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FinTech Female Fridays: NYC FinTech Women Steering Committee

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

As the year concludes we would like to feature the steering committee members who are the backbone of NYC FinTech Women: Larissa Carrera, Adina Fischer, Edwina Johnson, and Elsie Russell. These women are passionate about the organization’s mission and are consistently innovating NYC FinTech Women.

Larissa Carrera, Marketing Chair

What has been the biggest surprise in the past year as the organization has grown?

At our events, NYC FinTech Women co-founders Michelle Tran and Sasha Pilch request that each member/ally should aim to meet five new people before leaving an event. We open the floor to a wide range of participants, so you never know who you will meet. We have seen connections that have led to mentorships, sponsorships and personal friendships alike, so the biggest surprise is how quickly these relationships have developed in such a short time.

From personal experience, I am incredibly grateful for how well the women on the steering committee have worked together. Each one represents a mentor, sponsor, teacher, and member on my personal Board of Directors. We all have different perspectives and skill sets, but our collaboration in bringing awareness to our organization’s events have led to a rapid growth of NYC FinTech Women, and I hope this trend continues in 2020.

What drew you to marketing and taking the lead for marketing in NYC FinTech Women?

I double majored in in both Finance and Marketing at college; when I graduated I accepted an opportunity in London in finance. It was during this time abroad that I met our co-founder, Michelle Tran. Upon my return to the U.S., I had the experience and comfort level necessary to build a career in Financial Services, a career that has afforded me many successes and one that I am extremely proud of. However, my interest in Marketing never went away. Michelle told me about the NYC FinTech Women organization and invited me to an event, I saw first-hand what kind of impact the group had with creating networking opportunities for their members. It was so refreshing and exciting, I knew I wanted to be involved.

That night, I began researching the organization online, but was unable to find much of an internet presence. This would be my way in; the impact social media has had on business is undeniable, so I wanted to use all available resources to build NYC FinTech Women’s network as soon as possible. I reached out to Michelle for the opportunity, and I am grateful that she took a chance. Not only has my personal passion in Marketing been re-ignited, I am extremely proud of the network we have built that currently consists of 2,500 members on Linked-in, 4,000 members on MeetUp, and hundreds of followers on both Instagram and Twitter. I would be remiss if I did not provide links to these, so please follow us via “@NYC FinTech Women” on all platforms.

Adina Fischer, FinTech Female Fridays

How has the FinTech Female Fridays feature evolved since you started it in April and what are your plans for FFF in 2020?

Initially, FinTech Female Fridays focused on women in the FinTech industry and their career development. We evolved with each FinTech Female Friday feature and have recently focused on showcasing the diverse range of expertise held by each woman. Women are not often asked to opine as experts on industry specific developments and this platform aims to change this narrative and provide that opportunity. I am honored to work with so many outstanding women who provide an educated and insightful voice in the course of shaping the future of their specific sector.

How has FinTech Female Fridays changed you and what benefits did it bring to you?

I have a background in Institutional Equity Derivatives and started to become curious about the FinTech ecosystem almost two years ago. FinTech Female Fridays has provided me the opportunity to network with other women in the industry that are subject experts in their appropriate sector. I am grateful for this opportunity to meet new women in the industry and be able to provide a platform to empower these women that we feature. Finally, through this entire experience, I have found role models within this organization that have been helpful for my career and personal growth.

Edwina Johnson, Inspiring FinTech Females

What does the Inspirational FinTech Female list mean to you?

The ability to showcase women working in different fields at different levels across the FinTech ecosystem to educate and encourage others, and to give those women the recognition for both their work and their support of others around them.

How do you think the FinTech space is changing the financial regulatory space in light of political changes?

Regulation provides both opportunity and challenges, new companies are emerging both to ease regulatory burden (such as those offering new tech to deal with Ultimate Beneficial Owners), or taking advantage of new regulations (such as those capitalizing on open banking in Europe). I wish the US regulatory bodies were more closely linked to the FinTech space so that regulators could learn more and move faster alongside the changes within technology.

Elsie Russell, Technology Chair

What is your vision for this group in the next year and how do you see your specific role contributing?

2019 was about laying our technical foundation as we saw massive growth of the community: website, internal communication tools, and event registration improvements. Now that we have the basics out of the way, 2020 will introduce new features to allow our 4,000 members to communicate and network digitally. Data will play a large part in how we structure events and prioritize future enhancements.

The importance of data driven statistics is constantly on the horizon; how do you think NYC FinTech Women can leverage this?

Leveraging data, we will be able to better curate our events to specific audiences. As we start considering expansion programs, such as mentoring, data will play a critical role in measuring the success of our existing and new initiatives. It is important to understand what our members enjoy or find annoying (over-crowded rooms, lack of water. We hear you!). Acting on this information will allow NYC FinTech Women to continue to grow in 2020.

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