Confidence in FinTech: Roundtable Discussion

Ilaria Sangalli, & Ama Ocansey, UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion at BNP Paribas & Sabina Liu, Head of Equity Trading Sales & Callum Akehurst-Ryan, Principal Test Engineer - BNP Paribas, London Stock Exchange Group, STOXX.

In this episode of FinTech’s DEI Discussions: Confidence Series, Nadia brings together four guests: Ama Ocansey, UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion at BNP Paribas; Sabina Liu, Head of Equity Trading Sales at the London Stock Exchange Group; Callum Akehurst-Ryan, Principal Test Engineer; and Ilaria Sangalli, Index Product Management, Associate Principal at STOXX.  

Recorded from our London office, this roundtable discussion delves into what confidence means in the FinTech workplace and provides listeners with the tools to build their own confidence and support those around them.

Our guests share their unique journeys and perspectives on building and maintaining confidence in an ever-evolving industry. This episode covers personal experiences with imposter syndrome, the impact of cultural shifts and organisational support. Additionally, it teaches the difference between confidence and self-esteem and how confidence can be given and taken away. 

Listeners will learn that confidence isn’t permanent, and environments can quickly become challenging, especially for minorities in the room. Our panellists discuss how to work on self-esteem and confidence, the link between comfort zones and confidence, and the importance of living just outside one's comfort zone with the necessary support structures.

A Note from Nadia: “Thank you to the people who joined me on such a special topic that will make such a difference to so many people. Your honesty and personal stories have been incredible, and I am proud to have worked with you on this”. 

Highlights of the Discussion:

Opening Remarks

The episode begins with each guest sharing their initial thoughts on what confidence means to them in the FinTech workplace. They explore the varying definitions of confidence, its importance and how it impacts their daily professional lives. The diverse perspectives set the stage for an in-depth exploration of confidence in a dynamic industry.

Careers in FinTech

The discussion delves into how accepting imperfection and having a supportive environment is crucial for building confidence. Guests share personal stories about their journeys in the FinTech industry, emphasising that confidence can be nurtured through positive reinforcement and financial tech mentorship. The conversation highlights that making mistakes and learning from them is a natural part of career growth and confidence building. 

FinTech Support and Life Experiences

The guests reflect on how different life stages and personal experiences, such as returning from maternity leave in Financial Technology, can impact confidence. They discuss the challenges of balancing personal and professional responsibilities and how supportive workplace policies can help mitigate these challenges. The conversation underscores that confidence fluctuates with life experiences and that a supportive work environment can make a significant difference.

UK Financial Technology Culture

The panel highlights the cultural differences between various countries and their impact on confidence journeys in the FinTech industry. Guests discuss their experiences of moving to the UK and navigating a new cultural landscape, which can be a roller coaster for confidence. They share how understanding and adapting to these cultural nuances has helped them build and maintain confidence in a diverse work environment.

FinTech’s Bravery and Authenticity

Emphasising the importance of bravery and authenticity in building confidence, especially in hierarchical and diverse FinTech environments, the guests discuss how being true to oneself and embracing one’s identity can empower individuals. They highlight that confidence often comes from the courage to speak up and challenge the status quo, even in the face of adversity.

Environmental Influence in a Financial Technology Career

The panel debates whether confidence is an individual trait or a product of the environment. They explore how companies can create supportive cultures that foster confidence among FinTech employees. The discussion reveals that while personal traits play a role, the environment significantly influences an individual’s confidence level. Supportive FinTech leadership, inclusive policies, and a culture of open communication are identified as key factors in nurturing confidence.

Imposter Syndrome in FinTech

The guests share their views on imposter syndrome, advocating for retiring the term and focusing on self-improvement. They discuss how the concept of imposter syndrome in FinTech can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy and propose shifting the narrative towards recognising one’s achievements and potential. The conversation includes practical advice on overcoming self-doubt and building self-esteem.

FinTech Recruitment

The panel discusses the importance of FinTech recruitment practices in building confidence within the industry. They emphasise the need for inclusive FinTech hiring processes that recognise diverse talents and provide equal opportunities. The guests share insights on how organisations can attract and retain diverse talent by creating an environment where everyone feels valued and supported from the FinTech recruitment stage onwards. 

Supporting Jobs in FinTech

The panel provides practical steps companies can take to better support their employees, including fostering psychological safety in Financial Tech, normalising vulnerability and implementing systemic changes. They discuss the importance of creating an environment where employees feel safe to express themselves, take risks and learn from their experiences. The conversation also touches on how systemic changes, such as equitable FinTech parental leave policies and ongoing FinTech diversity and inclusion initiatives, can create a more confident and empowered workforce.

This is the first episode of FinTech’s DEI Discussion’s Confidence Series, subscribe to never miss an episode, or to hear from other FinTech leaders on the topic.


FinTech's DEI Discussions podcast series celebrates achievements, confronts challenges and advocates for inclusive change across the financial technology industry. 

As a leading FinTech recruitment agency, we thank you for your interest and support in diversity, equity and inclusion in FinTech and our podcast.

We are a FinTech staffing agency based in New York, London and Belfast who specialise in financial services contract and permanent jobs across many FinTech sectors. We help recruit for Sales and Marketing, Application Support, Change and Transformation, Cloud Engineering and DevOps, Cyber and IT, Data, Infrastructure Support, Network Engineering, Product Management, Quantitative Finance, Software Engineering and Testing. 

Click here for more episodes of FinTech’s DEI Discussions, or for financial technology recruitment advice on hiring diverse teams, you can contact us here.

Site by Venn