Women in Fintech Powerlist, introducing the featured Tideans
The Women in FinTech Powerlist is a list of 200 women who are shaking up the Fintech ecosystem. We are proud to announce that three Tideans were featured in this year’s list!
The Women in FinTech Powerlist was created by Innovate Finance, an independent industry body that represents and advances the global Fintech community in the UK. Their mission is to accelerate the UK’s leading role in the financial services sector by directly supporting the next generation of technology-led innovators.
The Powerlist shines a spotlight on the women leading innovation in financial services. The list, which received applications and nominations from around the world, features 200 women across 7 categories: Senior Leaders, Rising Stars, Professional & Financial Services, Technology Professionals, Policymakers & Regulatory Experts, Investors and Marketers & Communicators
A Women in Fintech study from 2017 found that 30% of the Fintech workforce is female and only 17% of senior Fintech roles are held by women. At Tide, we are committed to having a diverse team, making sure we’re enabling more women to pursue a career in Fintech and ensuring they have equal growth opportunities in their careers.
Encouraging more females to take on jobs in the Fintech industry also means we can ensure our products are also designed for women by women. Make sure to visit our career’s page if you’d like to join us in our mission to build a diverse and vibrant team, striving to make life easier for small business owners.
We are proud to introduce you to Shak, Martyna and Teresa, three Tideans who have key roles in the team and have been featured in this year’s list. Shak was featured in the Rising Stars category, Teresa in the Technology Professionals category and Martyna in the Professional & Financial Services category.
Hi ladies! Congratulations on making the list! We’d love to know a bit more about your background. What did you study and what was your first job?
Shak: I studied Law at BPP Law school here in London. I was actually working in banking before and during my studies! At the time I was working in Metro Bank as a Lead Cashier aka teller manager.
Martyna: I studied law in London and Belgium. My first ‘legal’ job was with Linklaters, an international ‘magic circle’ law firm – but my first paid job was actually as a barista in Starbucks!
Teresa: My first degree was in Business Management and Finance. I worked for a few years in business management and accounting before I decided to re-train and learn programming. After working on some side and personal projects, I took the MSc Computer Science course at Birkbeck, University of London.
Fantastic, thank you for sharing this! Now, it’s been said that London is the global Fintech capital… How and when did you learn about Fintech?
Shak: In 2016, a friend of mine told me there was a new app-based bank on the scene and these will be the banks of the future. I was curious and joined Monzo before moving on to Tide. Now 4 years working in Fintech, I haven’t looked back!
Martyna: As a lawyer in private practice, I helped advise Fintechs on various regulatory and corporate issues. It was definitely more cutting edge than some of the box standard work we did for global banking behemoths!
Teresa: Tide is actually my first job in Fintech! Prior to joining Tide, I led a mobile team for a global digital agency with clients including F1 and the BBC.
And so what attracted you to work in this sector?
Shak: I always had a keen interest in banking, and as someone who has pretty much grown up with ever-evolving technology, working in a space that combined modern, easy to use technology with banking made sense. The speed at which Fintechs can roll out changes is impressive. How quickly Fintechs respond to trends and “fail fast” is also fantastic. Having to wait weeks or months to make changes to a system, or process is now quite the barrier to keeping up with competitors and remaining relevant in this market.
Martyna: I wanted an opportunity to work in an environment where you’re constantly encouraged to innovate, learn and find new solutions to existing problems.
Teresa: For me, it was all about working in an environment with rapid growth and cutting edge technology. Working at Tide gives me the opportunity to try new technologies and implement new efficient ways of working rapidly with my team .
How did you find your way to Tide?
Shak: Tide came to me really out of nowhere at a time when I was looking for a new challenge. Admittedly before joining Tide I wasn’t too familiar, but then I started to see Tide advertisements everywhere, almost as if I was guided to join. So glad I did!
Martyna: I knew of Tide from all the amazing advertising on the Tube. So I kept monitoring the website for job postings and applied when one came up!
Teresa: I joined Tide quite early in the journey as we were around 70 in our London office (there are now about 500 Tideans globally!) I have been learning a lot and enjoy my work as we’re growing.
We’re definitely evolving in a faced paced environment! You have all been at Tide for a while now and have evolved in the team. Tell us more about your current role and what you are passionate about in it?
Shak: I am passionate about employee engagement and as a Know Your Customer (KYC) Team Lead, coaching and developing people in my team has been my priority. I am proud to have helped to promote people within the KYC space, transition across to compliance, financial crime, QA and business analytics.
Since being recognised as a Rising Star I have moved myself across into a new role as a Security Culture and Awareness Analyst at Tide. It’s a fairly new role within the Fintech space as a whole, which is really exciting. What I love about this role is that it’s proactive. Rather than a company pouring funds and resources into their in house security after an incident has occured, Tide has decided to proactively develop a role which promotes a healthy security culture from the beginning.
I am most passionate about the human behavioural aspect of understanding secure behaviours, such as why we respond to threats the way we do and how we rationalise our actions. I enjoy challenging the norm also, so a lot of my role is about promoting security culture in a fun and engaging way. Put it this way, any training I do will unlikely be presentation and slides based haha.
I also work as part of the Culture Club here at Tide which involves creating and organising engaging events that celebrate culture in all forms.
Culture Club is important because as a company scales, it can be very easy to lose some of the values and fun practices that made us who we are. Culture Club serves to ensure every Tidean understands, experiences and lives the Tide culture no matter when you joined. It’s ingrained in our DNA.
As Head of Legal, I’m incredibly lucky to be involved in a broad range of initiatives, product launches, including Tide Expense Cards and company formation services, and strategic change. But what I’m most passionate about is helping other Tideans achieve their own and company goals!
In my spare time, I do pro-bono work acting as Legal Advisor to Tide Charity, supporting small businesses impacted by the Covid pandemic. I led the set-up of the Charity and continue to advise the Trustees on its day-to-day operations, fund-raising and growth plans.
Teresa: I Head the Android Engineering team at Tide. It allows me to work on various things and learn different skills. I am in the process of transferring from an “I” shaped engineer (engineers that are specialised in a field and expert on one topic) to a “T” shaped engineer (engineers that want to expand their knowledge, and that are experts in one field but explore other areas).
I am passionate about finding better ways of building Tide. I have led the design and development of a next-generation mobile application with modern stacks, which will be the first Tide application to enter a global market.
Since joining the team, I upscaled the Android team, doubling it in size and I’ve led the effort in establishing a new Android team in Hyderabad, India. My focus has been to hire and onboard new members of the team whilst ensuring the delivery of the best quality product to Tide members which has been really exciting!
You have made incredible contributions at Tide, having an impact on our product, your team and your colleagues. What do you want to achieve in your career in Fintech?
Shak: I will say this firmly and without hesitation. I am on a journey to becoming a world-class security culture and awareness professional. Fintechs haven’t been around as long as traditional banks, so we still have some way to go to analyse and have solid data on security culture within this space. I am working on a few projects that will eventually benefit Fintechs as a whole – bold for me to put this out there now, but yes, watch this space.
I like to challenge the norm and break away from repeating the same messages and style of communication. I always try to add fun to my work. Happiness is contagious – so I spread the joy.
I am also building a security Fintech community. If you work within the security domain in a UK Fintech, feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to share a little more about how you could get involved.
Martyna: In the last year, my focus was on delivering the partnership between Tide and ClearBank, forging new ways for Fintechs to collaborate successfully, and importantly, bringing FSCS protected bank accounts to Tide members.
I’m currently focusing on scaling the team and hiring the right talent to support our continued growth and bring something new to the table. In the long run, I’d like the Legal Team to be seen as an efficient business enabler – I’m hoping to position the Legal Team to help supercharge Tide’s growth from a startup to scale up and find innovative ways of providing best-in-class legal support to a growing business.
Teresa: I am an active advocate of Tide’s values and engineering culture. I regularly speak at conferences and meet-ups, as well as writing blogs and engaging in conversations on social media to help foster cross-sector engagement in technology. I’ve also been advocating for and bringing to life a transition to Flutter which I am really passionate about. Flutter allows Tide to build from one codebase, improving our delivery cycle as well as enabling engineers to write code once and deploy to both iOS and Android.
After identifying the benefits of Flutter and building a prototype, leading to an initial Alpha project, Tide has adopted Flutter for the globalisation of the Tide platform. This allows our engineers to be more efficient and give Tide members a better experience which is exactly what I want to achieve.
These are incredible achievements! Talking about big milestones… what’s the biggest innovation you want to see in the Fintech industry?
Shak: A step away from announcing people’s gender or skin colour before their titles. This is of course not a technical innovation, but certainly a behavioural change that is needed. No more ‘ Welcome our first Women…’ or ‘introducing our first Black board member…’. We are all deserving people who have achieved career success based on merit and proven hard work. Let’s step away from positive discrimination.
Martyna: Better use of data analytics and tech to deliver a more personalised product and finance experience to individual users.
Teresa: This isn’t an innovation, but something that has been discussed a lot lately: using the power of Artificial Intelligence to drive data and make decisions based on that; build smart banking app and bring machine learning to it as much as we can; adapt to cross-platform technologies which essentially will provide more to our customers with less.
And looking forward, where do you see the Fintech space in 5 years time? And what about Tide?
Shak: In 5 years perhaps a move away from this space being called ‘Fintech’ as it will be so normalised and expected. Even traditional banks have been pushed to innovate quicker. I suspect there will be a lot more competition, but it would be interesting to see any big acquisitions of Fintechs.
For Tide, well we are already a multinational organisation. I see us continuing down this path, making business banking easier for everyone across the globe.
Martyna: I’d love for Tide to become a global brand name and the go-to platform for SME business, finance and admin needs.
Teresa: I like Tide’s business model of financial service platform, especially with Open Banking technology. I really want to see Tide becoming the world leader in the Fintech industry supporting SME businesses, and I am proud to be part of the journey.
At Tide, we are committed to having a diverse team, making sure we’re enabling more women to pursue a career in Fintech and ensuring they have equal growth opportunities in their careers. What’s your advice for young female professionals wanting to start a career in Fintech?
Shak: If you see a role and don’t think you tick all the boxes, apply anyway! Send a follow-up email or a cover letter (remember those) highlighting why you want the position despite you not ticking all the boxes. Let them know what they would be missing out on if they didn’t hire you. The reality is, if a role is popular, a talent/recruitment team might need to sift through 100’s of applications. If you’re not capturing their attention, you may go into the generic “we regret to inform you” pile.
Use Linkedin to connect with people who are already doing the role you’re interested in. Have a look at what qualification or experience they have, and start a conversation. There’s a wealth of free knowledge and guidance available to you if you seek it!
And lastly, know and understand your worth. If you believe you are capable, use that confidence every time to summon your new role! It sounds a bit odd, but it’s like when you watch a show like Dragons Den and the pitchers are not that confident in their product or financials, you don’t feel confident in them either. So apply with confidence, talk with confidence and in no time the right opportunity will be presented to you.
Martyna: Don’t get discouraged by the perception that Fintech is male-dominated – it’s not! While there may be more men in executive positions (for now…), there are lots of awesome women working in Fintech and male colleagues championing change. The overall landscape is evolving, so there will be more women coming up through the senior leadership ranks.
Teresa: Just go for it, it is the same as entering any other industry, there will be a learning curve but the tech industry gives you lots of opportunities to grow.