Advyzon’s Product Manager Recommends Rising Women to Stay Curious, Step Out of Comfort Zone
In a not-so-distant past, there have been notorious tales of the difficulties women have faced in the technology industry. Fast-forward to 2022, and women are pushing ahead in multiple areas across the tech sector, including fintech.
Without question, glass ceilings remain an issue, but the winners of WSR Pathfinder Awards’ Top Women Rising Stars demonstrate how to break through these barriers, including Kelly Fitzpatrick, with five years of experience at wealth management technology provider Advyzon, first as Head of Client Services and now as Product Manager, Reporting Solutions.
With a 94% client retention rate, Advyzon has earned highest client satisfaction for four consecutive years in the T3 / Inside Information Advisor Survey’s All-in-one Software category, and much of that success is attributable to her leadership.
We spent time with Fitzpatrick to ask about climbing the corporate ladder in fintech as a woman, how the industry can improve and her advice for women following in her steps.
WSR: Tell us what it’s like to climb the corporate ladder as a woman in fintech. Are there any specific challenges or experiences to share?
Fitzpatrick: Expect to encounter challenges and growing pains as you move into roles with more responsibilities. I come from a family of career driven individuals, and early on I was able to see the importance of a strong work ethic and its rewards. I also have amazing mentors that have taught me many important skills and encourage me to keep my head up and keep moving forward when challenges arise.
WSR: What advice would you give to a female student who is considering a career in fintech or the financial industry?
Fitzpatrick: Step out of your comfort zone. This is crucial for many jobs, but specifically in a fast-paced and constantly-changing industry like financial services. To learn and grow, you need to take risks, despite the constant discomfort.
Hone your transferable skills. If you would have told me when I graduated college that I’d eventually be working as a product manager, I would have thought you were crazy. Focus on strengths that enhance you as a professional, not just those specific to your current role. Skills like critical thinking, communication and adaptability will take you far.
Stay curious and LISTEN. I thrive on not being the smartest person in the room. If you are, you are not with the right company. Stay hungry to learn more and listen to those you consider smarter: you can learn so much just by listening.
WSR: What are three things our industry can do more of, or do differently, to encourage more women at all levels, including leadership roles?
Fitzpatrick: Actions speak louder than words. We hear so much about diversity and inclusion within workplaces these days. Hearing this buzz all around is extremely motivating but seeing women within your own company move up into senior and leadership positions is key to giving confidence to all employees that hard work equals reward.
Create an open-door environment. Communication around this issue is critical. Having an open-door policy at your company allows all employees to feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics. When concerns are brought up, make sure they are immediately addressed by the appropriate parties.
Encourage growth. I owe most of my personal and professional growth to my mentors, as they continuously pushed me out of my comfort zone while consistently supporting and encouraging me. This sparked confidence within me that helped create opportunities for that growth to shine. Be pronounced and vocal in your encouragement and the support you provide, and you will be amazed at what your mentee’s confidence and growth can do in return.
Janeesa Hollingshead, Senior Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org