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How women in payments, fintech, and cybersecurity are breaking the glass ceiling

How women in payments, fintech, and cybersecurity are breaking the glass ceiling

Globally, within financial services institutions, women held just 21% of board seats, 19% of C-suite roles, and 5% of CEO positions in 2021, according to research by Deloitte. When it comes to inequality in our industry, these figures speak for themselves. But we want to speak too. We want to be part of the collective voice that strives for equality in the payments, security, and technology sectors, raises awareness of the broad range of opportunities within these sectors, and promotes them as attractive career paths for women.

As such, we'll be at this year's EMEA Women in Payments Symposium on 19 and 20 April, using our voice to lift, support, and encourage women already in the industry, and those looking to enter it. The event will feature some truly inspirational keynote speakers and panels designed to strengthen the skills of delegates and explore industry trends. Topics on the table include current payments issues and initiatives, fintech, and leadership.

One of the invited panel lists will be Natasja Bolton, Client Engagement Manager here at VikingCloud. She will be joining a panel of experts asking: Is Queen Bee Syndrome alive and well? Queen Bee Syndrome is a term coined in the 1970s. It's used to describe women in positions of power who are unsupportive of other women who are seeking to advance in their careers. It also describes a woman who refuses to share knowledge and tips with other women to help them achieve their own success.

During the discussion, the panelists will share their personal experiences of Queen Bees, and the women who went out of their way to lift them up. There are lots of reasons a woman might exhibit Queen Bee behaviors: the most common being that they feel threatened by other women, want to be the only one in charge, or feel other women are not as capable as they are. A 2004 study of female university professors found they succumbed to Queen Bee Syndrome in their evaluations of female graduate students. The study was repeated in 2020 and found Queen Bees were still going strong. The researchers suggested it wasn't individual women, but organizations that were the real problem. They found many Queen Bees have one thing in common: they've faced discrimination in their own career.

So, what if the Queen Bee phenomenon is not a cause of gender discrimination, but a consequence of it, and one that has women trapped in a vicious cycle?

At VikingCloud we're committed to building a strong, gender-diverse cybersecurity workforce by facilitating? recruitment, retention and advancement for women in the field. We strive to create a work-life balance that keeps our employees energized, focused and fulfilled. We offer remote and flexible working where possible for both women and men and are an active member of PayTech Women, an organization helping all women in paytech to rise, thrive and connect. We take these proactive steps because we recognize the importance of supporting women in the workplace across all industries. As well as closing the gender pay gap and helping women progress their careers, we know that investing in women's career progression leads to more creativity, greater innovation, and better problem-solving across teams.

Gender-diverse tech companies return on average 5.4% more on an annual basis than their less gender-diverse peers and companies with more than 33% female executives see a net profit margin - more than 10 times greater -than those companies with no women at this level. The theme for this year's International Women's Day campaign is #EmbraceEquity, and it's something the VikingCloud team is passionate about promoting so we can encourage more women into our industry and help them succeed.

Equality is not just something we say. It's something we value and embrace, and we will always aim to be a source of empowerment for the women in our organization.



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Andrea Sugden
Chief Sales and Customer Relationship Officer

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