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The Innovation Gap: Where Are the Women?


Kristy Duncan

Founder & CEO, Women in Payments

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is now widely accepted as a key driver for business. Why then does it seem so hard for companies to get women into leadership roles?

Research clearly shows inclusive cultures are more likely to be innovative. Intentionally fostering D&I makes companies more likely to increase market share and ROI. Now more than ever, organizations need and search out diverse talent.

As founder and CEO of the largest global network of women working in the payments industry, I am often asked, “How can we get more women in leadership at our organization?” In response, I often quip, “It’s simple: hire more women.”

But the truth is, it’s not that simple. That is why, at Women in Payments, we are doing everything we can to foster and encourage that talent with our Global Mentorship program and networking events in Asia, Canada, U.S., U.K., and Australia. Women in Payments provides a tangible platform for women from around the world to connect with and be inspired by each other. We champion women leaders, innovators, rising stars, and entrepreneurs with our awards programs and Unicorn Challenge. 

Mentorship is a critical factor in developing the next generation of leading talent. Women in Payments is dedicated to growing its Global Mentorship initiative which has welcomed approximately 200 participants to date.

Mentors enjoy the sense of paying it forward. By acting as a role model and providing guidance on relevant career issues, mentors can learn about challenges faced by mentees, and adjust their corporate culture, and possibly their own leadership style, to be more relevant and welcoming to the next generation of talent. 

We’re striving towards gender parity at senior levels in the payment industry because ultimately, we want women to have equal opportunities in this exciting field. But that’s only part of it.

This is how real change is made

We’re striving towards gender parity at senior levels in the payment industry because ultimately, we want women to have equal opportunities in this exciting field. But that’s only part of it. Three quarters of consumer payments are made by women. 

We need more women to help provide a female perspective in developing technology products for use by both men and women. Canada has a great opportunity to show leadership by giving women more opportunities in the payments sector. 

It has also been shown that organizations with more women in leadership roles enjoy higher employee engagement at all levels. This translates directly to the bottom line, with higher employee retention, and lower hiring costs. 

But don’t just take it from me. This senior manager at Interac illustrates exactly what we do at Women in Payments — and why we do it.

“Winning the Women in Payments Rising Star award has reinforced my belief that focus, passion, drive, and determination will take you places, but that it is never an individual journey. To realize that there are women in this world that are constantly helping others succeed is a testament to what women are capable of — leading with kindness, empathy, and courage. We are taking the right steps to encourage the next generation, and that makes me truly happy. I will pay it forward,” says Mamata Krishnamurthy, Senior Manager of Digital Payments at Interac Corp.

Women in Payments provides a platform to give women the opportunity to build their industry profile. Through leadership roles on advisory boards and award committees, as well as speaking opportunities, we are helping to spotlight women for opportunities in the global financial services and fintech fields.

Women In Payments Canadian Symposium

Network with like-minded women in payments, enjoy inspiring keynotes, stimulating panel discussions, and breakout sessions lead by Canadian and global thought leaders. 

September 18, 2019
We showcase leading talent at our awards dinner reception.

Gain Skills
Gain the skills and insights you need to take your career further, faster.

September 19, 2019
Come hear from the industry’s top women leaders at the Women in Payments Canadian Symposium at historic Arcadian Court in Toronto.

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