What women inspired you the most growing up?
I was born to a society and time where women had a much lower social status than men. Luckily my parents are more progressive than the usual, and therefore I was raised with ideas of equality and personal values. Although in society there was definitely a lack of leading female role models, there was no shortage of strong women around me.
Growing up, I took inspirations from all the women in my life, including; my Grandma, my Mum, my Aunts, and my friends – they are all strong and independent.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
History is the best teacher for the future. Although today we are enjoying a higher degree of gender equality, looking back at history even within my lifetime, women’s rights have really come a long way. We can’t take that progress for granted.
However, if we look around us there are remaining issues and in some parts of the world these are life threatening.
Celebrating IWD is a remembrance of the people who have fought for the equality we are enjoying today, and more importantly to continue to spread this value to the rest of the world.
Would you consider credit risk to be a typically male environment?
I believe it was traditionally because women have been late to enter this field. This has changed in recent years. In my working relationships, I have been lucky enough to have some great role models in the credit risk area.
In my previous job, half of the credit risk team were women. I was actually hired as the first permanent member of the credit risk team when I joined Neyber. Based on this decision, I believe I can speak for Neyber and say that women are respected in their roles as much as men, within credit risk and within the company as a whole.
I think general gender unbalance among the leading roles is a barrier created by legacy. As we continue to welcome more women into credit risk and the wider Fintech community, this barrier will be broken.
What can we do to encourage women to go into data driven roles, like credit risk?
In terms of career, I never thought about what I could or couldn’t do because of my gender. I often asked myself this question: would I enjoy doing that?
I believe all women should start there when thinking about their career. Once we start from there, gender is not a question any more, being in credit risk, data science, or any other career. Without trying to sound too much like an aspirational speech, let’s look at the facts. As I mentioned earlier, throughout my entire career, half of the people I’ve worked with have been women. Science has proven time and time again that a woman’s brain is equally intelligent as that of a man.
Finally, let’s not forget to mention there were plenty of female code breakers at Bletchley Park! And Ada Lovelace, who has been acknowledged as the first programmer in history. You could be the next Ada! Or a credit risk guru or any job you want!