Payments sector diversity continues to improve, but rebalancing far from finished

Payments sector diversity continues to improve, but rebalancing far from finished, Belfast event hears  

Gender diversity in the UK and Ireland payments sector has improved significantly in recent years, but there is still work to be done, a senior Director from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) enforcement team has said on a recent visit to fscom’s office in Belfast.  

Karen Baxter, Director of Strategy, Policy, International and Intelligence at the FCA, was speaking as part of a European Women in Payments Network (EWPN) event where senior women leaders in the sector shared their career journeys. 

She said: “The financial services sector has seen significant benefits from increased female representation at all levels in recent years. This shift towards a more balanced workforce leads to better decision making and outcomes for both businesses and consumers by preventing an uniformity of ideas. Yet, to ensure the sector remains attractive to top talent, further strides must be made.

“Events like tonight’s are crucial for reaching that goal. Hearing from some of the leading figures in the sector and sharing experiences and advice is key to encouraging and developing the female talent pipeline. This will ensure the continued success and innovation of the industry for everyone in the future.” 

Karen joined the FCA last year from UK Finance where she acted as Managing Director for Intelligence Strategy. Prior to that she had a 30-year career in policing, encompassing roles with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and the City of London Police. 

The EWPN Ireland MeetUp event ‘Progressing in your FinTech career’ also heard from Alison Donnelly, Director of fscom; Vicki Hassan, Operations Director at Danske Bank; Pauline Timoney, Head of Entrepreneurship at Catalyst; Caroline Nattriss, Head of AML/CFT & MLRO at Facebook Payments International Ltd; Laura McCrory, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Monzo Bank; and Aimee Harte, Transaction Monitoring Analyst at Monavate. 

The fintech leaders shared their career journeys and offered valuable insights and practical advice to payments professionals at all stages of their careers. 

The event was held at leading governance risk and compliance consultancy fscom’s Belfast headquarters. 

Its Director Alison Donnelly said: “We were delighted to host the EWPN Ireland MeetUp at the fscom Belfast headquarters. As someone who has built a career within the payments sector, I know first hand the importance of sharing experience with others and building a community of professional females who can inspire and lead in equal measure. 

“Payments is one of the most dynamic and exciting industries to work within and we want to attract more female talent in the years ahead. Special thanks to all the panellists for sharing their fascinating career journeys and acting as inspiration to all of us.” 

Jamie Cooke, CEO of fscom, said: “We have been energised and excited to support EWPN and to help make their vision a reality. We need to continue to build better and broader diversity across financial services – especially at a leadership level – and be willing and open to reframing the structure so that business can embrace diversity.” 

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