Interview Series: What Diversity means to us – Part One

Happy International Day of Diversity! 

We want to celebrate this day with you by introducing some of our outstanding colleagues. Why is diversity so important to us? Well it is in our DNA. One of our core values that defines how we interact with each other is diversity. It shows in the way we hire, look at problems and opportunities. 

Over the course of the next weeks, we will be posting several series of interviews we held with our fins (that’s what we call finleap’s ecosystem team members) about what diversity means to them, what it looks like at finleap and in our ecosystem, and their advice for companies looking to strengthen diversity in their teams. 

This series of interviews was conducted with Katarzyna Malolepszy, VP Product at ELEMENT, Nabeel, Recruitment Manager at finleap, and Dr. Minou Ghaffari, Senior Behavioral Psychologist at PAIR Finance. 

We also asked our Founder and CEO, Ramin Niroumand, what diversity means to him:

Ever since finleap was founded in 2014, our mission has not just been about reshaping the future of financial services in Europe. In my experience, the only way to achieve this is through diversity, not just in employees’ backgrounds, but also in the way they work, solve problems, and the ideas they have about innovating and reshaping the finance and insurance industries. This is why we have always put an emphasis on this in our hiring process. After almost six years, we have over 1,100 fins from over 80 different countries in our ecosystem – something I am immensely proud of.”

Read on to find out more about diversity at finleap at what it means to our team.

Katarzyna Malolepszy – VP Product at ELEMENT 

My name is Katarzyna Malolepszy and I’m VP Product at ELEMENT Insurance AG. I’m originally from Poland but I have been living in Germany for the past 8 years. I have worked in a big data scoring company, in peer to peer lending and in investment and payments. I would define myself as data aware, result driven and an innovative Product Leader. I am passionate about products which solve real problems and which customers love and in order to achieve I build strong product teams – which is exactly what my job asks of me.  

What does diversity in the workplace mean to you?

It means giving everyone the possibility to simply be themselves and never make them feel as if they don’t belong.

Read Katarzyna’s full interview here.

Nabeel – Recruiting Manager for Tech & Product at finleap 

I am Nabeel, Recruitment Manager at finleap. I started in September 2019 and I am currently supporting finleap and its portfolio companies in their growth plans by getting the best people onboard.

I have a background in recruitment. Since completing my post-graduation studies in 2008, I have helped multiple companies across India, the Americas and Europe to attract talent and grow their teams.

What does diversity in the workplace mean to you? 

For me diversity at the workplace means accepting the way someone is, despite their backgrounds of language, country, gender or style of communication, and coexist together in a healthy environment by working and growing together with a common goal.

 I have spent a lot of time in India, where we are still debating and improving ourselves every day to be more diverse and inclusive at the workplace. Being in Europe for the past 4 years, has made me more aware of the need for diversity, due to my role as a recruiter. I talk to people across the globe – Latin America, Africa (especially Nigeria), Asia and Europe, and I always enjoy the discussions and making sure to evaluate candidates by their skills and not external factors.

Read Nabeel’s full interview here.

Dr. Minou Ghaffari – Senior Behavioral Psychologist at PAIR Finance

I am working as a Senior Behavioral Psychologist at PAIR Finance. I am enthusiastic about how people make decisions and learning about the underlying drivers of these decisions. The goal of my work at PAIR Finance is to apply insights gained from behavioral psychology research to our communication with debtors. This includes developing a machine learning tool to predict which psychological strategy is favored by a specific type of debtor. Together with the data science team I am setting up models to predict different behaviors, for example at which time a message is most likely to be opened by a debtor. Before joining the PAIR Finance, I completed my PhD in Psychology, studying the underlying processes of human decision making in economic settings. With my current position, I have the opportunity to extend research findings from theory to an applied setting and contribute to reshaping the debt collection industry. 

What does diversity in the workplace mean to you?

Naturally, the definition of diversity from a psychologist’s point of view is related to people. To me, diversity in the workplace is reflected by the different backgrounds and characteristics of employees working at a company. In my opinion, the most important aspects for a truly diverse working environment are related to differences in gender, nationality, age, religion and education. To understand what true diversity means for a company, it is important to distinguish between companies who symbolically hire a diverse range of people and those who make sure that the participation of these people is equal. Only by balancing the participation, performance and compensation across all backgrounds and particularly minorities, a company can be referred to as being truly diverse. In addition to the employees’ characteristics, diversity at the workplace in my opinion is also related to offering an individualized working environment. For example, options for flexible working hours and work from home opportunities take the different needs of diverse employees into account.

Read Minou’s full interview here.

Stay tuned for the next series by following us on Twitter & LinkedIn!