they are changing the face of the industry

To be a woman in the financial sector is to be part of a minority. This scenario is visible in companies in the sector ― so much so that photos with almost only men in companies in the sector began to be criticized on social networks by exposing the problem.

Some companies are not waiting for the change to happen by themselves, but are proactive: Nord Research, for example, has specific openings for women in some areas, such as bankers (professionals who help investors), said the founding partner of the research house. analysis, Marília Fontes.

“Diversity adds a lot to any company, as it allows different perspectives on the same problem. The chance of arriving at a good solution increases a lot, ”he commented.

Marília has 14 years of experience in the financial market. But in her time in this field, she observes advances: “Today, we have many more women in the financial market in several areas. And I see more and more interest from young women in the market”, she evaluates.

Annia Gastélum: “Sometimes I felt they weren’t taken seriously”

Photo: Disclosure

Leadership Mindset Is Changing, But There’s Still Way to Go

Annia Gastélum, Head of Marketing at fintech WEpayments, is an immigrant from Mexico and has been working in the financial sector since arriving in Brazil eight years ago. She says that she has already felt underestimated for being a woman, in addition to facing difficulties for being a foreigner.

“I was always the first or second foreigner hired. At some point I did feel a lack of empathy with someone who has to speak and express themselves in a language that is not their own. Sometimes I felt like they didn’t take it seriously,” she said.

But only when there is diversity can there be change. Annia believes that she managed to collaborate in this sense: “I had the opportunity to build culture within the companies I worked for, fight for cultural diversity and put my Latin background as an advantage in the projects in which I participated”.

Annia also notes an increase in diversity: “The mindset of leadership is changing, whoever opens the door to diversity opens the door to qualified people within all ‘groups’ (gender, ethnicity, age group, etc.) who contribute perspectives. or different ideas, enriching any project. But we still have a long way to go and it will take time.”

Women help uplift other women

Nicola Rawlinson, Macro Strategies team leader at JP Morgan Asset Management in London, notes that things are changing in her nearly 15 years in the industry. She explains that JP Morgan has initiatives to ensure that women have equal opportunities.

But the sector, in general, is still predominantly male, so you can see that in some places. For example, Nicola attended an event in São Paulo as the only female speaker out of 11 people, and commented that this still happens.

“It’s nice to see the women in the audience say they are pleased to see women on stage and I feel like I’m helping to raise the bar for them to see that there is a platform,” she said.

She also said that gender equality is a topic that interests her a lot and that she tries to be a reference and support the younger women in her company to see their potential and reach a prominent position.

Fernanda Ribeiro: “We are outnumbered, yes, and for structural and access reasons.  But we exist”

Fernanda Ribeiro: “We are outnumbered, yes, and for structural and access reasons. But we exist”

Photo: Larissa Isis / Disclosure

Change will only happen with intentionality, evaluates the executive

The financial sector still has a discriminatory bias, explains Fernanda Ribeiro, co-founder of Conta Black: “Despite technological developments and advances, there are still many discriminatory mechanisms behind the scenes. I can mention here the credit analysis model, the logic of the big bureaus, it still considers the customer’s past financial life to determine his risk of default, when he could look at it from a perspective that considers the future”.

Fernanda remembers that Conta Black was born from a situation like this (experienced by the founder, Sergio All), of being denied credit even when all the requirements were in compliance.

About the necessary changes in the sector, Fernanda Ribeiro points out that companies need to be active: “They can change intentionally. And I believe that there is only intentionality when there is clarity in the objectives to be achieved through goals, with realistic metrics and financial investment aimed at this intention, ”she said.

Regarding the still small presence of black people in the market, Fernanda says that she sees a transformation: “Every six months we hold a meeting with black professionals from the financial area precisely to bring a counterpoint to this perception, which is spreading in the market. We are outnumbered, yes, and for structural and access reasons. But we exist, and having representation in these spaces is very important, mainly so that the next generations, more and more, understand that these places are ‘possible’. It is a job of building this imaginary, in the short, medium and long term”, she concluded.

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