Empowering women in Fintech

woman-at-computer

Xchanging, a DXC Technology Company, has a long track record of service delivery in the insurance industry, transforming the paper-based operations of one of London’s oldest markets to a state of the art digital technology machine.

As with most ITO and BPO providers and the administrative nature of these services, our diversity stats look very credible at a high level. Digging a little deeper, however, it becomes clear that at every rung on our promotions ladder, our women are falling off the radar. Responsibility for this issue is a much-debated topic, but we need to fix it and, in my experience, coaching our female middle managers to take ownership of their careers and close their knowledge gaps is a good place to start.

£56 Billion in claims processed, 64 million records digitally stored, and more than 77 million  messages passed between systems achieving an SLA of 99.6% — these are some of the impressive statistics delivered by Xchanging on behalf of the London Insurance Market.

Those powerful statistics are typically not the numbers our women associate themselves with when they talk about their jobs and what they do. Often, they struggle to quantify their achievements numerically, wonder why the industry might be interested in what they have to say and feel that the precarious balance of work and home is a constant and relentless strain on their energies.

The stuff that’s at the top of the men’s list; like ‘how to get my next promotion’, is usually at the bottom of the women’s – and that’s not a protest, it’s quite simply a fact. The women just don’t know what they don’t know. Let’s call it, to coin an old management phrase “unconscious incompetence.”

So, at Xchanging we set out to better support our female employees. We ran a course with our partner, Skillsoft, and every participant walked away more aware and empowered. Our course is a success because it brings women together from all over the business to discuss things we’d all be a bit embarrassed to ask in front of a man. How does the balance sheet work? What does “good” look like in social media? How do I find a sponsor? How do I do articulate my achievements instead of my role? How do I get to the next step on the ladder and how do I balance the demands of my job and my family? There are no text book answers to any of the above, but debating the options in a safe environment seems for our women to be at the very core of a new kind of empowerment.

Selfishly I must admit that early on I realized this was an opportunity to expand my own network and see other parts of the business – but then it became a passion when I realized just how powerful it could be. Embracing diversity is not enough; the key is to proactively enable its progress. Inspired, I lead the second course myself, building in additional segments covering the business, social media and our financials. The enthusiastic feedback was its own reward.

Recently winning a place on the Women in Fintech Power List has been the icing on the cake for me. The list recognizes change agents and role models in our sector in the UK. The women nominated are all thought leaders in their respective domains and are changing the image of our board rooms today. To be included on the list in 2017 is a huge privilege. it’s been a great way to share the progress we’re making across our business

The future looks bright for women leaders at DXC. With new confidence and increased awareness, our women are becoming more visible, vocal and aware. Business leaders like Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London are actively promoting diversity at every level and the industry as a whole has become passionate about promoting women in tech. We can’t change bias, but we can own our destiny. And I know that the women who have taken this course are armed and prepared to change the world of Fintech for the future.


Nikki WiltonNikki Wilton is the Global Sales Director of Xchanging, a DXC Technology Company. With over 25 years of experience in the technology industry, Nikki is passionate about solving clients’ business challenges through the innovative use of technology. At Xchanging, Nikki has taken established digital competencies and translated these into an array of customer focused digitised solutions, solving core issues for clients caught between legacy investment and the need to engage with a new millennial marketplace. She is a founding Exec of Interest in the Xchanging / Skillsoft “Women in Action” initiative. Inspired by the outcomes of the course, Nikki promotes and leads this programme globally for aspiring women across the Xchanging and DXC businesses.

RELATED LINKS

Actionable career advice for aspiring female leaders

Championing change with diversity of thought

Comments

  1. Being part of this movement has been an excellent experience for me. It has helped me understand my value as a professional.

    Many times we have a list of tasks that we fulfill (some of us go beyond the description of the role), but they are not just a lists of tasks, they are your achievements, your goals fulfilled and they describe you as a professional.

    This is what these types of programs do. If it helps me understand a little more about who I am as a professional and where I am going, imagine what you can do for a whole company.

    Definitely “We can’t change bias, but we can own our destiny,” And I own my destiny by knowing who I’m as a professional and it is only because of my mentors and courses like “Wheels on Heels.” Thank you, Nikki.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a participant of this course Nikki has been running I have firsthand experienced the realization of needing to take control of my career and the need to change my perspective on how my achievements contribute to our company’s success.

    Since joining the course my social media presence has improved with an increase of interest from both internal and external networks on Linkedin. It has also been an enabler of promotion opportunities from the education on articulating how my achievements have directly improved our business operations.

    I can’t thank Nikki enough for taking the time to run this course for us as I know the benefits I’ve experiences are shared with all the Ladies who attend the Heels on Wheels sessions.

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  3. Great article Nikki – I advocate everywhere I go to ‘know your worth’ by quantifyable achievements. Literally the most basic and obvious thing I’ve learnt this year, but easily the most life changing and inspiring skill I have. I (metaphorically speaking) stick it on the head of every woman I know now, it needs to be in the forefront of our minds. Where are we going, what are we doing, are we being recognised for it.

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  4. stromsoe says:

    a very good article written. women are indeed a part of success when it comes to the company banner. the ideas to empower women are very great. I think that this ideology should be employed in other business areas and companies also.
    thank you.

    Like

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