The Xceptor Blog


Celebrating Women's Achievements

08 March 2021

5 minutes read time


This International Women’s Day we’re proud to join voices across the world in celebrating women’s achievements. We asked some of our inspiring leaders to share their stories, talk about their experiences, and what they’ve learnt along the way. 

Here’s what they shared.

 


SALLY YATES
CMO

What is the best part about being a leader in the FinTech world?
Fintech changes and challenges itself at such a pace that learning is native to your day-to-day. Progress is learning, getting involved, always evolving your thinking. Curiosity can be your greatest strength.

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Can you tell us about someone who has inspired you?
I’ve come across some great women in my career, and some great men. I’ve always loved working with people who challenge themselves to be the best they can be. As Marissa Mayer, the former Yahoo CEO, put it “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.’ Be bold, be brave, be the best version of yourself -those are people that inspire me.

What was the last book you read?
I love reading. The more you read, the better you write, which is a passion of mine. The last book I read was ‘I Spy’ by Tom Marcus, about his life in MI5 – it’s about facing tough challenges, courage and mental strength, great qualities for anyone to have no matter your path in life.


SHALEEN DASTUR
Sales Director

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Can you tell us about someone who has inspired you?
Yes, I come from a family of very strong women. My grandmother not only managed a household but her own business. What always struck me was her “leadership presence” in that she always dressed for success, is a great listener, well informed, very fair in making decisions and when she speaks you hang on to every word. It was very inspiring to see how she approached work life balance and made time to stay involved in the community.  

How can women in business ensure their voices are heard?
Ask questions, learn from others, and look for ways to do your job better. Take what you have learned and be a positive force to mentor others.

How do you think we can continue to create workplaces that encourage gender diversity?
Lead by example from the top down and bottom up to be advocates for diversity and inclusion. Implement cultural values and programs and monitor for success.

Tell us one thing about you that always surprises people
As a child I lived in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and St. Maarten before landing in New York.


JULIE WOODWARD
Head of Enablement

Do you have any advice or strategies for women on how to advance to a leadership position?
Know your values – know what is non-negotiable for you, and appreciate those of others
Try to be self-aware – appreciate the impact you have, how you’re heard and how you come across

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Sometimes good enough and not perfect is ok (for a perfectionist – that’s a hard one to grasp!)

What is one thing you know now that you wish you’d known earlier in your career?
Who I am - my values and what matters to me Vs what doesn’t

What is your favourite way to unwind after a busy day
A long walk, a podcast or a bath (should I omit a glass of nice wine!)   

AMIE MORIOKA
Head of HR

Do you have any advice or strategies for women on how to advance to a leadership position?
I genuinely believe that you can be anything that you want to be, so long as you back yourself and deliver – and delivery is not related to the number of hours that you work. You have to be relevant and credible, willing to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. Build trust, communicate in the right way, be willing to deliver the tough messages, but able to find the opportunities to celebrate every success. Value yourself and your people, allow them to fail fast and encourage their ongoing development. Admit when you got it wrong, lead by example, and strive to be the best version of you that you can be.

How can women in business ensure their voices are heard?
I think that this is very much related to the organisation that you are working for. I have never felt that my voice wasn’t heard, but at times that was only because I shouted the loudest. For the right organisation, with the right environment, culture, and values, you should not need to shout. Here, I am likely the best version of me, which is the real version of me, not one that I had to create in order to conform.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Consider if you are doing things right, or doing the right thing (as in, are you managing or leading).

Tell us something about you that always surprises people
My father was Japanese, I trained as a chef, my social life now revolves around my (Xceptor) dog.


LAURA DAVIS
Partner Director

What message would you like to share with women thinking about a career in Technology / FinTech?
It’s the most exciting place to be – there are many different roles other than pure coding – you can be part of something truly transformational for yourself and the world around you.

What is the best part about being a leader in the FinTech world?
I love to be on the front line of bringing new and exciting innovation into the market.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you’d known earlier in your career?
Recognise when you are in your comfort zone and push yourself out of it.

Tell us one thing about you that always surprises people
I used to hurdle for England many moons ago.

Want to get involved? Find out how you can help forge a gender equal world on the International Women's Day website