Happy International Women’s Day 2023. A few years ago, I wrote a piece for IWD about coding, having two daughters and a son and my own unconscious bias. A few years later one daughter is a budding scientist, my son has started coding and my youngest daughter still wants to be a gothic millionaire ninja spy vet.
As I approach a year working at SEON, I was trying to think about how to mark this International Women’s Day. There’s always a strange sense of “should I write anything” and “is it my place” but I got some great advice in 2018 from Chief Diversity Officer Suzanne McGovern, Chief People Officer Tracy Edkins and good friend Alice Crook. To summarise, that advice was “just being a male ally and doing something can be a start”.
I’m in the lucky position to be able to blog for SEON and to that end, and to celebrate IWD, it’s my huge honour to celebrate some of the incredible women leaders we have at SEON and our feminine fraud fighters.
Firstly, my partner in (fin)crime in the SEON exec team, Sarah-Emily Oades, our VP of People (and former lawyer). We’ve only known each other for 12 months but she’s transformed the way we look after the people at SEON and pioneered the work we’re doing around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). I’ve learnt a lot about what it takes to scale a start-up from “SE” and she’s always on which I think makes her SE-ON? You can hear a lot more in a recent episode of “The Tech Recruitment Show” Apple Podcast.
I often make jokes about being a man and how doing one thing and single-tasking is a struggle. Amanda Lieu, SEON’s Director of Product & Lifecycle Marketing is a true multi-tasking Woman In Technology, product and marketing leader. Spanning our product, launches, industry knowledge, messaging, customer journey and Product-Led Growth (PLG) Amanda leads them all with a great sense of humour (a WIT with a wit). You can read more about Amanda here.
Next, the reason for this blog post, Dawson Joyce-Mendive, our Chief Of Staff forged in the fire of operations at a number of organizations. She’s one of the main reasons why things get done at the exec team and the wider leadership team. Bringing the structure, the coordination, the right priorities and making sure we do what we said we were going to do with grace and patience. She told me that it had been too long since I wrote something as an ally – hence this post.
Dr. Szilvia Helena Pogany
I think they call this formidable combination a “triple threat” in the US but Dr. Szilvia Helena Pogany is a doctor, a lawyer and a former developer. That’s something I’ve never seen before in more decades in IT than I’d care to admit. Szilvia is SEON’s Director Of Compliance and in a world where we’re helping fight financial crime and fraud while scaling up a company at an incredible rate – she’s critical to how the company runs.
I’m very lucky in the marketing team to have a number of hugely talented women leaders. There’s no better example than Klaudia Gal, our Head of Brand, who has spent the last year transforming our visual identity. From how we show up online, the design of our digital marketing, the way we explain what we do, the content we create, the way we present our story and the value to customers – Klaudia ensures not only that it stands out but it connects with the right people. For someone who’s perfected the art of using colour in a brand, she does however wear a lot of black 🙂
Onto our people team and a double shout out to two people. First up is Shelina Gofur, our HR business partner for our commercial and Go-To-Market organizations. Shelina plays a foundational part of enabling our sales, CS and marketing teams to keep delivering and scaling as part of SEON’s mission.
Secondly, KaSondra Stephens, our HR Business Partner, who runs our people team in the US and is pioneering and pathfinding our way as SEON expands from Europe to the US at a significant pace. From dealing with ambiguity to making sure we have the right empathetic leadership as we grow in a new region, KaSondra not only leads the way but would also make in incredibly effective FBI agent based her episode of The Method where she talks online loan fraud
Janka Halmai, Kriszti Kovács, Kitti Demjén, Kinga Kenéz, Mercy Octavia, Alexandra Pintér-Povázsán
Last and by no means least are our female, frontline fraud fighters in our Customer Success team. Janka Halmai, Kriszti Kovács, Kitti Demjén, Kinga Kenéz, Mercy Octavia, Alexandra Pintér-Povázsán are leading the battle again fincrime and finding new ways to help organizations and their customers protect themselves.
There wasn’t space to name all the women at SEON but a massive thank you and SEON fist bump to all of you fighting fraud and fincrime, being female leaders and creating the path for the next generation of Women In Technology this International Women’s Day.
I think in the last six years, I’m much more aware of my unconscious bias and I’ve at least partially changed and improved it. That’s largely because of the amazing female leaders I’ve got to work with. That’s not only important at work but at home setting a better example with my daughters. Hopefully, I can pay a tiny part of that back by being an ally and recognising those role models who make it better for other women and future generations.
Happy International Women’s Day.
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