Celebrating the Women in Yapily for International Women's Day 2024

For International Women's Day 2024, some of our leaders shared their wisdom around inclusivity, effective leadership, how to overcome gender biases, and the piece of advice they would give to their younger self.

Let’s meet the leaders who are sharing their insights this International Women’s Day!

  • Pippa Byrne, Director of People and Talent. Pippa has been with Yapily over two years and supports the entire business with helping hire the right talent, advocating for employees, and celebrating Yapily’s successes.
  • Nicole Green, VP of Product Strategy and Policy. Nicole has been with Yapily for 2 years and is a guiding light in open banking policy and product operations that helps us all be more informed and drive greater results.
  • Lisa Gutu, VP of Sales EMEA. Lisa has been with Yapily for over a year and leads Yapily’s development across the EMEA region. Her strategic vision and deep knowledge of the industry is crucial with the adoption of open banking across the continent.
  • Eglė Užmiškytė, Chief Compliance & Risk Officer. Eglė has been with Yapily over 3 years and is an essential element to Yapily’s commitment to compliance. Sitting in our Lithuania office, she is always on hand to provide strategic direction and communication with regulators so Yapily has peace of mind we are always staying safe and compliant.

What has been the proudest moment in your career to date?

Pippa: Actually the proudest moments in my career have been when team members who worked with me throughout my career have been promoted. When we have worked so closely together, and they go on and take a bigger role and I just absolutely love that feeling and am so proud.

Nicole: My proudest moments are not so much about my achievements but more around the achievements of the people I’ve managed or coached. Helping someone get a promotion or the recognition they deserve is the most rewarding thing.

Lisa: My proudest moments are when colleagues or people I’ve met tell me my speeches or training inspired them. Some have become women founders or reached high management positions. It’s fulfilling to see the impact of empowerment and mentorship in the tech industry.

Eglė: There were a few. The toughest ones were the ones I am proud of the most. Where I was put up for a project I had no idea about and had to figure it all out with minimal assistance. A couple of times I joined companies as the first compliance person building the entire framework from scratch for innovative businesses and learning things at the same time. So I’m probably the most proud of the achievements me and the team were able to make in the newly regulated environments with a lot of uncertainty and under a lot of pressure for speed and precision. Still learning how to get things done without boiling the ocean. I was blessed with great mentors who taught me different but equally important lessons.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Pippa: Be you, do you, there is no one else like you, so when some people feel the need to bestow their advice on you, take it with a pinch of salt, way back early on in my career, some advice was cut your hair, you won’t be taken seriously, honestly what I learnt over the years is it is done to the relationships you build with honesty and integrity.

Nicole: I think many people suffer from imposter syndrome, but it is particularly true for women. Fear of rejection or being told “no” can hold us back, but it’s not the worst thing that can happen, right? And sometimes we get surprised when the answer is yes!

Lisa: If I could offer advice to my younger self, I would emphasise the importance of seeking inspiration from real-life stories of remarkable women, as portrayed in books like ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ for smaller readers or Lean In, Invisible Women, Dare to Lead. These stories, rooted in history, showcase women who have defied odds, shattered barriers, and achieved extraordinary success in their fields. Despite any doubts or discouragement, it’s crucial to believe in your abilities and know that you’re capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to. Self-belief is key to unlocking your full potential and pursuing your dreams relentlessly.

Eglė: Persistency wins :)

How can businesses overcome any gender biases?

Pippa: A really great question - I think the first step is providing education and awareness of the subject, training on gender bias, unconscious bias and diversity. We also need to look at mentorship, are our great leaders mentoring leaders of the future, I think we are really lucky at Yapily to have some really great women!

Nicole: I think having diversity across all levels and across the organisation goes a long way. I’ve been at companies that were mostly male with women in stereotypically women-friendly divisions (like HR or Marketing) - it feels very outdated to me now. When I look at an org chart and I see a woman in key commercial or STEM roles, I automatically think that company is more supportive and inclusive.

Lisa: To overcome gender biases, businesses can start by fostering inclusivity from the founding team onward. The more inclusive the founders are, the less gender bias tends to exist within the organisation. Having women in high positions, such as at Yapily, serves as a powerful example. We need more of these examples to gradually erode gender biases in the long run.

Eglė: By having more women in the leadership.

As the theme of this year is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, how can we improve inclusion in fintech?

Pippa: I think we really need to celebrate diversity and inclusion at Yapily, share our success stories, recognise the amazing talent that we have in the business and showcase it. It would be so cool if Yapily could set up a women in engineering women in leadership quarterly meet up, really drive up that networking, share stories and work together.

Nicole: This is a general theme in start-ups but more women founders and more investment in products that target women! These are notoriously under invested in despite the fact that they perform very well.

Eglė: By having more competent women in the tech industry, leading by example, more women as speakers in various forums, sharing their personal stories. Generally, women tend to openly show their vulnerability more often than men and there is a great power in vulnerability. Every person is vulnerable. Regardless of their gender. So showing vulnerability and being able to reflect on that and find a way to deal with that shows great resilience. I think people can relate to that, it resonates with them, and inspires people.

How would you describe effective leadership?

Eglė: Leading by example. Being fair and honest. Recognising the achievements and providing constructive feedback where improvements are needed. Recognising people’s strengths and weaknesses and aligning those with the goals of your team and organisation. Treating everyone with respect - which is, again, being fair, honest, being true to your word, not talking behind the back. Not afraid of showing vulnerability and not hiding the emotions you’re experiencing (not showing emotions is as unnatural as only having positive ones!) So let your team and everyone around you see yourself as a human being who is vulnerable and can have bad days but also knows how to deal with that without hurting others.


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