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Meet 10 Prominent Women Leaders in FinTech

As fintech continues to break boundaries and introduce more innovations to the marketplace, women are playing an increasingly central role in disruptive fintech companies.

From C-level decision makers in established global corporations to dynamic startup founders, women are driving change in fintech and leading the way in developing new financial products and services that better serve the world’s population.

Here are the top 10 women to watch in fintech in 2023:

  1. Cristina Junqueira – Co-Founder of Nubank

Cristina Junqueira is a financial innovator and fintech founder who has smashed the glass ceiling in the fiercely male-orientated environment of the Brazilian financial industry.

Prior to the launch of Nubank, bank customers in Brazil had little choice but to fall in with the demands of the incumbent banks, all of which charged high fees for every service. Such exorbitant expenses drained precious resources from hard-working families, thus maintaining, rather than aiding, the financial inclusion gap.

Junqueira helped launch Nubank in 2013, which serves an estimated 75 million customers. According to its IPO prospectus, Nubank’s total market potential was valued at US$99bn in 2020, and it has been predicted to grow to US$126bn by 2025.

  1. Emilie Choi – President and COO, Coinbase

Emilie Choi helped build the Coinbase exchange alongside the company’s founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong.

Before Coinbase, Choi served as LinkedIn’s Vice President of Corporate Development, overseeing more than 40 transactions at LinkedIn – including the acquisitions of Lynda, Bright, Newsle, Connectifier, Slideshare, and Fliptop, as well as LinkedIn’s JV in China and strategic investments in Cornerstone On Demand and G2 Crowd.

Choi is also a keen angel investor and has taken part in several seed, Series A, and Series B funding rounds for a number of successful fintechs. In relation to the fluctuations in cryptocurrency, though, the leadership team is looking beyond the current economic cycle and says that, despite the recent downturn, the company continues to be strong.

  1. Samantha Ku – COO at Square Financial Services

Samantha Ku joined Square in 2015 as Head of Operations, rising through the ranks to her current position of COO. Ku then built and led several teams foundational to the Square Capital program product suite, expanding the team to 100+ employees across SF, NYC, Las Vegas, and Melbourne in Australia.

Ku’s background in finance began when she graduated from the University of Miami as a 21-year-old in the middle of an economic recession, a period she describes as “a perfect storm of emotion to end the greatest college experience anyone could have.”

Despite attending 50 job interviews seemingly without any success, Citibank offered Ku her first position in the financial industry in 2010.

  1. Anne Boden – Co-Founder and CEO at Starling Bank

Anne Boden is a Welsh entrepreneur and veteran of the financial industry. Prior to launching Starling Bank in 2014, Boden held leading positions at Allied Irish Banks, Royal Bank of Scotland, and ABN AMRO.

As the CEO of Starling Bank, Boden oversees the Executive Leadership Team and is a member of Starling’s Board of Directors. Her strategy from the outset involved making the bank a global brand.

Boden was awarded an MBE for her services to the financial and technology industry in 2018.

  1. JoAnn Stonier – Chief Data Officer at Mastercard

JoAnn Stonier has spent over two decades climbing through the ranks at HSBC, and is now the Chief Data Officer at Mastercard.

As a global data expert, Stonier is committed to ensuring data innovation while navigating data risks. She’s also an expert in data ethics and responsible data practices, with a focus on machine learning and AI.

“I am focused on making sure we can continue to innovate, but do so responsibly and with an ethical framework that is fit for purpose,” Stonier said in an interview with FinTech Magazine.

  1. Mariquit Corcoran – Group Chief Innovation Officer at Barclays

Mariquit Corcoran has over 20 years of experience leading teams in areas such as finance, operations, risk management, and banking. Before joining Barclays, she led the team responsible for strategic engagements at Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Corcoran has been recognized as one of the HERoes Top 100 Women Executives in 2021, 2020, and 2019 by INvolve and Yahoo Finance, and was named in the 2021 FinTech Magazine/IBM’s Top 100 Women in FinTech. In her spare time, she enjoys running, dancing, playing tennis, and participating in endurance races.

  1. Charlotte Hogg – Chief Executive Officer, Europe at Visa

Charlotte Hogg has over 25 years of experience in financial services, bank operations, and management consulting at Visa. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Bank of England and led retail distribution for Santander in the UK.

Hogg has also served as the CEO of Goldfish Bank at Discover Financial Services, a Managing Director for strategy and planning at Morgan Stanley, and a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company. Her extensive experience has made her a respected figure in the financial industry.

  1. Ghinwa Baradhi – Chief Information Officer at HSBC

Ghinwa Baradhi is considered one of the top CIO banking leaders globally. She excels in leading multi-disciplined international virtual resource teams across both business and IT. Baradhi is also HSBC’s nominated Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion for Technology, globally.

Baradhi is on the Technical Advisory Board of Nodes Agency, a leading digital product development enterprise, and is also an Advisory Board Member for the Money 20/20 Asia RiseUp Program, a global accelerator program focusing on gender diversity and supporting women across financial services.

  1. Manuela Seve – Co-Founder and CEO at Alphaa.io

Manuela Seve is the co-founder and CEO of Alphaa.io, a US-based startup. She was recently named one of the top 100 influential Latinos/Latinas by Bloomberg. Seve spent five years working with the former President of the Central Bank of Brazil, Armínio Fraga, at Gávea Investimentos.

Seve developed the Alphaa.io API – a blockchain platform that addresses three problems in the space, namely authenticity, resale, and community-building in various sectors. Her innovative mindset and passion for problem-solving have helped her lead Alphaa.io to success.

10. Vrinda Gupta – CEO and Founder at Sequin Financial

Vrinda Gupta is the innovative Founder and CEO of Sequin Financial – a fintech company aimed specifically at boosting credit ratings for women. She launched the company after developing a card for Visa and then being turned down for the product. 

Gupta was recently named one of NYC’s 55 Most Inspiring Women in Fintech, which was celebrated at the New York Stock exchange. Of the moment, she said: “This is an especially meaningful honour, as the New York Stock Exchange took 175 years to seat its first woman – Muriel Siebert. I’m inspired by women’s progress and accomplishments, as inspirational leaders and innovators in an industry that was designed to leave women out of the narrative.”

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