This International Women’s Day we decided to highlight some of our awesome Steering Committee members. We wanted to find out what they thought of robots, hear about some of the great projects they are working on as well as see whether the dreams they had as little girls match the professional lives they live today. Our standout FinTECHTalents stars are Diana Paredes, CEO & Co-founder, Suade, Diana Biggs, Head of Digital Innovation, UK & Europe, HSBC, Valentina Kristensen, Director, Growth & Communications, OakNorth and Wincie Wong, Head of Innovation for Supply Chain Services, RBS.
In addition to work, we also wanted to find out what brings our Steering Committee member’s joy. Joy comes from many places – from puppies and babies to Italian food and Marie Kondo. May you celebrate the standout women in your life this International Women’s Day. Enjoy.
Does your current career look anything like you’d imagined when you were a small child?
“In some ways yes, I wanted to “Save the World” as a kid, I think RegTech is a way to do that and facilitate a more transparent and stable financial system. That core belief is what drives my company and myself every day. Definitely not as glam as the Super Hero role I had originally in mind for myself, but as you grow up you realise that a lot of doing good is not about glamour but about rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done.” – Diana Paredes
“No, with the exception that computers were a big part of my life from around age 4. But growing up, I was most interested in creative arts, as well as science, particularly chemistry.” – Diana Biggs
“I wanted to be an Egyptologist, so not really haha!” – Valentina
“My job didn’t exist when I was a child…or in fact didn’t exist until last year. I don’t know what I expected to do as a small child but I certainly didn’t know that I would be having as much fun as I am now.” – Wincie
What was the most satisfying project you have worked on during your career?
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in a number of projects which supported female entrepreneurs: this is incredibly inspiring work.” – Diana B
“It’s ongoing but definitely one of the best things I’ve worked on is OakNorth. I’ve been working with the business since June 2015, so before we launched, before we had our first client, before we’d raised money from institutional investors, etc. So to be part of the journey from that to where we are today – a global business that’s raised over $1bn from investors such as SoftBank – is pretty incredible.” – Valentina
“The project is still not over but being a founding member and the Improve Education lead for Tech She Can to change the ratio for more young girls going into Tech as a career has been hugely inspiring and humbling at the same time.” – Wincie
Finish this sentence: FinTech is a force for…
“Good, as we leverage it to make financial services accessible and to help people understand and reach their financial goals.” – Diana B
“…innovation, collaboration, and the next generation.” – Valentina
“…good – to help people everywhere learn and take control of their financial futures.” – Wincie
Finish this sentence: Robots are…
“What we make them.” – Diana B
“…good for characters in Netflix original series. They can also be interesting if part of a wider conversation around effective uses of machine learning and artificial intelligence.” – Valentina
“…incredible – just like original machines powered the industrial revolution, it’s what humans need to help take the next step utilising more untapped brain power to build what’s next.” – Wincie
What brings you joy?
“Babies, puppies, and working on making financial services more transparent, fair, and accessible.” – Diana B
“Spending time with loved ones, visiting new places, eating Italian food…” – Valentina
“Marie Kondo has recently helped me spark joy throughout my newly organised closet and I would be kidding myself if I didn’t mention eating yummy food; but what lifts me day to day is lifting others – leveraging the privilege, the assets, and influence I have to make a positive impact on the world around me.” – Wincie