Why do you think there are more women in Fintech, than other financial services?
Fintech merges both tech and finance, two fields that are typically male dominated. However, the experimental side of a start-up, such as Neyber, feels more welcoming and promising in terms of learning and career progression than a traditional finance environment.
In Fintech, the mindset is fail fast, learn fast. Women and men are given the opportunity to make decisions and test them out. If these concepts don’t work well, it’s no one’s fault, we learn from it and move on.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges stopping more women working in Fintech?
Computer ads in the 80’s were all geared towards the male audience and it shifted the perception of computing into the male space. We still suffer from that.
I think confidence is the biggest blocker. There is a lack of women in fields such as UX design and society has a certain expectation from the roles women should and can do.
At Neyber, the number of women we have is surprisingly high given the fact that it’s a Fintech start-up. I guess this comes from the fact that Monica Kalia, the co-founder and the CSO of Neyber is a successful female entrepreneur. I do believe that diversity is easier to implement when it comes from the top down.
Would you consider product design and UX to be a typically male environment?
There are definitely more men than women in the product design industry. There is also a big misalignment in the number of women in senior positions which results in large gaps in salaries as well.
I came from a digital agency where I was the only woman for a while in the entire company. I think they were often afraid to crack jokes in front me because they were conscious of my reaction.
Are there a lot of women in the product team at Neyber?
I must admit, Neyber is the most diverse company I have worked for, both in terms of race and gender. I remember when I walked in the first day, the first thing I noticed was the number of women. Diversity in general is key in designing successful digital products.
When I joined Neyber, I was the only woman in the product team, now we are about ⅓ of women.
What can we do to encourage more women into product?
At Neyber, I run a mentorship program to give new joiners the tools and skills they need to help us develop great products.
The short answer is to give them the support they need to progress in their careers and be independent in their role. Provide the reassurance, tell them you’ll be there when they need you.
Do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
I think it’s important to remember the progress that has been made in empowering women since early 1900. Raising awareness and spreading the word will contribute to opening eyes, asking questions and potentially taking action.
Here in the UK, we talk about innovation led by women, we invite successful women to talk about their experiences and show to the world that, yes, we can invent, we can innovate and we can lead. Unfortunately, that’s not the case everywhere.
Where I come from, the woman goes from her father’s house to her husband’s house, leaves school to concentrate on her ‘duties’ and take care of the kids.