Our commitment to team diversity – International Women’s Day
As two sectors that are generally considered to be heavily male-dominated, many businesses across the technology and fintech sectors are now taking active steps towards achieving greater gender diversity and equality. A growing number of women in fintech are challenging the status quo and working their way up the fintech ladder, which is helping to add balance to the traditionally male-centric setup of senior management teams.
While the sector as a whole still has a fair way to go, we’re pleased to see more women rising through the ranks into leadership roles here at Delio. This is why for International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on women like our head of delivery, Sarah, who is challenging the norm and paving the way for more women in fintech.
After joining the team in its early stages three years ago, Sarah has helped to set the foundations for how we standardise our technology delivery processes and emphasise the importance of cross-team learning. She plays a key role in educating the broader team on the critical elements of successful platform configuration, as well as being critical to how we manage our clients and stakeholders through the deployment of their technology. During a time of significant client growth for the business, Sarah has helped move Delio into its international scale-up stage.
Challenging misconceptions and recognising soft skills
Although it’s starting to change, one of the most common misconceptions within both the tech and fintech industries is that technical knowledge is the be-all and end-all. Yet, technical knowledge alone isn’t always required to be successful within the sector, as Sarah explains: “At Delio, we’ve enabled some of our largest clients to digitise their private markets offering on a vast scale, covering over 1500 users. Despite technical granularity being present in many phases within the configuration and delivery approach, we also need to recognise the soft skills that make this happen. Our delivery team, which is formed of largely non-technical backgrounds, demonstrates the importance of these often undervalued attributes.
By emphasising clear communication, active listening and stakeholder management, we’re able to create a bigger picture of the task that we’re working on. This is why alignment between the delivery, support and tech teams is so important. By ensuring that teams understand each other’s goals and how each team is part of the bigger Delio solution, we can not only challenge misconceptions but also acknowledge and benefit from the various soft skills within a team.”
To thrive, we need to challenge ourselves and our practices
The overarching theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, with the IWD team citing that a ‘challenged world is an alert world’. We posed this to Sarah, and she explained how continuous learning plays into this theme for her personally.
“One of the main driving factors that encourages me to grow is learning new practices or grappling myself with topics that are outside of my comfort zone or previous experience. Choosing to challenge yourself, as well as your work practices, is an important trait that will help your career grow on many levels, not just in your specialist area.”
Knowledge-sharing and alignment are key
One of the critical areas that Sarah has worked on over the last few years is effective cross-team communication and developing new processes which help to inform the configuration process. She commented – “Recently, we’ve begun reaping the benefits from greater cross-departmental understanding. From better communication to knowledge sharing, we’ve been able to thrive and tackle potential issues ahead of time. This development remains one of my proudest achievements, as it has led to a greater awareness of our setup. More so, it’s created a culture of collaboration from which every single person in the team can benefit, and I look forward to taking this further.”
What else are we doing?
The fintech sector is generally seeing a fundamental shift across the board, especially in terms of encouraging women in fintech. InChorus and Innovate Finance recently launched the Fintech For All Charter, an industry-led initiative that seeks to take active measures towards establishing a more diverse fintech sector so less well-represented groups and women in fintech can grow their careers. Alongside PwC, Fintech Alliance and the Financial Conduct Authority, Delio is proud to be among the first signatories of this Charter.
However, change starts from within. With this in mind, we’ve made some changes to help make Delio a more inclusive business for all. Here are a few steps we’ve taken in the last twelve months:
- We have made our job roles more accessible and attractive to under-represented people within finance and fintech.
- We asked those who matter most, our people, about their careers and how we can better meet their needs. We’re now actively focusing on strengthening our career progression and finding ways to provide the team with better opportunities to grow.
- We welcomed Sally Jones-Evans to our board as Delio’s first female director. As someone who’s sat on multiple boards across Welsh businesses(including Principality Building Society and TechCo) and has years of experience from her senior management role at Lloyds Banking Group, we were delighted to welcome Sally to the team and can learn a lot from her.
While the sector as a whole, including ourselves, still has a fair way to go, we’re committed to making sure that all members of our team have the opportunity to progress and develop their careers here at Delio.