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Employee spotlight — women’s history month

Employee spotlight lakshmi
Lakshmi Subbramanian, Engineering Manager @ Alloy

At Alloy, we are proud to share profiles of the stellar talent on our team. We begin this series in March, Women’s History Month — but, for us it’s every month when it comes to uplifting women in engineering, and hopefully inspiring talent and focusing attention on growth opportunities available to women in fintech.

I sat down with Lakshmi to discuss her experience as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry. Lakshmi Subbramanian is an Engineering Manager at Alloy based in New York and originally from Chennai, India. Lakshmi has a very interesting story on what led her to her role as a leader and person of color in engineering. She also shares tips and advice on navigating a career in fintech and how to keep diversity, equity, and inclusion top of mind as companies grow.

How does Alloy enable you to be a good leader in an industry that is majority male-driven?

Life at Alloy is a great model for how companies should work. The culture has enabled me to be a self-starter, build on team goals from challenges around the product and engineering organization, and drive change through employee initiatives across the board. People are an important part of Alloy and I am grateful to be part of a community that encourages sharing ideas openly for feedback. Relationships are deeply valued and this, in turn, helps in healthy collaboration to work on our company’s goals. An important aspect of growth here is being true to oneself and embracing each other’s differences — one of Alloy’s values. The women at Alloy lead the way in supporting fellow employees and push for equity in all matters.

What stereotypes have you faced throughout your career and how have you overcome them?

Outdated cultural norms played a big role in how I sought opportunities in my early career. It took me some time to get comfortable with building up the courage to ask the hard questions and being assertive in career choices. Lack of clarity used to hold me back from making quick and bold decisions. There were several instances of biases as a South Asian and woman of color in what I should “expect” in my career as an engineer. I’ve been on multiple teams where I started as the only female engineer, which drove me to look for more female engineering talent to hire into my teams and to mentor other female engineers so they would have an equitable workplace and a better chance at making their voice heard. The lack of female leaders as role models led me to look for leadership roles where I hope to help underrepresented engineering talent.

What can organizations do to get more women in fintech?

Hire female leaders into key roles for your company and trust them to deliver results.

Identify and level up women, particularly people of color, in fintech to help them grow into visible leadership roles with opportunities to drive innovative ideas for their companies. It is incredible to see our company with female representation in executive and board positions at Alloy and is validating as an engineering manager and aspiring founder, to think of ways to be impactful in scaling our product offerings for our clients.

Focus on mentorship and sponsorship networks by connecting companies led by women and ERG networks to provide access to advisory around growth. Offer ways to participate in speaking engagements and conferences to help organically build on these relationships. Share platforms inside and outside the organization for women to share their inspiring unique stories of growth & leadership.

Build products keeping diversity in your client base and their needs in mind. There is a huge opportunity in developing unbiased financial products for all types of clients.

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