Top 10 women leaders in fintech in North America

These 10 women in fintech reflect just how far the financial services industry has come in terms of DE&I, according to sister publication FinTech Magazine

Sister publication FinTech Magazine has revealed its Top 100 Women in Fintech list.

The list follows on from the magazine’s inaugural list last year and continues to celebrate the work women leaders are doing in financial services globally in 2022.

From banking experts to dynamic CEOs and startup co-founders, this year’s list is a proud reflection of just how far the financial services industry has come in terms of diversity, equality and inclusion.

Nominated by readers of FinTech Digital Magazine, the Top 100 are all award-winners, entrepreneurs, angel investors, technology experts and so much more, with many having overcome challenges in the male-dominated industry of financial services to reach the top of their fields.

FinTech Magazine editor Joanna England says that FinTech is an industry doing more than most to #breakthebias and provide a fair and level playing field for women around the world and “the women featured in this special supplement are driving those initiatives”.

Here, we highlight the top 10 fintech females in North America, from chief financial officers to chief innovation officers across organizations including Mastercard, Square, Visa and Coinbase.

1 Emilie Choi

President and Chief Operating Officer

Coinbase

A dynamic and innovative business leader, as COO of Coinbase since 2008, Emilie Choi has helped build the Coinbase exchange alongside the company’s founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong.

Emilie’s reputation as an advocate for founders through every step of the M&A process made her the perfect fit for Coinbase, with her outstanding record of building strong relationships with founders and in creating environments where entrepreneurs can continue to execute on their vision within larger companies.

Prior to Coinbase, Emilie served as LinkedIn’s VP of Corporate Development for eight years, where she oversaw more than 40 transactions, including the acquisitions of Lynda, Bright, Newsie, and Connectifier. Starting out as an analyst, Emilie served as a senior analyst at Yahoo and also led business operations and strategy at Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Emilie is also a keen angel investor and has taken part in a number of seed, Series A and B funding rounds for various successful fintechs. Aside from her interest in cryptocurrency, some of her primary business interests include consumer internet, SaaS, M&A, venture investments, corporate strategy, business operations and data analytics.

An economics graduate from Johns Hopkins University, and with an MBA from Wharton, Emilie serves on the Board of ZipRecruiter.

2 Vanessa Colella

Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships

Visa

An accomplished academic as much as a business leader, Vanessa Colella is Visa’s Head of Innovation and Digital Partnerships, leading the development and commercialisation of Visa products and solutions for big tech, fintech and platform partnerships, as well as leading Visa’s global network of innovation centres. Her goal is to accelerate and discover new sources of value by championing innovation so that Visa can compete more effectively in a world of technological, behavioural, and societal change.

Vanessa joined Visa recently following a 12-year career at Citi where she held increasingly senior leadership roles, most recently serving as Chief Innovation Officer and heading up Citi Ventures and Citi Productivity. Her work conceiving and launching CitiBike led Citi to win Advertising Age’s 2013 Creativity Award.

Prior to Citi, she served as entrepreneur-in-resident at US Venture Partners and before that, as head of marketing and then SVP of Insights at Yahoo, where she developed and executed the company’s consumer data strategy. She was previously a Partner at McKinsey and a junior high and high school science teacher.

The recipient of numerous awards, Vanessa was honoured as a standout on America Banker’s Most Powerful Women list and received a Silver Stevie Award in 2020 for her work as a champion of innovation.

She received her PhD from MIT’s Media Lab as well as Master’s degrees from both Columbia and MIT. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, having taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and previously served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University.

3 Ramandeep Nayar

CFO, Global Risk

American Express

Ramandeep Nayar is a data and innovation-focused finance and strategy leader with a strong focus on achieving bottom-line performance through effective organisation of talent and resources.

She joined American Express as an intern in 2007 following two years as an associate at GE and has worked her way up the leadership ranks to Chief Financial Officer, Global Risk.

During her 14-year tenure with the payments giant, Ramandeep helped in conceptualising, assessing and nationally launching the first-of-its-kind coalition loyalty program in the US (Plenti) and led the Global Consumer Group managing a US$20bn revenue portfolio and a team of 15 professionals. She was also handpicked by executive leadership to create and lead a decision science function in finance with a focus on using big data and advanced techniques to predict and analyse key metrics across the P&L.

She has an MBA in Finance from the University of Rochester.

4 Mariquit Corcoran

Group Chief Innovation Officer

Barclays

Mariquit Corcoran has spent two decades in the financial services industry, holding positions and leading teams in businesses spanning fixed income, operations, risk management, finance and banking.

As Group Chief Innovation Officer of Barclays since 2020, Mariquit launched various innovative new businesses and programs globally, including Female Innovators Lab, Female Founders First, and the bank’s global FinTech Accelerator program, designed to fast-track the next generation of fintech businesses, while bringing innovation and application opportunities to Barclays, and leading the Rise Platform.

New York-based Mariquit joined Barclays in 2018 from Goldman Sachs, where she spent nearly two decades, first as an analyst for fixed income, before taking on increasingly senior roles, including as VP of the bank in the US, before leading the team responsible for sourcing and closing deals for all strategic engagements of a newly launched fintech, Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Mariquit has landed numerous awards, including NYC FinTech Women Inspiring Females in 2019.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bond Club, one of the oldest professional organizations for women in finance, and is on the strategic advisory boards for equity investment firm FTV Capital.


5 JoAnn Stonier

Chief Data Officer

Mastercard

A recognised data and privacy expert, JoAnn Stonier has substantial experience creating data strategy and management programs ensuring data innovation while navigating data risks. She is also a leading expert in data ethics and responsible data practices with a focus on ML and AI, and is sought after for her innovative and practical approach to solving problems in the digital age.

As Chief Data Officer of Mastercard, JoAnn is responsible for the enterprise data strategy and management, including identifying and mitigating data risks across the payments giant, as well as influencing data-driven products, overseeing data policy and governance. She advises executive management on a broad range of complex data policy and regulatory issues.

Prior to her current role, JoAnn established the first Privacy Office for Mastercard in 2008 and developed the organization’s Information Governance program beginning in 2013.

She joined Mastercard in 2008 from American Express, where she spent eight years, serving as Chief Privacy Officer, where she recreated the privacy program for all divisions of American Express Worldwide and established governance process, policies and procedures, and the education program.

In 2018, she assisted in the creation and launch of Truata, an Irish data trust enterprise, formed to ensure anonymization compliance with the EU-General Data Protection Regulation. And she currently advises a broad range of industry and policy groups regarding data innovation and privacy, including the UN Global Privacy Advisory Group.

A trained lawyer, receiving her Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University in Queens, JoAnn holds membership in the Bar of the State of New York.


6 Samantha Ku

COO – Square Financial Services

Square

Samantha Ku started her career in banking and financial services in 2010 through a position in Lending at Citi, undertaking a similar role at Wells Fargo before moving into private banking at First Republic Bank.

She joined Square in 2015 as Head of Operations of Square Capital and has risen through the ranks to her current position as COO of Square Financial Services, the fintech’s industrial bank she helped to launch in 2021. In this role, she is responsible for lending operations, including credit, loan servicing, risk assessment and portfolio monitoring, among others.

San Francisco-based Samantha is also an active member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there. She earned her BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami Herbert Business School.


7 Marianna Tessel

Chief Technology Officer

Intuit

As CTO of Intuit since 2019, Marianna Tessel oversees the financial software firm’s technology strategy and leads all of Intuit’s product engineering, data science, IT and information security teams worldwide, harnessing advanced technology that helps power prosperity for the firm’s customers and partners globally.

Described by Intuit’s CEO Tayloe Stansbury as a “transformational change agent, creating an engineering culture that has accelerated innovation”, Marianna previously led a team of more than 1500 engineers responsible for building the Intuit’s global small and self-employed products helping entrepreneurs and businesses grow.

Prior to Intuit, Marianna held senior leadership roles at various tech firms. At Docker, she developed strategic partnerships and expanded the software company’s product portfolio and open-source platform, while at VMware, Ariba and General Magic, she held engineering leadership roles, working at the forefront of significant technology transformations, including virtualization, cloud, and DevOps.

With an MS in computer science under her belt, she has been named multiple times in The Most Powerful Women Engineers in Tech by Business Insider.


8 Tamila Fathi

Enterprise CIO

Finastra

Tamila Fathi is a technology and cybersecurity leader with more than 20 years of experience designing, building and operating services across major top-tier banks and organisations.

Passionate about bringing business and technology teams together to create enterprise-wide strategic solutions, she has integrated her engineering, architecture and developer background into her passion for strategic product leadership across technology solutions.

As Enterprise CIO of Finastra since 2021, Tamila has added an increased focus to the workforce personas and user experience across critical Enterprise platforms and solutions for more than 10,000 employees.

Prior to Finastra, Tamila spent three years at JPMorgan Chase as Executive Director of Cybersecurity and Technology Controls, and before that various technology leadership roles including for cybersecurity firm Venafi, management and technology consulting firm ASAP Solutions Group, and real estate data analytics provider RealPage, Inc.

Tamila’s skills include creating and driving strategic roadmaps, leading product and delivery teams, mentoring staff and managing multimillion-dollar budgets while reducing end-user friction points and increasing value to the organisation.

Tamila is also founder and host of a technology podcast, Iteration, and is a Member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power.


9 Yolande Piazza

VP Financial Services

Google

Not only is Yolande Piazza a finance and technology leader with more than 30 years of leadership under her belt, but she is an advocate for women in technology, founding Future Women in IT, a program that aims to inspire middle and high school female students to pursue careers in technology.

Currently VP Financial Services for Google Cloud, Yolande works with customers around the world as they embark on their transformation journeys. She joined Google in 2020 from Citi, where she spent more than two decades in various increasingly senior leadership roles, including as CIO of Student Loans Corporation, CAO of Global Consumer Operations & Technology, and finally as CEO of Citi FinTech.

Yolande joined Citi in 1988, leaving after seven years to spend a decade at Diners Club International as SVP, Online Applications and Information Products, before returning to Citi.

She has been recognised for her contributions to banking, landing Bank Innovation’s 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking 2017 and being named American Banker’s Woman to Watch in 2017 and 2018.


10 Lorie Meola

SVP, Chief Procurement Officer

Fiserv

A former teacher of Mathematics and Computing, Lorie Meola entered the business world in 1998, joining ADP, first as a Senior Systems Analyst later becoming Director of IT Procurement & Asset Management and then Senior Director of Sales Strategies.

After a decade at ADP, Lorie moved to AIG, where she led global sourcing and procurement for four years before moving into the role of Chief Procurement Officer, first at First Data Corporation, and then at Fiserv.

Lorie holds a BS in mathematics and computer science from Andrews University and earned her MBA in Strategy and Accounting from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Top 100 Women in Fintech list.

8 Tamila Fathi

Enterprise CIO

Finastra

Tamila Fathi is a technology and cybersecurity leader with more than 20 years of experience designing, building and operating services across major top-tier banks and organisations.

Passionate about bringing business and technology teams together to create enterprise-wide strategic solutions, she has integrated her engineering, architecture and developer background into her passion for strategic product leadership across technology solutions.

As Enterprise CIO of Finastra since 2021, Tamila has added an increased focus to the workforce personas and user experience across critical Enterprise platforms and solutions for more than 10,000 employees.

Prior to Finastra, Tamila spent three years at JPMorgan Chase as Executive Director of Cybersecurity and Technology Controls, and before that various technology leadership roles including for cybersecurity firm Venafi, management and technology consulting firm ASAP Solutions Group, and real estate data analytics provider RealPage, Inc.

Tamila’s skills include creating and driving strategic roadmaps, leading product and delivery teams, mentoring staff and managing multimillion-dollar budgets while reducing end-user friction points and increasing value to the organisation.

Tamila is also founder and host of a technology podcast, Iteration, and is a Member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power.

 

9 Yolande Piazza

VP Financial Services

Google

Not only is Yolande Piazza a finance and technology leader with more than 30 years of leadership under her belt, but she is an advocate for women in technology, founding Future Women in IT, a program that aims to inspire middle and high school female students to pursue careers in technology.

Currently VP Financial Services for Google Cloud, Yolande works with customers around the world as they embark on their transformation journeys. She joined Google in 2020 from Citi, where she spent more than two decades in various increasingly senior leadership roles, including as CIO of Student Loans Corporation, CAO of Global Consumer Operations & Technology, and finally as CEO of Citi FinTech.

Yolande joined Citi in 1988, leaving after seven years to spend a decade at Diners Club International as SVP, Online Applications and Information Products, before returning to Citi.

She has been recognised for her contributions to banking, landing Bank Innovation’s 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking 2017 and being named American Banker’s Woman to Watch in 2017 and 2018.

 

10 Lorie Meola

SVP, Chief Procurement Officer

Fiserv

A former teacher of Mathematics and Computing, Lorie Meola entered the business world in 1998, joining ADP, first as a Senior Systems Analyst later becoming Director of IT Procurement & Asset Management and then Senior Director of Sales Strategies.

After a decade at ADP, Lorie moved to AIG, where she led global sourcing and procurement for four years before moving into the role of Chief Procurement Officer, first at First Data Corporation, and then at Fiserv.

Lorie holds a BS in mathematics and computer science from Andrews University and earned her MBA in Strategy and Accounting from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Top 100 Women in Fintech list.

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