FinTech Female Fridays: Sasha Pilch, Sales, Plaid, Co-Founder NYC FinTech Women
August marks our two year anniversary of NYC FinTech Women. We are excited to feature one of our co-founders Sasha Pilch and hear her story of how she came from Sydney to New York with no job and found her home at her dream company Plaid.
You grew up in Sydney, Australia. Tell us a bit about the trajectory of your career.
Straight out of university I went into a Graduate rotation program at Westpac, one of the big 4 banks in Australia. After nearly 5 years, I moved to London to work for the Royal Bank of Scotland and then Citibank. After a stint living in Cadiz, Spain learning Spanish and doing yoga every day, I returned to Sydney and landed a role at CBA. During that time, I was lucky enough to work with a small team which brought the CBA Innovation Lab to Melbourne and that’s when I got exposure to FinTech startups. When that project finished, I took a vacation with 6 girlfriends to Mexico and Cuba. I did not want to go back to CBA so I asked my boss if I could extend my vacation by a week and visit New York. Two days after arriving and realizing how huge the FinTech ecosystem was in the US, I called my boss back and resigned. A few weeks later I landed a role at Quovo which was recently acquired by Plaid. It’s been by far the best job I’ve ever had in my life.
You work in sales at Plaid; in order to work in this sector you need to have an outgoing and friendly personality. Did you always know you wanted to work in a sales type role?
I love meeting people; I think everyone is interesting and I’m highly curious by nature. I think that definitely helps in sales. I’ve always known I wanted to be in a role where I speak to new people and discover new things. That’s why right now I’m at my dream job!
What are some of the different use cases Plaid can help with?
We help deliver financial insights for some of the largest financial management apps, including Clarity Money, Digit, and Qapital. These platforms use our Transactions product to pull clean, categorized transaction data from users' bank accounts.
We also help surface bank statement data for many of the companies in the personal lending space, including LendingClub and Marcus, as well as for companies in the small and mid-size business lending space, such as Square Capital, Fundera, and Funding Circle.
Finally, we assist surface asset data for some of the largest companies in the digital mortgage space, including Blend, Lender Price, and Floify. To power the decision-making process, these platforms use our asset product to generate a report with a consolidated view of assets across accounts in either JSON or PDF format. This product also returns a summary of account owners and their identity information.
How did you meet Michelle and what led you to both create NYC Fintech Women?
When I arrived in New York, I did not know anyone and knew that I needed to build my network fast. Michelle put together the first NYC FinTech Women event on Meetup and I was one of the 16 women to attend at a small bar in Flatiron. I loved the mission which is to support, sponsor and empower women in order for them to advance their careers in FinTech.
I told Michelle I wanted to help and we immediately clicked as partners! Since then we have held 35 events at the offices of FinTech companies such as Stash, Rally Road and Payoneer as well as traditional enterprises such as Ernest and Young, DWT and Shearman and Sterling. We now average 200 women at our events and have 2,800 members.
What has been the largest accomplishments of NYC Fintech Women and what do you foresee for the women and partners of this organization in the future?
The largest accomplishments would not have been possible without the incredible team of on our committee. Elsie Russell built our website; Nneoma Maduike has advised on how to structure the organization, Adina Fischer leads our Fintech Female Fridays feature, Larissa Carrera and Laura Garcia lead our marketing and social media, Rishwie leads our career postings and Edwina Johnson and Monica Murthy are leading the Inspirational Fintech Females list.
The positive impact this organization has on the lives of so many women is what really warms my heart! Whether it is the hundreds of women who have landed an interview or a job, made new sales or found mentors as a result of the people they have met at our events. I get so excited when a male CEO reaches out to me and asks to host an event as they understand the benefit of diverse teams and want to hire more women. We need male allies in order to make real change and I’m so grateful for the outstanding support.
Reach out to Sasha on LinkedIn.