Career Woman

How a millennial non-tech female made it into the fintech C-Suite


At 27 years old, I have been offered the chance to be a part of the next generation of leaders and have recently accepted an opportunity to join the C-suite. Not only is my entry into the C-suite thrilling due to the company that I get to help lead, but equally because of my age and gender. Being a 27-year-old female is far from common given I work for a tech company in the financial services space.

Looking back at my career over the past couple of years, I have been able to observe not only the industry shifts in the financial services space, but equally the learning’s that can help equip other young women who are trying to find their own path to the C-suite, regardless of industry. Despite age and gender usually being considered a barrier to accomplishing this, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are three core components that if committed to, can greatly increase the probability of delivering a strong organisational performance for young women anywhere.

Be a good steward of all your roles within the organisation 

Regardless of my official job title, my approach to my work and deliverables has always been about anticipating and mitigating the needs of the company and our clients. Creating a trail of successful projects that you are responsible for and providing evidence of your abilities and influence can only achieve natural leadership. This is an approach that does not simply leave a positive initial impression on management, but rather secures a direction where your responsibilities and reputation grow organically.

Continually consume insights, solutions to client problems and industry news

The ever-evolving circumstances and changing requirements that companies find themselves in, requires an approach that is built on a strong curiosity for knowledge. I

have committed to building my knowledge by reading trade publications, unpacking industry white papers and regularly being across both regulatory shifts in my industry as well as market trends. My commitment to this knowledge has formed the confidence I needed to make the best decisions for my company, and to be ahead of possible barriers, bottlenecks or commercial risks.

Work as a team with your bosses, and perform on par with them 

A critical factor in succeeding in a C-suite role does not need to be age, but rather a commitment to consistently embracing challenges and responding with similar determination and skill as your bosses and C-suite colleagues. A gap in years doesn’t have to signal the difference between effective leadership and passionate but unbridled leadership. A capricious approach to leadership is similarly not framed simply due to the age of the individual. As such, acknowledging that biases may be present is natural, but need not limit your progress. Performing on par with others within your class of business will help instill confidence in both your C-suite, and the rest of the company.

Career paths similar to mine are unfortunately still the exception not the rule, with research showing that women hold less than a quarter of senior roles across the world. While the narrative many companies like to partake in is around an increase of women in leadership, the reality is that we have seen a 25% decline this year since 2017. It is therefore my imperative to not only lead the way for other women to make their way into upper management, but to ensure that age and gender may feel like real biases, but that they only exist in the mind.

About Emily Wilcox

As Chief Operating Officer, Emily Wilcox oversees Practifi's global operations while also heading up the company's recent expansion into the U.S. With a passion for technology and innovation, paired with a diverse background in Law, financial services consulting and start-up operations, Emily sets a strong foundation for Practifi's growth globally. Practifi

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