Working closely with over 50 FinTech companies, Magdalena helps entrepreneurs connect their technologies and businesses with opportunities at Barclays and with Barclays corporate clients.
Magdalena has been shortlisted for the Champion for Women Award.
How does it feel to be nominated for our Champion for Women Award?
I can’t be anything but humbled to be considered for such a prestigious award alongside individuals driving some really amazing initiatives for their peers. The award itself is actually to be connected and inspired by all of the role models highlighted on this shortlist, every single one of us are important to make finance more inclusive and diverse.
Can you tell us about your career path that lead you to your current role?
I went to University after taking “four” gap years. After three years studying Information Management for Business I had met enough corporates to know I didn’t want to work for one, so I went on to do a MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship and launched my own business. After two years I moved on to a tiny organisation that worked directly with entrepreneurs to support start-ups’ seed fund raising process. In this role I took my learnings from building my own business, and created a service and a network for entrepreneurs, investors and advisors to help them connect and start scaling their new ventures.
Two years into this role I met the head of Design and Digital Office at Barclays, Derek White, at an event and he sold the vision of Rise. He convinced me a bank wasn’t such a bad place after all and I came onboard to build a community of FinTech entrepreneurs, innovators and corporates. Today I’m proud being part of the team that has created the Home of FinTech in four locations globally and that I personally every day get to work to bridge the gap between start-ups, scaleups and big banks. I’m lucky to have the front row seat in this exciting shift that is happening in financial services.
You co-founded The Geek Girl Meetup UK, what inspired you to do that and can you tell us about what you set out to achieve?
Geek Girl Meetup’s mission is simple; connect women interested in tech, code, start-ups and design and create new role models for others to be inspired and lead by. At university I didn’t find like minded people with the same interest in tech as myself. I wanted to meet those who had the drive to create things from scratch, was curious about solving problems and who found the growing tech start-up scene exciting. It was not until I met my fellow GeekGirl co-founders I truly realised that I could fill this void, and we did. 7 years later, we have had 350+ women speaking across 50+ events and inspired over 3500 attendees. In 2012 we set up to achieve simply getting more awesome women speaking at conferences and it’s astonishing to know that this journey has also connected people to mentor each other and to find the courage to transition their careers into tech.
If you could change one single thing about the FinTech sector what would it be?
Men in suits.Just kidding! In all honesty, FinTech is still more stiff than other tech verticals and I’d love to see more fun and creativity in the way products are built. Bring on UX focus and more people who drastically challenge the status quo of banking, front end and back end.
What motivates you to do what you do with regards to championing women?
I thrive on helping people develop and believe in their own potential. I find motivation every time I hear a story from someone on how they have been inspired or motivated to make a change for the better after attending a GeekGirl Meetup event or a Rise event focusing on empowering females in financial services. It’s amazing how words of encouragement, or highlighting industry role models can act as a catalyst for an individual to take action and change something that’s not feeling right in their career.