The payments industry is fast-moving and dynamic – change is the only constant. Every day, more and more disruption is happening, enabled by new technology, new regulations and changing consumer behaviour. This may present its challenges to those working within the industry, but it also appears to be a key selling point. EWPN caught up with three leading business women from global payments giant, Ingenico, to see why they chose to pursue careers in tech, how they got there, and what they believe needs to be done to ensure a diverse future for the sector.
“Payments continues to provide exciting career opportunities for men and women alike,” says Sangeetha Narasimhan, Regional Marketing Director, SMB Online Europe. “Technology in all its forms, and especially today’s digital technologies, are transforming economies across the world – I find it meaningful to work in an industry with this capability.”
Simone Lavicka-Wanzenböck, Strategy Director, Global Online, didn’t always imagine a career in technology. Starting out her journey with an MBA in General Management from Rotterdam School of Management, the creative and constantly evolving nature of the technology industry is what drew her in.
“I like when the more repetitive and standard elements of my work can be automated via the use of technology and software solutions, so that I can focus on the more exciting and sophisticated aspects. This is just one exciting feature derived from working on the cutting edge of tech” she commented.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the payments industry, especially for women, is that it is only for technology ‘nerds’. “The world of technology is open to anyone,” Angèle Rivron, Project Innovation Manager, notes. “Any skill can bring value to a team or project.”
“Ingenico is lucky to boast an array of talented women in many technical, innovation and strategic roles” adds Nicolas Huss, CEO, Ingenico. “This combination of skill is crucial in maintaining Ingenico’s status as a global leader on the cutting edge of payments innovation. Our own Angèle has recently been nominated for the EWPN Young Innovator award - it’s always a delight when our employees get recognised for the brilliance they showcase every day.”
Given Ingenico’s global footprint, working there means to be fully embedded in an international environment and experiencing diversity on a daily basis. “We are lucky to have a range of inspiring female leaders on various management teams across the whole organisation,” says Simone.
“Our board of directors is especially inspiring, with three talented women making up a third of the leadership committee,” Sangeetha adds.
Companies have the power to do so much to improve diversity. At Ingenico, the recruitment policy is open to attract talents’ diversity, no matter the gender, ethnicity or background. There are also training programs in place both internally and externally with the aim of sharing knowledge and developing new skills. It is also developing exclusively female networks where women can share their experience, best practice and advice for career development. For current career opportunities available at Ingenico, visit the career page.
“Education, visibility, and networks are key to improve women’s career prospects in the technology industry. We need to be raising awareness among boys and girls from a young age of the opportunities available for both genders. Sharing success stories of female role models is also vital – this, along with mentoring opportunities, plays a crucial part in building a greater talent pool,” says Angèle.
Sangeetha believes that the individual can have a huge impact, too: “Networks such as EWPN are incredibly effective in raising awareness and developing trust in women’s capacity to succeed in the technology and payments sectors. It’s not just up to networks though – everyone can do something in their own role. I speak up when I see all male panels in events, and make sure the sales and marketing teams here include women in their prospecting.”
Men’s voice is also imperative to drive forward the change. “Men cannot just stand idle while their female counterparts fight for representation” says Nicolas. “Last International Women’s Day, I took the pledge to help build a workplace with equal opportunities for both genders, along with many of my male and female colleagues.”
Sangeetha rounds up by saying: “Most important to note, however, is to believe in yourself. Put your hand up and follow your passion! Technology and payments are one of the most disruptive industries that is changing the world today. Women should be a part of shaping that new world.”
If you’d like to find out more about the opportunities available to women in the payments and technology sectors, Sangeetha, Angèle and Simone will be at the EWPN conference, 4 - 5th June, at the Hilton, Amsterdam. Find out more here.