with Ms. Audrey Wong, COO and CFO of Quantifeed
To mark International Women’s Day, we spoke with Audrey Wong, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of digital wealth management solutions provider Quantifeed, about workplace diversity and the status of women in the fintech industry.
Q. What does equality in the workplace mean to you?
- Gender equality is vital, of course, but diversity goes beyond that. We have a diverse team of both sexes, from different countries and a variety of cultural, personal and educational backgrounds. They all contribute in different ways from different angles, and we encourage open-mindedness in embracing their different perspectives. Through mutual respect we enjoy an engaging, collaborative and dynamic flow of communication from which we can all learn.
Q. What do women bring to the fintech industry?
- The traditional stereotype that sees tech jobs as a male preserve is breaking down. Women today are being encouraged to follow their own interests, not confine themselves to traditionally “female” careers. Consequently they bring just as much value as men to the workplace, contributing to a diversity of viewpoints which enhances creativity. In fact some of our most highly skilled technical experts in both finance and systems development – well qualified people with PhDs – are female. We are seeing this trend in our partner companies as well.
Q. What do you think are the key issues in tackling gender equality worldwide?
- The first step is consciousness – being aware of our own biases and actively challenging gender stereotypes. We need to do more to break down barriers to women’s career progression, promoting fairness and inclusiveness in recruitment and promotion.
The other key issue is family-friendly policies – at Quantifeed, we seek to lead by example in this. The reality is that women still bear the main responsibility for care of the family, and often sacrifice career opportunities to do so. By offering them appropriate support and flexibility, we can help them balance their roles better. But men’s roles are also changing – many are playing a bigger part in childcare, for example. So we need to look across the board and facilitate better work/life balance for all employees – and my own experience, as a fintech executive who is also a mother, validates the value of this approach.
Q. What more do you think can be done to promote true balance within the workplace?
- Creating an inclusive gender-diverse workplace requires us to help every individual grow their career. From selecting talent to filling leadership roles, we need to give every employee a fair chance regardless of gender – and provide the support they need to succeed. Quotas may not be an ideal solution, but certainly thinking “have we looked hard enough at potential female candidates here?” is always worthwhile.
Q. How does Quantifeed benefit from encouraging diversity in the workplace?
- As a small company, we need and welcome everyone’s contribution. Building a culture of inclusiveness helps us recruit from a wider pool of talent, while flexible family-friendly working arrangements help us to retain valuable employees. And we find that fairness and teamwork help us create an open-minded collaborative atmosphere in which we help each other out and benefit from each other’s diverse perspectives. The result is happy employees – and happy clients!