The Xceptor Blog


Celebrating Women's Achievements

07 March 2022

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.

 


MAGALI GLOVER
Director of Strategic Partnerships

What’s the best part about being a leader in the FinTech world?
In my view, the fintech world is perfectly suited to the way women are wired, it is fast moving, creative, challenging and requires one to be adaptable and collaborative. One the most exciting part about being a leader is witnessing the younger generation come onboard with less hang-ups and a different mindset about work and how it defines them. I see young women have less of a harsh critic in themselves, they’re more authentic, more comfortable in their skins and more ready to try new things, fail and move on. I truly believe that taking yourself out of your comfort zone is key, dare to try - what’s the worst that can happen?

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women, can you tell us about someone who has inspired you?
Definitely, my mother. Inspirational people are not always the big names, they are in your back garden so to speak. Like so many people, life has thrown some big grenades in my mother’s path, but she has always dealt with them with courage, resilience, an amazing amount of compassion all in an effortless French style 😊 I also draw inspiration from many women around me, my son’s teacher with the way she helped him get over his operation, my best friend making a life decision to move abroad and seek a better life, that’s the beauty of it, if you listen and pay attention, it is everywhere. Call them out when you see them.

What was the last book you read?
So just to set the context here a little, I have a father who is obsessed with reading, always has been, that and jazz are his two passions.  As a result, I get sent about 20 books a month varying from Shakespeare’s tragedies to drug cartels books like the Force, the Kama Sutra (oh yes!) and a lot of French philosophy. I usually read a number of books in parallel depending on my mood on any given day, so I will give you the last two I shared with my team not long ago.  Firstly. The Tyranny of Merit by philosopher Michael Sandel - a fantastic book about alternative ways to think about success, he highlights the arrogance meritocracy generates among the winners (or so called) and the harsh judgement it drives on those left behind, it is a real thought provoker. Secondly, Nudge  - the latest edition. It has been a best seller for ages, and looks at how we make choices in life, massively entertaining and really good fun to read.


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.