It’s no secret that women are widely under-represented in business, and with females equating to less than 30% of the FinTech workforce, the Tech scene is no exception. But the few, in this instance, have made a huge impact in proving that FinTech is not just for men. To celebrate their achievements, we’re taking a look at some of the inspirational females that are leading the charge in FinTech across the globe.
Anne Boden, Founder and CEO – Starling Bank
Perhaps the most well-known name on this list, Anne Boden is the Founder and CEO of Starling bank. The Welsh entrepreneur was previously head of EMEA at RBS and COO at Allied Irish Bank. After receiving her degree in Chemistry and Computer Sciences at Swansea University, Boden began her extensive banking career as a graduate trainee at Lloyds Banking Group. In 2018, as the only woman to found a UK Bank, Anne proved that courage and resilience can take you a long way, and even made this one of Starling’s core values: “Just because something is difficult and has never been achieved before, that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop”. Boden’s achievements have been justifiably celebrated, and she received an MBE for her services to FinTech.
Rija Javed, CTO – MarketInvoice
As one of the first female Chief Technology Officers in FinTech, Rija Javed continues to push boundaries for women in software engineering roles. Having a female take the lead on engineering, product design, and data science is almost unheard of in this industry. But that’s just what Rija has been doing since her career in software development began in Silicon Valley. In 2018, Rija was appointed CTO of fintech start-up MarketInvoice. Before this, the Canadian worked at Financial Adviser Wealthfront. It was here that Rija quickly made her name known, by building Wealthfront’s first mobile app. Rija continues to encourage women of all ethnicities and religious backgrounds to push through, stating “I don’t think anything in life is a problem, I think everything is a challenge defined by the constraints associated with it”.
Camilla Giesecke, CFO – Klarna
Sweden is renowned for having some of the most influential and successful FinTechs in Europe and is a nesting-ground for strong female talent. This includes Camilla Giesecke, who has been the CFO of Klarna since 2017. Klarna is the ‘sweetheart’ of European FinTechs and based in Stockholm. Most known for its ‘buy now pay later’ scheme for online spending, the company is ever expanding and now operates across several markets, including the US. Camilla earned her MBA from Keio Graduate School of Business Administration in 2004, as well as her Masters in Finance and Accounting from Stockholm School of Economics in 2005.
Viola Llewellyn, President and Co-Founder – Ovamba Solutions Inc
As President and Co-Founder of Ovamba Solutions Inc, Viola Llewellyn has paved the way for African TradeTech companies to expand their markets across the globe. The platform has opened the African continent’s market up to international investors from Asia especially, using trade innovation to create 450% growth amongst businesses in the Central African region. Ovamba Solutions Inc is an award winning company that enables small and medium-sized enterprises across Africa to gain access to short-term funding. Llewellyn has been listed on Lactive80’s Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 list, as well as Innovate Finance’s 2016, 2017, and 2018 “Women in FinTech Power” list. Her talents cease to end there, as she is also a published author of the Brookings Institute’s Foresight Africa 2019 article ‘Winning in Africa’s FinTech: The Ovamba Way.’
Nathalie Oestmann, COO – Curve
Nathalie Oestmann is the Chief Operating Officer at Curve, an online banking system that connects all your cards in one app. Oestmann was raised in New York, where she spent 15 years at American Express, before becoming the head of the European Division at Samsung Pay. It’s safe to say her experience suits her career shift into startups and scaleups. Her incredibly strong track record speaks for itself and was exactly the reason why Curve’s CEO worked hard for two years to have Oestmann join the team.
Sheree Atcheson, Former Head of Diversity and Inclusion – Monzo
Sheree Atcheson is the Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Peakon. She was previously the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Monzo and Consulting Inclusion Lead at Deloitte. Listed as one of the UK’s Most Influential Women in Tech, Sheree has encouraged other women to “stand up and make noise – be your own biggest fan because your opinions, work and voice are incredibly important.” Her achievements don’t slow, as she is also an international, multi-award winner for her services to Diversity & Inclusion in industry. She founded the organisation I Am Lanka, which highlights role models across the globe who work to empower and inspire.
Storm2 are leaders in global FinTech recruitment and champion diversity within the FinTech industry. Look out for our upcoming DE&I project which focuses on the actionable steps businesses can take to ensure a diverse and equitable environment. You can download our whitepaper overview on the subject here. If you are looking to hire for your FinTech business, get in touch.