Creating Diversity in Your Team is Key
Finance is an exciting industry to work in. There are so many different avenues to take your career direction in. Jenji Talks open the conversation about women in finance so that they can dare to step out and achieve their career goals.
While there is still a lack of diversity overall in the industry, most are aware of it and eager to close the gap. This means that are so many opportunities for women to step up into leadership positions!
Margaux Gregoir, guest on the podcast of Jenji Talks has explored a few different career options before settling into her current role as VP Finance at Luko. Throughout her career, she has learned about the value of diversity and how to lead well, which she shared with us.
Margaux Gregoir did not plan to end up in finance. Her academic track started in business and ended in public policy. However, through various internships, she was exposed to the world of finance and discovered what an interesting industry it is.
Today, Margaux is the VP of Finance at Luko, the top insurtech company in Europe. Before joining this fast-growing company, she was an inspector at both Société Générale and the Ministry of Finance.
In these roles, she had the chance to work with a wide variety of people and hone her curiosity. By asking questions, getting curious, and talking to people, Margaux grew to love the world of finance.
Financial Services to Tech Start-Up
Margaux joined Luko in 2020, right before the pandemic started. After nine years as an inspector in the financial services industry, she made the leap to a fast-growing tech start-up. There were two reasons Margaux made the move:
A desire for innovation and speed: People in the financial services industry must respect the legacy of “how things are done.” This means there is little room to move quickly and innovate.
An active role in the development of a company: The role of an inspector has no “skin in the game.” You and an observer and an advisor only, not a creator.
Ultimately Margaux wanted to contribute to the growth and development of a company in a hands-on way. As a start-up, there is no legacy to hold on to. This means the priority is innovation and creation, something Margaux was excited about.
Opportunities for Women in Finance
It’s well a well-established fact that there are not as many women leaders in the finance industry as there are men. Everyone is aware of the discrepancy in how women are treated, empowered, and promoted. And while we are far from solving this problem, there is at least the awareness that things need to change.
To Margaux, this represents an opportunity. To find balance, companies are eagerly creating space and opportunities for women in leadership. There is, and will continue to be, more diversity in finance for two reasons:
- The moral reason: All people should have equal opportunity to work in the finance industry. It’s an ethical imperative, and one that everyone can agree on.
- The value reason: Besides the moral imperative to treat women equally, there is a practical reason as well — increased diversity creates better outcomes. The more diverse a team, the more productive, innovative, and creative. There is so much value in having female leaders and diverse teams.
Margaux believes that the awareness is already there. Now it’s time for systems and processes to change to create new opportunities for growth.
The Sisterhood: Supporting Other Women
One way to balance leadership in the financial industry is for women in finance to support other women. The “sisterhood” of women in finance needs to look out for one another and help each other grow and develop professionally.
Here are some ways Margaux shared to support other women in finance and build a diverse team:
- Provide exposure. When someone on the team is doing something innovative or excellent, give them a platform to present and share. Instead of taking the ideas to others herself, Margaux brings them along and gives them the chance to get exposure and credit for their work.
- Adapt management style. Instead of imposing her own style, Margaux seeks to understand the people she manages. This makes people feel comfortable and valued on the team.
- Encourage others to “dare.” Sometimes people just need a bit of encouragement! Margaux sees it as her responsibility to encourage other women in finance to dare and just go for it!
- Build community. Margaux has a circle of friends who provide practical advice and encouragement to each other whenever they are up for a promotion or want to negotiate a salary increase.
We know that diverse teams and leadership are valuable. They help companies be innovative and creative. But developing a diverse team is everyone’s responsibility. It starts with being a leader that creates a safe environment and provides exposure and support to those they work with.
The Future of Finance
There will continue to be more opportunities for women in finance. But it’s for each of us to step out and take them! By supporting the sisterhood of women in finance, we can all learn, grow, and develop.
If you want to learn from other women like Margaux, check out our episodes of the Jenji Talks Podcast. We have some amazing women in finance joining the show in the next few weeks, such as Nadine Pichelot, VP Finance Europe at Anaplan, and Olfa Zorgati, CFO & EVP of Operations, at ESI Group. They have so much to share with us on how to be a great leader and innovator in the finance world!