Thursday, April 25, 2024

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Tala’s culture of diversity encourages more women in FinTech

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Women-led global technology company Tala is taking strides in impacting the lives of its women customers and shaping the FinTech industry as it closes the gender gap in job positions and compensation packages. Its efforts to level the gender playing field stem from the deeply held principle of CEO and founder Shivani Siroya that all individuals “all have the same potential, just not the same access.” 

More financial independence equates to an increase in self-confidence among 80% of women borrowers, based on Tala’s Impact Report for 2022. More than three in four or 78% of these borrowers reveal an increase in respect to their household, while 70% of these women report a growth in influence on household decision-making because of Tala. These women’s partnership with Tala resulted in 56% of them having more financial independence; 53% of them can now afford household expenses; and 15% can now pay for education. 

For Tala’s women executives and employees, the company helps in shaping the landscape of the traditionally male-dominated FinTech industry. Tala Philippines Senior Director for People Katherine Antunez described the purposefully diverse workplace that they’ve built: “Tala is focused on creating and following objective, fair, and equitable processes within the company. We aspire to foster an equal and inclusive workplace every contribution is appreciated and valued.” With Tala’s more inclusive practices in place, it resulted in having half of the company’s leadership team be led by women

In addition to providing its talent pool with equal opportunities, the management has put in place benefits that can help women maintain a sense of work-life balance. These benefits include being able to manage their own work calendars and enjoying Personal Time Off (PTO) on top of Maternity leave and Unexpected Life Event days off covering emergency and bereavement leave. These policies and perks are implemented across Tala’s offices in the U.S., Kenya, Philippines, Mexico and India. 

Beyond professional fulfillment, Tala’s women employees are supported with learning opportunities and engagement activities to aid them in their development not just as employees but in fulfilling their various roles outside the workplace. On a regular basis, experts are invited to conduct Lunch and Learn sessions that cover topics ranging from work-life balance and wellness to parenting and fostering ambition. Several employee resource groups such as Women@Tala, Parents@Tala and Mom’s@Tala have been put together to help employees connect, share experiences and provide feedback to the company on what else the management can do to help make Tala the preferred place for working women. 

Tala Senior Vice President of Brand and Communications Lauren Pruneski spoke on the impact of being surrounded with women leaders, saying, “The diversity of role models helped me develop my own voice and gave me the courage to take big strides in my career.” 

Tala continues to fulfill its mission of inclusion by encouraging more women to thrive in the organization, among the people Tala serves, and as it contributes to bridging the gender gap in the FinTech industry. “Tala is at the forefront of breaking molds and biases by letting women lead and serve our markets that have not always received a lot of attention and innovation,” Tala Chief Financial Officer Jen Loo said about the company’s role in helping women manage their finances. 

For Tala Chief Technology Officer Kelly Uphoff, exposure to a multitude of leadership types and teams can help in reducing stereotypes among women leaders in FinTech. “Representation begets further representation. Biases are slowly diminished as people experience different styles of leadership.” 

Tala Senior Director for Global Customer Experience Operations Iona Iñigo-Mayo shared her enthusiasm in taking on a bigger role in a globally-recognized company: “As a Filipina in a diverse and inclusive talent pool, I feel an even greater sense of purpose taking on a global leadership role. I look forward to seeing more women in Tala become rising stars in their respective roles, bridging the gender gap in an otherwise male-dominated FinTech industry”.

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