Hello Alex, in aid of International Women's Day we're going to ask you a few questions about the women in your life.
Firstly, why is International Women’s Day so important?
I think the fact that we’re still talking about gender inequality shows how important it is to continue to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Women play such a vital role in each of our lives on a daily basis, and it just seems so odd to me that there are still so many barriers.
We only have to look at the C-suite of the FTSE 100 companies to see that we aren’t necessarily where we should be.
Yes, a lot of change has happened over the past decade, but it seems to have come from the bottom up, we now need to see change from the top down.
Which woman inspired you the most growing up?
Without a doubt it has to be my Mum. I remember her juggling so many responsibilities when I was young, getting home from work, making dinner and then heading to help our neighbours who were florists get the flowers ready for the next day.
The entrepreneurial example she set for me helped me to understand the value of hard work and always taught me the difference between right and wrong. I am so proud to have been raised by such a woman, and I hope I’m doing her proud too!
Tell us about the woman that has helped you the most in your career and why
I’d have to say Monica (Kalia, Neyber founder and CSO). When you look at what she’s achieved professionally and personally it’s truly inspiring.
She’s given me a lot of opportunity for growth within the company, and I truly appreciate everything she’s done for me and for the wider team. I think if you asked anyone at the company, we’d all agree she’s an incredible leader.
Even more impressive to me, is how much she can take on; mastering her role as co-founder at Neyber, being a trustee for StepChange (the leading debt charity in the UK), and being an excellent wife and mother to her 3 children.
How do the women of Neyber inspire you at work?
Everyone here performs to such a high level, and when working collaboratively, the women are at the forefront of that. It’s so inspiring to see some of the great women of Neyber at work.
Recently I was in a meeting run by Stefanie Merchel, Lead Onboarding Manager, and it was truly impressive to see her growth and skills at work. That in turn makes you think about your own development and progression – I sat back and thought ‘I need to keep up!’.
Is there enough being done to promote women in the workplace and within fintech?
It’s interesting as there’s definitely not enough being done but you can see some of the positive moves being made. Innovate Finance have several campaigns around women in the workplace which is an encouraging start. In terms of in the workplace, I think it’s obvious that everyone should be judged on their output regardless of gender.
And how can we continue to improve gender equality in the Fintech industry?
As a new industry, I think it’s a case of attracting super smart talent from wider industries – identifying people who want to have a direct impact on organisations they work for.
More generally, we need to ensure all workplaces are a level playing field and that people are engaged with the work they do and their colleagues. Hopefully, this will encourage an environment where everyone is valued equally.
Why do you think it’s important to teach the next generation about gender equality?
I imagine the next generations relationship with equality will be vastly different than it is now. If we are to teach them anything, it will be the lesson we’ve learnt about how harmful effects of gender inequality really are.
When I look at some of the younger people in our teams, they are a lot more liberal and accepting of other viewpoints – they almost self-regulate around equality and other important but difficult topics.
This puts us in a great position for the future not only for gender equality, but for equal rights in general.