March 8, 2020
International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and aims to raise awareness for accelerating women's equality.The theme for 2020’s IWD is #EachforEqual, based on the notion of ‘Collective Individualism’; encouraging everyone to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.
At eNett, we’re passionate about supporting women and creating an inclusive workplace; particularly striving to grow women’s presence and recognition in the sector we operate in that’s not necessarily known for its diversity: tech, more specifically, FinTech.
According to PwC, only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women. That’s why, this IWD, we’re launching a Q&A blog series to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing women we have in our leadership team, where they’ll share their experiences and learnings within their fintech career.
First up, is our Head of Legal, Erica Martin;
Q: What was your path to this role?
A: I started my legal career at the ACCC in Canberra which was a great foundation in understanding regulators. During that time, Australia introduced a series of broad-reaching changes to Australia’s financial laws so I fast-tracked a Masters in Finance & Investment so I could ‘talk the talk’ with clients and that helped me land my first job at a top-tier law firm. After a few years I transferred to a ‘magic circle’ global law firm in London, and ended up on secondment on the trading floors of Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. While it was pretty hairy at times (and disgustingly hairy at other times!), I realised that working alongside the commercial teams was where I felt happiest, and was so fortunate to find a global challenging role when I returned to Australia at eNett. I intended to stay a couple of years (because while I knew finance, I had no idea about tech) and that was six years ago…!
Q. What do you enjoy most about your role?
A. eNett is the rarest of companies in that it feels small - we all know each other, are accountable to each other and its very much an open environment. There’s little hierarchy and the play hard-work hard culture is both real and respected. However, at the same time we’re a global heavy-hitter launching innovative best-in-class products and constantly striving to deliver solutions for clients, and all from sunny Melbourne! I am qualified in the UK and love that my international experience is just as useful in this role as my local experience. But ultimately, I work alongside so many people I really like and respect - that is pretty much The Dream right there.
Q. Why do you think it can be difficult for women to get into tech and/or leadership roles in tech?
A. I don’t believe particular genders are more or less suited to particular jobs, but from my experience, women second-guess themselves more innately than men. Therefore, in a sector rife with constant change, where there is always something new to learn and master, it’s possible that women don’t seek opportunities (including leadership roles) where they consider they don’t have mastery – despite that being unnecessary for success. The best leaders are often those who challenge, question, and admit their knowledge gaps rather than those who assume they’re the smartest in the room and fail to learn from others.
Q. How can the industry kick-start change for women in tech?
A. Mentors and female role models can be so powerful. There’s so much to be said for seeing others like you who have successfully trodden the way forward. I’m a big fan of women championing women and encouraging each other to take the next step at all levels, so I’d be an advocate for programmes, seminars and educational tools designed by women for women.
Q. What’s your advice or message for women on International Women’s Day looking to enter tech?
A. When Lehman collapsed, I had no idea if I would get paid, but I still turned up to work each day to manage the myriad of legal tasks. This ended up placing me in pole position for a plum role when Lehman was bought by a competitor. My only advice is therefore to accept change (there’s no hiding from it) – doing your best to maintain resilience in your career will give you every opportunity to learn, absorb, challenge and grow!
Look out for Parts 2 and 3 of our blog series coming soon.
About eNett International
We’re B2B payments game changers. Our products are innovative. Our service is fast. Our customers’ transactions are safe. And we’re easy to deal with.
We listen to our customers and fix things that should work better. Our payment solutions provide a better experience and help them grow.
eNett’s Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) allow travel agencies to generate a unique 16-digit Mastercard number used to pay travel suppliers quickly, efficiently and with less risk. A unique number is used for each booking or payment transaction, so VANs are a secure way to pay and be paid. And they’re welcome anywhere Mastercard is accepted online.
We’re majority owned by Travelport, and our VANs are seamlessly integrated into its Travel Commerce Platform.
Further enhanced by our global banking services partner and shareholder Optal, eNett’s fast, easy and safe payments solutions are solving the payments challenges of leading travel agencies around the globe.