Top 5 Women breaking ground in Fintech

Top 5 Women breaking ground in Fintech

The international women’s day for the year 2022 was introduced with the theme “Breaking the bias” and it is safe to say that nothing has sounded better. Women have intentionally changed the narrative of solely male leadership and have consistently upped their game in delivering not just value, but an amazing display of skill, wit and professional expertise and the fintech industry has not been left out of this.

The financial industry has opened up and provided a level playing field that allows women to bloom and thrive. Some of these women have taken it a few steps further to open doors for other women and consistently, they have ingrained their names in this industry.

We would be highlighting the top five female fintech CEOs or Co-founders who have held their head above water in a male dominated industry, women who have eased their way into leadership and defined female leadership as the new normal. We are invested in heralding the stories of women who have swum through the tides of fading patriarchy, and have made way for growth in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Emilie Choi: President and Chief Operating Officer, Coinbase

Emilie Choi

Groundbreaking American Crypto entrepreneur, Emilie is best known for her age long role as a major player at Coinbase. Coinbase officially welcomed her in the early part of 2018 as Vice president and she rose in rank and file to become the Chief Operating officer and the exchange’s president.

Choi is a graduate of economics from the John Hopkins University and also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Before coming in to build Coinbase, she has been a major player and key leader with various organisations and industry giants across the globe. She has worked with LinkedIn, Yahoo, Warner Bros and Naspers.

Prior to helping build the Coinbase exchange alongside CEO Brian Armstrong, Choi has taken up key leadership roles with numerous industry giants including Warner Bros, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Naspers.Aside from being an excellent leader and witty professional, Choi also doubles as an angel investor and has participated in different funding rounds for different investors.

Choi has spent a major part of her time, particularly from 2021, building Coinbase and helping the organisation pull through the various hitches it encountered. From product launches, to partnerships, acquisitions and even expansion, Coinbase has maintained a consistent track record of growth and progress over the past year. Coinbase recorded surmountable feats under Choi’s leadership; listed as the most popular app on Apple’s play store and also onboarding some major industry players from Google to Meta.

Under Choi’s watch, Coinbase continues to witness exponential growth and record massive progress as the years go by.In a world dominated by men, Choi has shown that it is not what lies between a person’s legs that defines their strength. She perfectly exemplifies wit, intelligence and embodies professionalism!

Vanessa Colella: Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships, Visa.

Vanessa Colella

Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in the United States that has become a household name in the United states and the worldover. It should interest you to know that a major key player there is a woman called Vanessa Collela.

She is the head of Citi’s Ventures and Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer.

One striking thing about Vanessa is how she combines being an academic alongside being a top business leader.

Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award and after a 12 year career at Citi, she has joined Visa and is still topping the charts in excellence.

Prior to Citi, she served as entrepreneur-in-resident at US Venture Partners and before that, as head of marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo, where she developed and executed the company’s consumer data strategy. She was previously a Partner at McKinsey and a junior high and high school science teacher.

Vanessa is a recipient of numerous awards and has even been honoured as a standout on America Banker’s Most Powerful Women list.

She has also received a Silver Stevie award in 2020 amongst others. She is eloquent, bold and a consistent go-getter!

Ramandeep Nayar: CFO Global Risk, American Express

Ramandeep Nayar

Nayar’s story is quite an interesting one. She is the perfect example of that self driven woman who stays consistent, gets the job done and is rewarded with success. Nayar joined American express as an intern in the year 2007 and has worked her way up the leadership ranks to Chief Financial Officer, Global Risk.

She graduated from Punjab University, India, and was awarded her MBA in finance from the University of Rochester – Simon Business School in 2008

.In her fourteen years with the industry giants, she was key in helping to assess, conceptualize and subsequently launched a coalition loyalty program that was the first of its kind in the US.

This single act eventually led to the Global Consumer Group managing a US$20bn revenue portfolio and a team of 15 professionals. She was also handpicked by executive leadership to create and lead a decision science function in finance with a focus on using big data and advanced techniques to predict and analyse key metrics across the P&L.

Due to her dynamic and expertly unique approach to business, Ramandeep is also considered a thought leader with experience in developing winning strategies for complex and diverse portfolios across various geographies and lines of business.

She is a strategy leader with a strong focus on achieving results through effective organisation of talent and resources. With Ramandeep’s story, we are reminded why consistency and hard work never goes out of fashion.

JoAnn Stonier: Chief Data Officer, Mastercard

JoAnn Stonier

Wherever you hear the name, JoAnn Stonier, your first reaction would be awe. Awe and amazement at how much a woman can do and how well she can do it.

JoAnn is a recognised data and privacy expert who has years of experience creating data strategy and management programs ensuring data innovation while navigating multiple data risks. She is also a leading expert in data ethics and responsible data practices with a focus on ML and AI, and is widely sought after for her innovative and practical approach to solving problems in the digital age.

oAnn serves as the Chief Data Officer of Mastercard, and is responsible for the enterprise data strategy and management, including identifying and mitigating data risks across the payments giant, as well as influencing data-driven products, overseeing data policy and governance.

She consults and offers advice to executive management on a broad range of complex data policy and regulatory issues.

Prior to her current role, JoAnn established the first Privacy Office for Mastercard in 2008 and developed the organisation’s Information Governance program beginning in 2013.

She joined Mastercard in 2008 from American Express, where she spent eight years, serving as Chief Privacy Officer, where she recreated the privacy program for all divisions of American Express Worldwide and established governance process, policies and procedures, and the education program.

In 2018, she assisted in the creation and launch of Truata, an Irish data trust enterprise, formed to ensure anonymization compliance with the EU-General Data Protection Regulation. And she currently advises a broad range of industry and policy groups regarding data innovation and privacy, including the UN Global Privacy Advisory Group.

Interestingly, she is also a trained lawyer, and received her Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University in Queens. JoAnn holds membership in the Bar of the State of New York. She is the woman who holds it all together and doesn’t forget to show us how smart she can get.

Mariquit Corcoran: Group Chief Innovation Officer, Barclays

Mariquit Corcoran

Experience may not always be the best teacher but it definitely is a teacher. This is the gift that Mariquit is blessed with.

Mariquit, who is based in New York, has worked in the financial services sector for 20 years. She has held management positions and led teams in the fixed income, operations, risk management, finance, and banking industries.

Her current duties include managing the Rise Platform and overseeing the worldwide FinTech Accelerator program at Barclays, which aims to accelerate the development of the next generation of FinTech companies while bringing new ideas and possibilities to Barclays.

Mariquit Corcoran believes, “Innovation is a change in the way you do things, whether it’s big or small. It doesn’t always have to be transformational. Sometimes it’s simply a change in the way you do things day-to-day’.

Mariquit joined Barclays in 2018 from Goldman Sachs, where she spent nearly two decades, first as an analyst for fixed income, before she was given increasingly senior roles, including the role of the VP of the bank in the US, before leading the team responsible for sourcing and closing deals for all strategic engagements of a newly launched fintech, Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Mariquit has landed numerous awards, including NYC FinTech Women Inspiring Females in 2019.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bond Club, one of the oldest professional organisations for women in finance, and is on the strategic advisory boards for equity investment firm FTV Capital.

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