Maria Scott, founder and CEO of TAINA Technology, the RegTech startup, believes there is hope to boost diversity in the RegTech industry.
She discussed this topic and many others when she was interviewed in FinTech Global’s new podcast Women Leaders in Finance.
The TAINA Technology founder began her career as a tax lawyer before moving on to a global traditional institution. “I spent a decade working in a deep, deep compliance area,” Scott said.
This was not the only experience she took with her when she founded TAINA Technology in 2016. Scott also learned about some of the challenges facing professional women. “In my experience, the most difficult things for us are the ones that we create ourselves,” she said, pointing at the diverse commitments they face as part of their gender. “In my case, it was just [constantly] feeling guilty about not doing enough, not moving fast enough [and] you know, not being a good enough mother and [got a] burnout as a result bunch of times,” she admitted.
Balancing having a family with career can prove difficult for anyone. “The reality is that you only have 24 hours,” Scott said. “So how much do you devote to each of these?”
For other women facing a similar situation, she advised them to not be afraid to ask for help. “Don’t expect too much of yourself and be happy to accept help,” Scott said, before admitting that she “haven’t quite perfected it myself, but I know objectively that’s what we ought to be doing.”
Scott encouraged RegTech industry employers to embracing things like flexible working to make it easier for women to balance careers and families. Overall, she argued that being supportive goes a long way. “At TAINA I know we are all a family and most of my team have children and have all kinds of commitments in the family,” Scott said. “But I think flexible working and just understanding and being really kind and supportive and understanding [helps]. People will have bad days. People will have good days, but at the end of the day if we stay strong together and we support each other [everything] is going to be fine. I think that’s really all it takes in all honesty.”
However, employers must first find employees before they can support them. And sourcing diverse talent can prove difficult. “I think that in FinTech and young industries [like RegTech], there isn’t an institutional bias as such, but there is an issue of a shortage of talent coming through,” Scott argued.
The stats back her up. In 2017, only 41% of all scientists and engineers in the EU were women, according to Eurostat. “I think women generally are reluctant to go universities studying technology,” Scott said, before adding, “I don’t have a lot of women developers coming to me.”
TAINA Technology has tried to expand its talent pool by offering internships. “People who haven’t quite made up their mind about where they want to go at this stage, they are very open minded,” Scott explained. She has often found that the people who spend some time in the industry quite often realize how exciting and full of opportunities it is and choose to return once their internships are over.
Another trick to attract more diverse candidates is to utilize social media, which is something TAINA Technology does by snapping pictures of its team and sharing them on platforms like LinkedIn. “What it does is that it hopefully shows candidates that we have a very diverse team, there is a lot of fun and you know, you don’t feel like you would be out of place because we have all kinds,” Scott said.
This interview was part of FinTech Global’s new weekly podcast series called Women Leaders in Finance. To listen to the full episode and other insightful interviews, just click on the link.
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