different demands when it comes to their working circumstances, which is a key driver for our policy to allow any TeamApt employee to work from anywhere in the world.”
Dani Fava, group head of product innovation at Envestnet
“As an established female in financial services technology, I always seek opportunities to amplify women’s voices.
“Social media is an excellent tool to network and engage with women in fintech. I always attempt to respond to outreach—even cold outreach on LinkedIn—to make connections with women in the industry and young women who will become the future of it.
“At times, I use my platform to call attention to inequalities where I see them. It is crucial to go beyond having conversations about inclusivity and start acting. For example, I am on the board of directors of Choir, a diversity tech platform and certification program advancing inclusion at industry conferences. As a diverse female myself, it’s special to help bring new female voices into the conversation.
“I also always default to the pronouns ‘she’ or ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ when providing examples of advisors and clients because I want to highlight and normalise that women can and do serve in these roles.
“Together, we need to carve out a place for women to be seen and heard. We need to educate them about opportunities in finance and technology where their unique perspective can provide innovative solutions.”
Justina Tartilaite, co-founder of Adsum
“Adsum is one of the few fintechs founded by and successfully managed from early-stage start-up to growth stage scale-up by a female entrepreneur.
It is not just at the top, however. Women are contributing across the board – and being a fintech that champions a 50/50 gender split across its workforce is what is helping drive the Adsum offering. It has been a key factor in Adsum’s success since it was founded in 2020.
“From software development to product management, Adsum is championing women in tech every day – with particular focus on equality in the growing number of specialists, STEM-based roles, such as data science, and programming, that have for so long significantly under-represented women.
“One of Adsum’s rising stars contributing to delivering its innovative offering is Shreeya Arora. As Risk and Product Manager, Shreeya is responsible for determining whether claimants are legitimate to prevent fraudulent activity. Shreeya is then able to turn tax liabilities into assets for businesses that need it most.
“At Adsum, women will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring its TCaaS service offers the necessary support for UK businesses currently navigating the challenging economic landscape.”
Sarah Wielens, senior director of sales, ForwardAI
“My whole career has been spent working in male-dominated worlds such as tech finance, security, and auditing. It has been a constant struggle to ensure that women were given equal opportunities to join in, but one I welcomed wholeheartedly. When I was in a position where I was responsible for building sales and marketing teams, I made sure to give all candidates a fair chance to apply for the position and hire women wherever the fit was right.
“During my time working in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for Sage and Syspro, I was heavily involved in round tables for women and made myself available to mentor other women. These days, I love going to women-centric events in Fintech, where we all come together and support each other. There have been many times when I am the only woman in a meeting room, but that is now becoming less common. There is still lots of work to be done, but I think we are heading in the right direction.”
Amanda Bennett, chief financial officer, Moneyhub
“At Moneyhub we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our recruitment and selection processes. We strive to have a diverse workforce and this starts at the recruitment stage, where we actively encourage applicants from a variety of backgrounds to apply and endeavour to collate details of each applicant’s individuality throughout the recruitment process.
We monitor the diversity of information collected and use this to ensure that our interview pool represents a cross-section of all applicants and our community.”