This October at The Fintech Times is all about shining a spotlight on the incredible women working in the fintech industry, sharing their greatest achievements, their biggest challenges and their hopes for the future.
Though progress has been made to reduce the gender gap in fintech, the industry still has far to go until it hits true representation and champions full equality.
To help highlight the influential and significant contributions of women to the industry, here are six incredible women from the industry highlighting their greatest achievement in their careers (so far).
‘A rollercoaster with no seatbelts’
Lissele Pratt, co-founder at Capitalixe, a payments and banking consultancy, said: “Building a fintech business from the ground up has definitely got to be my greatest achievement. It’s been like a rollercoaster with no seatbelts. We’ve been at it for nearly five years now, and every day brings new challenges and triumphs.
“And then there’s being the youngest female on the Forbes 30 Under 30 finance list in 2021. When I saw my name there, I had to pinch myself. This accomplishment wasn’t just about me. It was achieved with the help of the incredible team (50 per cent of whom are women) who I’ve got by my side. Their hard work and dedication have been the driving force behind our success, and seeing them achieve greatness is the icing on the cake. This job has given me the freedom to live life on my own terms. That’s the ultimate reward. Taking risks in the fintech world has allowed me to create the life I’ve always dreamed of.”
Martha Salinas, chief commercial officer at TreviPay, said: “I’ve grown my career with TreviPay and I’ve had incredible opportunities in my two decades here. Through innovative leadership and dedication to driving growth, I’m particularly proud of assembling and leading global teams whose tenacity and ingenuity that has led TreviPay’s expansion into the transportation and retail verticals, as well as the global expansion into Europe and Mexico. This has resulted in impressive revenue and EBITDA growth.”
Pay it forward
Misty Beaulieu, head of operations and risk, North America, at Worldline, the fourth largest payments company, said: “One of my greatest successes over my career was becoming head of operations and risk, North America at Worldline. Managing these teams and helping us to expand our business throughout Canada and the United States over many years has been extremely rewarding.
“I was able to help keep our merchants safe in the e-commerce payment space by coaching our risk and fraud teams to provide tools and knowledge to merchants to guide them through the process on how to use fraud tools for their unique business and/or situation. I have also proudly seen some of our partners and merchants grow from small start-ups to fully prosperous and stable businesses.
“Perhaps more so, I am extremely proud seeing young women I have mentored over the years be promoted, advance their careers, and become experts, advocates, and coaches in their own right. I have had the pleasure of seeing them continue to pay-it-forward to the next group of women behind and beside them as well.”
Aizhan Holovan, head of mobile financial services at telecom company Beeline Kazakhstan, said:
“My greatest professional accomplishment so far is the successful launch of Simply, the first neo-banking product in Kazakhstan. Simply is a trailblazing provider of mobile financial services in Kazakhstan, including Google Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) – a payment option that allows customers to purchase digital content like games, movies, music, and more. Another innovative feature of Simply is that it allows users to make payments directly from their Beeline Kazakhstan mobile balance.
“I’m also proud of my role in the development and launch of the Beeline Kazakhstan card, the country’s first digital payment card integrated with its mobile financial services offering.
“Launched in 2021 and marketed under the Simply brand, the Beeline Kazakhstan digital payment card is a mobile financial service application linked to a customer’s phone number, an electronic wallet and a premium digital Visa Platinum card. The card is also integrated with digital wallets Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Garmin Pay.”
Rebecca Alter, trust and safety architect, fraud prevention company, Sift, said: “My greatest achievement is being a founding member of the St. Louis office for Block (Square). It was my first official management position and I moved across the country to build out my own team from scratch. We grew the office to over 200 people in one year and the office remains a vibrant part of the St. Louis tech sector.”
Suki Gao is co-founder and China GM of 40Seas, a fintech platform that digitises and simplifies cross-border trade financing for SMEs around the globe.
She said: “I believe my greatest achievement is having the opportunity to work consecutively with different outstanding fintech companies and witnessing, as well as participating in, their respective developments in the Chinese market. This includes PayPal’s early exploration in the B2B payment sector, Payoneer’s innovations in e-commerce on platforms like Amazon, and Alipay’s ventures into cross-border business. Working with these exceptional companies and striving to provide value to various types of B2B enterprises has been, for me, the most significant accomplishment thus far.”
Sarah Owen, chief product officer at One Inc, a payments platform for the insurance industry, said:
“In my current role as chief product officer at One Inc, I have built a team of some of the strongest product professionals I know. They expect collaboration and continuous learning from each other while celebrating each other’s successes. The team is 66 per cent also female.
“I have been fortunate to work with some of the most innovative minds in payments pioneering new paradigms such as; over the air personalisation of secure card details to the mobile wallet, social & mobile gifting, mobile wallet at the point of sale and contactless payments adoption.
“These were pivotal initiatives that changed the way people pay; setting the groundwork for where we are today with 90 per cent of consumers using digital payment options.
“Being a part of these game-changing initiatives has been rewarding, but I think my greatest successes have come from building ‘best-in-class’ product teams.”