“Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.”
This is the inspiration behind the 2022 International Women’s Day theme: #BreakTheBias. With just 30% of the fintech sector’s overall workforce being women, it’s a theme that resonates deeply with everyone at PXP Financial. We share IWD’s vision of a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Across our five main locations - Gibraltar, Bulgaria, Austria, UK and India – we are proud to say 24 nationalities are represented, and that 38% of our workforce are talented, driven, inspiring women.
To celebrate this International Women’s Day, we want to recognise some of them here.
Kinga Ulbrecht - Commercial Support Specialist
Like many women, Kinga has a strong role model in her mother: “She was, and still is, a strong figure for me when it comes to her work and daily life. She always suggested I be myself in any circumstance and this always helped me move confidently in my career.”
Kinga was new to the payments/fintech industry when she started working at PXP Financial, but quickly became knowledgeable about the payment methods we work with, as well as our industries and merchants.
Her advice to women who are interested in a career in the industry is to ‘start as soon as possible’ because the industry is constantly changing and growing. She says: “Because of that, I believe diversity is key. I am very fortunate that since I started my career in the payments/fintech industry I haven’t felt any discrimination for being a woman. I am also lucky to be surrounded by a great team where the majority is female and where our team lead is a fierce and supportive woman who is always helpful”
Kinga has two favourite quotes that perfectly sum up what makes women a great asset to our industry: “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand, and "Women are the real architects of society" – Cher. We couldn’t have put it better!
Miroslava Kirilova - Scrum Master
Miroslava is one of the many women to have experienced bias during the course of her career. She has been turned down for jobs because she is a mother and she thinks a huge source of discrimination against women is the time they take out to raise children.
Fortunately, Miroslava has encountered female leaders throughout her career who have shown her ‘what prosperity looks like, what it takes to have it’.
She said: “I worked for a consultancy company many years ago where one of my managers was the biggest inspiration, not only at work, but in life. She was full of energy, creativity, amazing leadership, loyalty, morale, and business expertise.”
Miroslava continues to be inspired by her colleagues, and here at PXP Financial she is surrounded by a diverse group of people she can learn from every day. She says they motivate her to ‘give more, ask for more and help others to evolve, change and prosper’.
As someone working in a predominantly male industry, her advice to other women entering payments/fintech is to ‘be knowledgeable, be brave’. That, she says, is the best way to prove women can compete.
Maria Sanniti - Account Development Manager
Maria has been with PXP Financial for an incredible 23 years. She started in a sales admin role and now manages a portfolio of accounts within various sectors and works to build partner relationships.
A focused, self-motivated commercial professional, she has steadily built a successful track record of customer account management, managing and developing business partner relationships and closing new business.
Maria finds daily inspiration in her colleagues, who come from many different backgrounds and have knowledge of different industries to share. But she is also inspired by her daughters, who have clearly inherited their mother’s incredible work ethic.
She says: “Both have worked very hard to receive degrees in science and the arts, a PHD in Functional Genomics from Oxford University and Bachelor of the Arts degree from UAL.”
After so many years in payments and fintech, Maria has witnessed the landscape of this male-dominated industry shift. She says a lot more women have come into high power roles; a fact that inspires her for the future.
Susanne Werner - Senior Account Development
Drawn to a booming, fast-paced industry that she says matches her personality, Susanne has been with PXP Financial for almost three years. She says: “I like the challenges and responsibilities of working with the latest technology. Plus, there are so many clever and inspiring people working in this industry.”
Although she has been fortunate to have crossed paths with many inspiring women with strong work ethics, such as loyalty, cooperation and respect, most important of them all is her mum.
“I learned from her never to stand still and that anything can be improved. When things get difficult or stressful, we can push through by asking ourselves for just a little bit more, as we are usually capable of more than we think.”
These lessons have proved valuable; as a woman mainly working on the operational and commercial side of things, Susanne’s technical understanding has been questioned on more than one occasion. But despite her experience of bias, she would encourage more women to pursue careers in payments and fintech.
She concludes: “It’s an amazing industry with exceptional people and products, plus it allows for flexible working from anywhere! Most of all, don’t be afraid of the things you do not know, we are all learning all the time.”