The technology industry has a well-known reputation for embracing a ‘bro-like culture,’ comprised of male-dominated firms. But that is slowly morphing into one that is supportive of all backgrounds, especially women. According to an analysis from Deloitte, in 2019, most tech firms were made up of 22% of women. In 2022, that number grew to 25%. While that might seem like a small increase, it is a sign of significant change that many experts say will continue to grow.
Clausematch, a global regulatory technology firm specializing in compliance and policy management, is at the forefront of that change. Ten years ago, when it was just a few men building a digital platform for financial services compliance teams, Clausematch’s CEO, Evgeny Likhoded envisioned a diverse workforce that would welcome and encourage innovation, new ideas, and risk-taking. Now, the team is made up of 38% of women from a variety of backgrounds. It does not stop there: more than 20 different languages are spoken by Clausematch team members. And, because employees largely work remotely, Clausematch team members live in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Singapore, Portugal, South Africa, Italy, Macedonia, and everywhere in between.
“It’s been very important to me from the beginning to hire people from a variety of backgrounds, skill levels, career paths, and experience,” said Likhoded. “I’m confident our diversity makes us stronger, more nimble, and more advanced than most traditional tech companies because we view things from all perspectives and angles. I’m proud to lead such a talented team and believe all companies should invest in diversity and inclusion.”
The women of Clausematch believe the diversity of the team is instrumental to its success, and if other companies embrace diverse voices, they too will see happier employees, more integrated communication, and better ideas on the table.
“From a company perspective, you are only as creative and as expansive as the diversity in which you hire,” said Madison Titus, Senior Sales Development Representative. “If you stick yourself in a small box of versatility and diversity, you are limiting your ability to create new ideas and perspectives. We’ve seen it first hand at Clausematch how transformative diverse voices are to our company’s success. Just the sheer amount of ideas and perspectives and values…you can’t get that anywhere else except through diversity.”
Claudia Coutinho-De Somma is also part of the Clausematch commercial team, and is the only female account executive. But she doesn’t think about it often. She believes having diverse voices allows businesses to take a wider look at certain challenges and initiatives and make improvements from there. She says ultimately, no matter your gender, you should feel confident and valued at your job. Coutinho-De Somma says this is especially relevant for SaaS sales positions.
“Be confident in what you are selling, in what you are doing when you’re talking to people in C-suite positions. You know everything about your product and technology. You have expertise, so don’t get into your head about seniority and inexperience,” said Coutinho-De Somma.
As Clausematch began to grow its customer base, so did the demands on the customer success team. Emma Kempton, Global Head of Customer Success, was the first woman to become a part of the Senior Leadership Team, which helped elevate her career and her voice in the company. Now there are two females on the SLT team: Kempton and Eugenie Casier, Governance, Risk, and Compliance Director.
“I was very keen on making sure there was a voice for our customers at that senior level,” said Kempton. “I didn’t want to react to decisions that had already been made. And so I was able to put my input in from a customer experience perspective and from my experience in the business at Clausematch. Because really, the entire internal business process revolves around the client. And that’s how it really should be, right? I love that now, I have so many touchpoints in the business because I enjoy building strong internal relationships.”
According to the latest available data, women hold about 25% of executive, senior-level, and management positions at S&P companies. Most tech companies either fail to meet or just about match that benchmark, according to various studies. Kempton said she doesn’t view diversity as a one-stereotype-fits-all, and believes there is diversity within every group, and that all voices should be celebrated and heard.
“I look at it more from a departmental level. People think in different ways, whether they are male, female, whatever the diversity is. Maybe women stereotypically think of the workforce a little bit more, the actual people we’re working with. But not every woman does that. So I think if you have all of the people at the table, you are much more likely to come up with a solution for a new business plan that is better for a majority of the staff you have,” said Kempton.
Kempton’s U.S. colleague, Lindsey Brown, said she uses her ability to empathize with clients as a way to advance positive conversations with key stakeholders in her job. A recent study by Cambridge University and Harvard University researchers found that in general, women are better at empathizing with other people than men.
“I think my current job as a Customer Success Manager at Clausematch fits into my personality as I enjoy relationship-building and building trust with clients,” said Brown. “I really do have empathy for my clients and want to bring the best experience of the platform to them.”
Behind the scenes, on the product and engineering side of Clausematch, there are diverse voices helping shape and design the best solutions for clients. Reema Jain, Integration Lead, said she began her career as a software engineer right out of university, and continued to sharpen her skills and interests by focusing on AWS development. Jain said the best part about being in RegTech is the vast opportunities it presents software engineers like her.
“This space has grown significantly in recent years because the regulatory requirements keep changing. It’s more complex than it was before. Compliance is not an option anymore, it’s an essential part of a business,” said Jain. “Technology has evolved a lot too, and it’s easier to use tools like Clausematch to help with manual labor and avoid risky tasks. My job is constantly changing and forces me to adapt to find solutions.”
Jain said she encourages women to explore their passions for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles so they, too, can become integral members of engineering and product teams.
“More women should take up roles in technology and more so in coding. Don’t discard it as an option: it is a skill like any other and it can be learned and mastered,” said Jain. “People like me thrive behind the keyboard!”
Switching from a journalism career to managing public relations and strategy for Clausematch, Anna Antimiichuk, Global Head of Communications, also said women should not be afraid to get into the tech industry just because a variety of skills are needed.
“Don’t ever think that working in tech is too difficult and not something for you. All kinds of jobs are required in the tech space, and it can be exactly your talents, knowledge, and skills that are needed to make a difference,” said Antimiichuk. “Choose a tech field that inspires you and has potential for growth, and even if it does not seem so inspirational at first, give it a try.”
Alina Manta and Winnie Singh, both on the Clausematch finance team, agree that while their positions aren’t always the most front-facing, their roles provide them a 360-degree view of the business, and therefore give them a platform to offer valuable input on key projects.
“My favorite part about being in the RegTech industry is my exposure to all sides of the business. So many departments have to intricately work together to make the company successful,” said Manta. “And because Clausematch is a smaller company, we all have to strategically work together to move forward.”
“Diverse voices and perspectives are essential in finance. They are critical. It really means the difference between success and failure,” said Singh. “I love that in the financial field, you are encouraged at an early stage to challenge and have a critical eye at everything.”
Clausematch continues to embrace, celebrate, and promote the diverse voices within the company. Women are represented in nearly every department and have a say at the senior levels as well. Not every tech company can say the same. Technology companies have never had more tools to take advantage of the opportunities, talent, and expertise in the marketplace than they do now.