Today we introduce eight more of DigFin’s women leaders in fintech, a project conducted with the support of InvestHK. Tomorrow we will publish the final group, and on Friday we’ll put all of this together into a single document so you can see everything in one place. (DigFin has introduced a paywall this week, but our Women Leaders content will remain free.)
Our individual profiles found a range of experience. Some people had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination. But others told us they had no such experiences.
Sophia Leung, J.P. Morgan
Hong Kong-born Sophia Leung has been involved in enterprise-level tech since the era before outsourcing became popular. “I was crimping cables,” she says of her early days in banking I.T…READ HER STORY
Li Ting, Yunfeng Financial Group
Li Ting has built a career in asset management. Her story began along traditional lines. After getting a masters degree in finance in the U.S., she won an internship at State Street Global Advisors…READ HER STORY
And while the majority of our leaders work in offices with few or no other women, several work in environments where women managers are many. This is usually more true of large financial institutions. But some startups, such as Clare.ai and Yunfeng Financial, boast a strong or majority number of female managers.
Most of the people we are profiling agreed, however, that the industry needed more female role models – positive stories to show younger people that fintech, broadly defined, offers a rewarding career, if you’re ready to put in the work.
Amanda Liu, OAX Foundation
Amanda Liu is a banker through and through. “I’ve been working for a bank since graduation,” she said. But this banker has now found herself leading an initiative at the cutting edge of crypto…READ HER STORY
Morgan McKenney, Citi
“What’s the workforce of the future, and can financial institutions adapt?” wondered Morgan McKenney, head of core cash management for Asia Pacific at Citi. “Great product development requires digital…READ HER STORY
Surrey Mui, Credit Suisse
“I put governance around information security,” said Surrey Mui. “We’re not security guards: we enable business to do things in a secure way, and if there’s a problem, we need to come up with solutions”…READ HER STORY
Maggie Ng, FinEx Asia
Maggie Ng has transformed a career in banking into one at the forefront of digital finance. She logged nearly 20 years at Citi, all in Hong Kong, across responsibilities including consumers and risk…READ HER STORY
Priscilla Ng, Prudential H.K.
Priscilla Ng took on a role three years ago at Citi – which she had joined in 2001 – to drive digitization across the consumer bank. She has just left this month to join Prudential Hong Kong…READ HER STORY
Benedicte Nolens, Circle
“Trying to avoid regulation is a manifestation of short-term thinking,” Benedicte Nolens said. That especially applies to many crypto businesses. Herself a former regulator…READ HER STORY
As part of our project, we asked Pauline Wray and Simin Liu of Expand Research in Singapore if they had some insight into gender imbalance among tech roles at financial institutions.
Wray and Liu did their own investigation, and this is what they found:
The challenge: Despite many financial institutions implementing a 50:50 male/female hiring at junior levels (in technology), female representation continue to be severely under-represented at mid- and senior-management roles.
The project: To understand why this is happening, Expand conducted a survey of approximately 30 professional women across Hong Kong and Singapore.
The demographics: Job role, and seniority.
Innovation and strategy – 40%
Technology – 15%
Customer experience – 15%
Marketing – 15%
Other – 15%
Senior – 55%
Mid management – 15%
Junior – 30%
- What are the main challenges you face as a female throughout your career?
Challenges faced differs across role seniority:
Junior role: Pay inequality, sexism, lack of management support
Mid-management role: Pay inequality, sexism, advancement opportunities & lack of maternity benefits
Senior management: advancement opportunities, pay inequality
- How did you overcome those challenges?
Change jobs / entrepreneurship
Rise above it, work harder and make sure achievements are visible
Having a female mentor
- What can organizations do to address these challenges?
Mentorship and provide role models
Greater flexibility for mothers
Culture and community (having male allies, training and awareness)