This year’s United Nations International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, centres on the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” It draws attention to women’s lack of access to the internet globally, as well as the barriers faced by women in professional fields.
Some key facts:
- 259 million fewer women have access to the internet than men, despite making up nearly half the world’s population. The UN says this could have dire consequences just for women, but for everyone on Earth.
- 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas by 2050, so it is vital to sustainable economic development that women are empowered to fill positions in these key technological industries.
- Research by McKinsey found that companies with better gender diversity were 21% more likely to experience above-average growth.
- When one study asked respondents to name a famous woman in tech, only 22% were able to do s
Though it is far from the only barrier to women fulfilling and progressing in STEM careers, lack of representation remains a problem.
This International Women’s Day, we want to share the experiences of women in leadership at PXP Financial and their views on gender diversity in payments. So, we spoke to six women who have been making waves across very different areas of our business:
- Anda Grodsky, Managing Director for Vienna
- Madeleine Reynolds, Co-Head of HR
- Cecile Lamande, Senior Project Manager
- Ivanna Tsyba, Senior Legal Counsel
- Mirta Devic, Marketing Specialist
- Agota Kiss, Team Lead for Commercial Support
Q1: How have you seen payments, and the financial sector as a whole, changing to become more inclusive, and what needs to happen for these career paths to become more inclusive for women?
Madeleine: “Since 2020 and the lockdowns, the tide in the world of work has really turned towards genuine flexibility, be It location or hours, and with flexibility comes inclusivity as far more people are enabled to enter or re-enter the workforce, contribute their ideas and ways of working to the success of the businesses they work for. Most sectors (including finance) are openly talking about, and advocating for, change in the way inclusivity and diversity are seen and addressed in a work context, so that too has made a positive impact.”
Agota: “The financial sector, similarly to technology and science, has been historically dominated by men, but the exponential growth and digitalisation calls for new creative solutions. To deliver products that are accepted and appreciated by all of society, we need representation from all of its members.
“I have seen and applaud many changes that have been made to attract women to finance, for this trend to continue it’s important to focus on retention too. Accommodating the reality of leading a private life and building a career at the same time might seem difficult for a business, but it is the way forward. Flexible work arrangements, protecting the space created by talent – be it women or men – is not only good for the gender equality bottom line, but makes a safe environment where growth of individuals and business takes place.”
Cecile: “I see education as a key issue. It should be made clearer at a very early stage in a person’s education, and I think both children and parents need to be educated on this, that any career path related to science, mathematics, and IT, is not reserved for boys only. More women being empowered from an early age to study in these fields could lead to more women working in the finance industry, as well as other sectors where women are underrepresented.
“To take an example from my own experiences, when I decided to study Mathematics and Physics at university, I was discouraged by some in the education system, even though I had more than the necessary academic requirements to do so. I entered my desired program regardless and achieved great results. I hope with time this kind of limiting approach will disappear, leading to a more balanced workspace.”
Q2: How have you experienced gender diversity at PXP Financial?
Madeleine: “PXP Financial is a working environment where people can be their authentic selves, and in my experience the business is people orientated at its heart. In my own team we are 50% part-time and 83% female. I have never felt becoming a mother as a road bump or limiting in my career at PXP Financial, I was promoted during my pregnancy and on returning to work part-time I have continued to progress to co-lead the HR team, alongside my colleague in another location, who has progressed to lead the team also. The fact that PXP supports job sharing and understands the benefits of co-work and diversity in teams at all levels is a great example of how we are embracing the power of gender diversity.
“In my team alone, we have several different cultural backgrounds, interests and languages (believe up to seven different languages). I learn something new every day from the people I work with. I love that!”
Anda: “I strongly believe that at PXP Financial opportunities are given to the ones that go after them, no matter what your gender, age, race, and background. I feel we are in an environment where skills, knowledge, drive and ambition are rewarded and appreciated. If you have got what it takes for the job that needs to be done, then it’s yours!”
Mirta: “PXP Financial has employees from all over the world, just in our Vienna office there are at least 10 nationalities in the same workplace, and it truly is a diverse and inclusive business where everyone has the same opportunities to progress. PXP is great at recognising the unique experiences and needs of each employee. Since I joined, I have felt that it is a safe and supportive environment, with leaders open to feedback. It’s not just that everyone gets the same opportunities, we also get the individual support we need to succeed and reach our full potential.”
Q3: As a woman in leadership in a sector well-known for its gender glass ceiling, what career or business advice would you share with a younger version of yourself?
Anda: ‘’Always keep in mind that you are playing the same game as everyone else! Why should you need to act differently to the other players because of your gender or anything else – just go on and play at the same level, believe in the value of your contributions.’’
Madeleine: “Only compete with who you were yesterday, and don’t look down on anybody unless you are helping them up. Life and your career are all a journey, real happiness links to being and appreciating the moment, enjoying the ride and the relationships you make on the way. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to others.”
Cecile: “I would advise myself to proactively ask for more from my career, instead of passively waiting for good things to come to me. I always worked hard, candidly thinking that I would naturally be rewarded. I realised later this is not how it works. So, to my younger self I would say: "You are competent, go out there and defend your interests, nobody will do it better than you."
Ivanna: “I would advise myself to apologise less, appreciate my own work more and be less hesitant about taking up other people’s time to explain my point of view.”
Agota: “When it comes to gender, that women don’t need to ‘compete’ with men in what we bring to the table. Women bring perspective and balance in many forms.”
PXP Financial is one of the leading providers of payment services in the world and we are always looking for talented people to join us. Find out more about the careers we have on offer at https://www.pxpfinancial.com/careers