When Women Lead, Fintech Wins
By Nicole Casperson
I’d rather disrupt to succeed instead of conforming to succeed.
When I think about the women leaders — from fintech CEOs to activists to Grammy-winning artists — who inspire me daily, they have one paramount quality in common: They wear their femininity and authenticity with great pride, resisting the urge to conform.
You see, women in fintech should not suppress their femininity to succeed in male-dominated spaces. On the contrary, I insist that we identify with our femininity and use it as a powerful tool to help achieve our goals and create pathways for more women to succeed.
We must speak up for womanhood in all its forms to inspire the next generation of diverse leadership in our industry. I’m dedicated to helping women unlock their potential to boost economic equity.
Lizzo said it best: having a platform is only as powerful as what you do with it.
As we enter Women’s History Month, I’m amplifying diverse female voices in fintech who are striving to bring financial equity to our world.
In no particular order:
1. Meet Kristy Kim
A South Korean immigrant, founder, and CEO of TomoCredit. Through her fintech company, Kristy creates new pathways for over 40 million credit-invisible immigrants and international students with no credit history in the U.S. to build and access credit.
Get to know Kristy and what she’s building here.
2. This is Sofiat Abdulrazaaq
Goodfynd Co-Founder and CEO, helping mobile businesses grow by assisting customers in finding their favorite food outlets quickly. As one of the few Black female founders in fintech, she’s directly working with traditional financial institutions to help them better understand what marginalized communities need from financial services.
Get to know Sofiat and what she’s building here.
3. Meet Michelle Tran
Head of Enterprise Sales and SVP at Vestwell, a platform working to close the savings gap. She’s also the Founder of NYC Fintech Women and Dreamers // Doers, a collaboration and mentorship community. A relentless advocate for building a community in fintech for women to have each others’ backs, Michelle has dedicated her work to giving back and mentoring women in fintech.
Get to know Michelle and what she’s building here.
4. This is Dr. Iyandra Smith Bryan
COO at Quantfury, on a mission to inspire other women in fintech to step up and take their place at the top tables in our industry. Leading by example, Iyandra teaches women the ins and outs of leading with authenticity to succeed instead of conforming to societal contracts that do not serve originality.
Get to know Iyandra and what she’s building here.
5. Meet Dani Fava
Head of Product Innovation at Envestnet, one of the largest fintech platforms serving the wealth management and financial advice community. As a Latina and member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Dani is leveraging embedded finance to provide a more secure future for millions of Americans.
Get to know Dani and what she’s building here.
6. This is Meg Nakamura
CEO of Apto Payments, helping companies design and launch successful card programs as fast as a day to reach more people. She leans into her Japanese upbringing to lead her teams and business authentically.
Get to know Meg and what she’s building here.
7. Meet Vered Frank
Head of Marketing at Seeds Investor, empowering financial advisors to tap into their emotions and deliver a more meaningful investment experience. With a long history in traditional finance, Vered has seen how technology can fix financial services to generate wealth for all.
Get to know Vered and what she’s building here.
8. This is Shivani Siroya
CEO and founder at Tala, a fintech company helping women and marginalized people across the globe access the financial products they need — increasing economic equity and confidence, particularly for women in emerging markets.
Get to know Shivani and what she’s building here.
9. Meet Alison Staloch
The CFO building a better financial system for all at Fundrise, a direct-to-investor alternatives investment platform. Sitting in her seat, Alison advocates for all fintech enthusiasts to leverage their outsider status to dive into the industry without fear.
Get to know Alison and what she’s building here.
10. This is Lyanne Alfaro
Founder and creator of the Moneda Moves newsletter. Lyanne is using her journalistic chops by empowering the Latinx community to share their stories while they build better financial solutions, putting Latino founders firmly on the map.
Get to know Lyanne and what she’s building here.
YA, WE ARE STILL GOING.
11. Meet Erin Papworth
Founder and CEO of Nav.it a fintech using a behavioral science-backed approach to help consumers fully experience financial wellness and peace of mind. She works tirelessly to educate and empower a generation to make the best financial decisions possible and improve economic health outcomes.
Get to know Erin and what she’s building here.
12. This is Vrinda Gupta
The founder, and CEO of Sequin, a fintech company bringing financial equity and education to a system not designed for marginalized women. Through Sequin, Vrinda empowers women to obtain the knowledge they need to thrive financially.
Get to know Vrinda and what she’s building here.
13. Meet Suze Orman
One of the most famous financial experts in the U.S., who has been educating women on financial topics for decades. Suze has turned to fintech to help solve the emergency savings crisis.
Get to know Suze and what she’s building here.
14. This is Anam Lakhani and Eve Halimi
Co-founders and co-CEOs of Alinea, an investing app that builds a community for Gen Z women and people of color by bringing them into the world of finance and wealth building.
Get to know Anam and Eve and what they’re building here.
15. Meet Kelsey Willock
A first-time founder dedicated to supporting the most financially vulnerable through her platform, Aura. Kelsey is helping her community gain wealth wellness, even with heavy debts from pursuing education, while encouraging women in fintech to work together and empower each other.
Get to know Kelsey and what she’s building here.
I could go on and on.
This Women’s History Month, I encourage all of my readers to reach out to these women and the countless others I profile and regularly cover to expand your network and ask how we can help each other grow and succeed to make fintech reach its full potential.