Paysafe female leaders: stand out, be tenacious and go for what you want

Paysafe’s female leaders around the world have earned high recognition for their inspiring leadership and focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Paysafe also picked up a coveted ‘Pink Chip Employer’ award in Europe in recognition of the positive working environment it has created for its female employees.

In the wake of International Women’s Day, we caught up with two women from the global payments provider Paysafe to hear what the day means to them.

Andrea DunlopCEO of Merchant Acquiring, Europe, has more than two decades’ experience in the payments industry following a stint in military service. Before Paysafe, she held a diverse range of financial services roles. She operated her own consultancy, and while on staff at Visa helped drive the card brand’s Olympic NFC program and the Visa Europe Mobile Gateway Solution.

Andrea was named one of the ‘Most Influential Women in Payments in 2018’ and Banking Technology’s ‘Woman in PayTech’ in 2018, for her distinguished leadership and inspiring work in the UK’s financial and payments services industry. She won ‘Payments Pioneer’ by UK Payment Awards in 2017.  

She is also an Advisory Board member of the European Women in Payments Network and a member of the Advisory Board for the Women in Payments Network (global).

On what IWD personally means to her, Andrea says: “I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of diversity in organisations at all levels. Women make up a large proportion of the workforce, and it makes sense to have a fair representation of females at every level in an organisation. The benefit of diversity is that it brings different points of view, which helps with better and more balanced decision-making.”

Stand up and be counted

Andrea continues: “It’s great that we have a day that recognises women in the workplace, but the work shouldn’t stop there. We need to make sure we stand up for ourselves and every other woman in our organisation to ensure we have the same opportunities as men. It’s not easy, and we need to take courage and lead with spirit.

“As women, we have to learn our craft, know ourselves, and be all that we can be, and then in knowing we have our own courage, we can help others. If we are brave enough to do that, then together, we can lead an army of women on the same journey, helping them to develop themselves and take their own courage, in learning from inspiring leaders.”

Claire Gates’, CEO Paysafe Pay Later, career switch from engineering to payments shows she has never been afraid to try new things or challenge the status quo. She is a passionate activist championing women in the financial sector and on IWD 2018, she discussed how women could thrive in the competitive FinTech space.

Claire campaigns for more women to become involved in the financial services sector and has set up an online development platform focussed at empowering a segment of women in the workforce. She regularly mentors for TechStars and incubator programmes for London and Warwick Business Schools.

An international day for fostering change

Asked why IWD is so important, Claire says: “Gender diversity continues to dominate both the business news agenda and the UK’s political agenda, particularly because of the #MeToo campaign, and it can only help to ensure there is a sufficient representation of talented women in the business world.

“It’s so positive that there is now a day that celebrates the successes of women across the world. I trained as a Chemical Engineer and when oil prices suffered a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to do some work in the oil and gas sector, which was fascinating.

“Oil and gas have such a fundamental impact on all our lives, but it’s not a field which you hear much about at school and girls often aren’t encouraged to embark on a career in this space. Through initiatives like International Women’s Day, I hope this will change.”

Claire continues: “Since then I’ve worked in the financial sector for over 20 years where historically women have been underrepresented, but headway is being made. I would say that 2018 was a transformational year in terms of diversity and inclusion in the finance and payments industry, but also in business generally.

“It’s important though that women in the workplace remember to continue to put themselves forward as individuals, even if that means not conforming to the expectations of others. We need to stand out, be tenacious and go for what we want, especially as women.”

Claire adds: “With the rise of digital devices, balancing motherhood and family life with a career becomes trickier. Digitisation is everywhere, and there are few jobs today where it is irrelevant. It’s so easy to become overly attached to your smartphone. As a working mum, I try to strike a balance and be true to myself. I work at full speed and am productive, but I am also there for my family and ensure I have regular, focused family time. Above all though, to be able to achieve the right balance you have to love what you do.”