Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content
Close Search

Women in Payments: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020

Celebrating International Womens Day 2020

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – including equality for all women.

To commemorate the occasion, we spoke with a few female leaders in the payments industry about what the day means both for them and for the wider payments industry. The comments and insights we received were nothing short of inspiring and encouraging.

 

Women’s equality is important for all of us, as it validates women as equal members of society, with equal opportunities and equal rights. Our society has much to gain by achieving equality for women, both in general, and in our industry. Putting women on an equal footing with men at all levels of our organizations and our society results in stronger leadership, stronger performance and better representation of views and perspectives to make positive change. Given that our customers, our employees and our shareholders all comprise at least 50 percent women, we need the female voice to enable us to be relevant and therefore successful. Women have a huge amount to contribute and by not engaging them in a meaningful way at leadership levels, we miss opportunities for building success, both in our organizations and for our society. Women in Payments is a global platform that offers women career development and networking opportunities to help us achieve parity at leadership levels and build the strength of our organizations around the world.”

~ Kristy Duncan, Women in Payments

 

To me, every day is International Women's Day, and if I had it my way, it really should be that way! But we call attention to a day like today because it is important to draw attention to the inequality that still exists. When women are given a seat at the table – or better yet, pull up a chair for themselves – wonderful things happen; increased collaboration, sustainable and equitable solutions and even greater profits! What I love about payments is that it is as old as humanity. People have always needed to pay or barter their way for things they want or need. In my opinion, it's necessary that as we build the future of payments and the movement of money, women have a say in what is built and how it is built. Only in this way can we ensure that the future of payments is fair and equitable.”

~ Nina Mohanty, Klarna (and Host of Breaking Banks EU)

 

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to provide recognition for the men and women around the world who are doing great things in this space, and an important motivator for such efforts to continue. In the payments industry, there are a huge variety of specialist pathways one can take; from being an ISO20022 expert, to data analytics of consumer behavior, or marketing and sales of ground-breaking new innovations. One can work all over the world, in any company from 1 to 100,000 employees. What this means is that there is a role and a specialism for everyone, regardless of strengths, interests or gender. And as such, I think the payments industry has a great opportunity to put this into action and be held up as an exemplar of diversity – not only gender, but also race, age socio-economic background and culture.”

~ Ellie Hewitt, Visa

 

If you asked my grandmother what we have achieved in her lifetime in terms of equality for women, she would say, “a great deal.” My daughter would probably agree but add, “we still have a way to go.” Therefore, it’s a continuum that we need to keep working on. The best way to do this is to keep the cause top of mind through initiatives like International Women’s Day. In the payments industry, we have made significant progress through initiatives such as Women in Payments and our own ACI Women’s Initiative (WIN); however, we now need to evolve the conversation toward one about equity – ensuring everyone has access to what they need to be successful. To do that, we first need to achieve equality – everyone having the same or equal opportunity.

~ Giselle Lindley, ACI Worldwide

 

Diversity comes in many forms: gender, age, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Workplace diversity fosters mutual respect among employees as it helps people to recognize and appreciate differences. Respect for co-workers generally reduces the likelihood of conflict and helps to develop business!

We also need to move away from the simplistic notion of what success in the workplace looks like. For instance, a “charismatic leader” doesn’t have to be a man. And “the most empathetic and sensitive person” on a team doesn’t have to be the mother of three children. As soon as we release ourselves from these stereotypes and we encourage people around us to be who they really are, whether they are women or men, then we become wiser, happier and more open to diversity. Men will also benefit from more women in the workplace because they also suffer from those stereotypes that society imposes to them.”

~ Sylvie Boucheron-Saunier, ACI Worldwide


To find out more about how ACI supports women in payments, visit: www.aciworldwide.com/about-aci/corporate-responsibility