Connect with us

Business, Entrepreneurship and Feng Shui with Andreea Bondoc

Women on Top in Tech – Georgia Hanias, Head of Global Communications of Innovate Finance

Published

on

(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is my interview with Georgia Hanias, Head of Global Communications and Diversity Lead at Innovate Finance.

logo_innovate_finance

 


What makes you do what you do?

I am passionate about trying to make a positive change in this world and to make it a better place for future generations to come. By working in the media I’m able to write, research and develop stories that bring important issues to the public. In my role as the head of public relations for Innovate Finance, I work closely with journalists to spread the word about the incredible advancements that FinTech innovations are achieving in helping to democratize finance and provide better and more accessible financial services for consumers.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?

I took a leap of faith. I was working at a top PR agency in the City of London and started reading about the rise of FinTech. It sounded interesting and I started to network with people and organizations that were at the forefront of the movement. A very senior person told me about the launch of a new membership association – Innovate Finance – which aimed to represent the burgeoning FinTech community. They were building a team, I thought it sounded like a good idea and so I jumped ship and joined them. It was a total gamble, but I just liked the idea of helping to build something from the ground up. It appealed to me and I was surrounded by amazing entrepreneurs that had an energy and ambition to shake up the status quo and transform the world of finance. It was too exciting to ignore. Because I joined a new movement, I was able to make my mark by networking with the right people and using my skills with the media to raise their profile and ours as well. This helped to build my own reputation and profile and give me a level of credibility in the industry.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?

I didn’t feel that I could learn anything from my previous jobs. They were hierarchical and had conscious biases towards who should be promoted and what role they should play. There was also deep-rooted anxieties about new ideas among senior management and rigid protocols that prevented me from taking risks and making changes. Innovate Finance sounded like the perfect opportunity to join a movement that was going to transform the future of financial services. It gave me access to a growing and exciting number of starts up as well as access to some of the most impressive and influential organizations. I wanted this challenge because I wanted to prove that I could do PR on a global level and to build a substantial network of contacts around the world that would help my organization to grow its influence internationally. In just two years we’ve managed to achieve this and more.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?

I didn’t have a mentor and nor did I look for one. I chose my role at Innovate Finance because it sounded like an exciting and interesting challenge. I am still here because the leadership is excellent and our CEO gives us a lot of autonomy to get things done and to make us feel that we can achieve anything.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?

I look at candidates with an unusual background. I want people who are globally minded and have a unique perspective on things that we can harness in our communications to the global community. I need a team that works hard and enjoys the work- but also one that takes pleasure in writing and working on tight deadlines. Generally, the people I work with get things done with minimal intervention from myself. I just need to oversee and approve their work before it goes out to the community or the media. That makes them happy. In terms of developing talent, I’m a firm believer in giving people skills that will help them grow in their current and future roles, so things like media training and learning how to communicate in front of an audience is a good way of supporting talent.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?

I consciously support diversity because FinTech is meant to represent the future of finance – and we want tomorrow’s financial services sector – and the people that run it – to reflect the diverse society it’s meant to serve. We are proactively looking at FinTech companies that are closing the gender gap and creating diverse workplaces and praising them in public – and showcasing how successful they’ve become because of their diversity – in the hopes that other firms will take notice and do the same.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?

Be bold and visionary in your outlook and support and praise your staff. Give them the opportunity to share their goals for their future career development and try to support them on their journey. Humour, flexible working and respect are also keys to keeping staff happy.

Advice for others?

Always be kind to others and don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes. You learn more from failure and helps you grow as a person and hopefully makes you a better leader in the future and you have a better understanding of what it takes to make things work. Stick up for your colleagues and commend them when they’ve done good work. You can’t succeed in your role if you aren’t a team player and you won’t excel if you don’t support the team you’re in. Finally, If you don’t feel the work environment you are in is compatible with your goals and temperament and you don’t think you can change it, then move on. You won’t develop in a job that doesn’t inspire you.


To learn more about Innovate Finance, please see http://www.innovatefinance.com.

I am a huge fan and cheerleader of Women Leaders — If you know of an AMAZING Woman Founder, CEO, Leader in Tech or you are one yourself — Write me at [email protected].
AMPLIFY Conscious Business Leadership with me.

Business, Entrepreneurship and Feng Shui with Andreea Bondoc

Women on Top in Tech – Monica Kalia, Founder and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer of Neyber

Published

on

(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is my interview with Monica Kalia, Founder and Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer of Neyber.

_neymar_logo


What makes you do what you do?

A commitment to deliver a genuine alternative to the solutions offered by financial service providers whose high-interest rates and low returns on savings have helped to create an unprecedented era of financial stress and fuel indebtedness.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?

A combination of hard work and taking the opportunities that were presented to me; both over a long career in investment banking and as a fintech start up entrepreneur.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?

I had accrued great knowledge of the financial services sector during my time in investment banking. I saw the potential for positive change in the consumer credit sector and to ensure that consumers benefited from a better deal. I was confident that our business concept would succeed and in the partnership that I have with my two Co-Founders.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?

I don’t have a specific mentor but instead, believe in the power of networking within the business community. Learning from great people from across the age and cultural spectrum has positively contributed to my career.

At Neyber we have Advisory Boards that contribute to the development of our business and the personal growth of the founder/senior executive team.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?

Having a broad business and social network has delivered results for the founders of Neyber. We’ve been able to tap into a diverse pool of talented people who share our commitment to delivering fairer financial services. I personally look for people who are committed to our objectives and who love to be challenged at work. We also award equity to our people, as we believe that this is vital for keeping people at Neyber.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?

It’s sad that we should still have to be discussing this in the second decade of the 21st century. There should be no disbarred to people achieving whatever their cultural or economic background. At Neyber we have a totally diverse workforce that reflects the fact that we recruit on the basis of talent and commitment to our mission. If every employer were like this the world would be a different and better place.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?

Great leaders rely on having great teams who are committed to the values of their organizations. This matters in every organization whether in Fintech companies such as Neyber, global businesses, charities or the public sector. Leadership tends to fail when people are neither aligned to their employers or committed to fulfilling the objectives that have been set for them. That’s why Neyber works both from a leadership and team perspective i.e. because we believe in the mission of the company.

Advice for others?

It’s essential to follow your personal values when establishing businesses. Go for what you believe in and work with partners who share your commitment. This will ensure that you get the right start-up team in place and bring the people on board who will make things happen.


To learn more about Neyber, please see https://www.neyber.co.uk/.

I am a huge fan and cheerleader of Women Leaders — If you know of an AMAZING Woman Founder, CEO, Leader in Tech or you are one yourself — Write me here.
AMPLIFY Conscious Business Leadership with me.

Continue Reading

Business, Entrepreneurship and Feng Shui with Andreea Bondoc

Women on Top in Tech – Devie Mohan, CEO/Co-Founder of Burnmark

Published

on

(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is my interview with Industry Researcher, Speaker, and Blogger Devie Mohan, CEO and Co-Founder of Burnmark.

burnmark-logo-on-yellow

 


What makes you do what you do?

It took me a long while to realize my true interests and passions and find the confidence to pursue them. I have combined my passion for writing, quantitative research and creative design along with my fintech industry experience to launch my venture, Burnmark. Burnmark is a fintech research company for the social media economy – we want to make data in the space easily shareable, visually impactful and easily built upon by others.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?

I was fortunate to start my career with some great firms like Goldman Sachs, IBM, SunTec, Thomson Reuters, and Ericsson. For me, the biggest change happened when I started writing about the trends I personally saw in the fintech space – some of my predictions started making sense over time and I was then seen as a thought leader and influencer in the space. I have now had the chance to do keynote speeches in most parts of the world predicting, analyzing and visualizing trends in fintech.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?

I have never believed in a “leadership demographic” – I always looked up to leaders for their skills and ability to pursue ideas and implement decisions effectively, regardless of whether they are of a certain type, gender or ethnic origin. I think I am one of the best candidates in the field to do what I do with my startup, and don’t think it is a stretch or challenge for me personally. But I do like to set challenges for me and Burnmark personally, and constantly stretch myself.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?

I have been fortunate to have a large group of supporters around me who I have bombarded with all kinds of questions. Some people within the fintech ecosystem have helped me immensely with ideas, resources and sometimes just emotional support. I am now actively looking for a co-founder and advisory board as we are scaling up more quickly than I had initially expected.

How did you make a match if you did and how did you end up being mentored by him?

I have a group of mentors that I draw support from, and these are mostly people I have admired over the years (either in person through work, or over social media). A good mentor is someone who relates to you well, who believes in you and your business model, and of course, has enough time for you to discuss sometimes even far-fetched ideas.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?

The biggest factor I look for in candidates (and sometimes the only one) is “drive”, or an entrepreneurial spirit. We can learn all skills along the way, but it is much harder to learn or unlearn attitudes.

I work in a very flexible way, and ensure all my team members have a great environment for learning and doing what they enjoy doing. Everything else just falls into place when we get close to deadlines.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?

I think diversity is absolutely important for a successful working environment. We are still fairly small with an equal distribution of gender, but as we grow to about 10 employees, I will absolutely ensure we have a diverse representation. The most obvious diversity representation could be based on gender or country of origin, but to me, what is equally important is having a representation of different thought processes. It is not just important to have women in the room, but also important to have women who think differently from each other in the room. That is what will ensure we are a true success story.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?

I think being a great leader is about building your following – you are personally responsible to employees, investors, stakeholders, clients and even your social media following. That is a lot of responsibility, and a leader has to manage this expectation, inspiring all around her to come towards common goals while also dealing with very tactical challenges. I cannot underestimate the importance of ethical thinking, transparency and balanced judgments as personality traits for a good leader.

Advice for others?

Grab opportunities – it is easy to let go of opportunities saying “not my skillset”, “don’t like the city” etc., but take a bigger picture of your decision and say yes to as many things as you can. It may burn you out, but nothing can beat the experience of having tried out a hundred different things. I took on opportunities to work in Sweden, Arkansas, Trivandrum, Washington, D.C. etc., before I settled in London, and this exposure to the cities big and small, companies big and small, helps me immensely as a global leader today.


To learn more about Burnmark, please see http://burnmark.com.

I am a huge fan and cheerleader of Women Leaders — If you know of an AMAZING Woman Founder, CEO, Leader in Tech or you are one yourself — Write me here.
AMPLIFY Conscious Business Leadership with me.

Continue Reading

Trending