Inspiring Women in Fintech: Interview with Alexandra Vidyuk

Alexandra Vidyuk, Co-Founder and Executive Director at DigiDoe, discusses an entrepreneur’s life, the lack of representation, and more.

This week we talk to an inspiring woman whose experience includes leadership roles in payments, data and machine learning.

Alexandra Vidyuk is Co-Founder and Executive Director at payments company DigiDoe. She is a former Chief Data Officer and Machine Learning Chief Architect at HSBC, where she led technology upgrades in the Wholesale Bank’s Asia Pacific region from legacy to modern cloud estates.

Alexandra Vidyuk
Alexandra Vidyuk, Co-Founder and Executive Director at DigiDoe

She closed DigiDoe’s initial funding round in December last year at the same time as giving birth to her daughter.

How and where did you start your career in tech/fintech?

I have spent my entire career in technology and financial services. I truly believe financial technology is one of, if not the most, dynamic and evolving industries in the world today – every day there’s something new, revolutionary, innovative, and it is the sector which has one of the highest impacts on people around the globe. I consider myself extremely lucky to have got into tech straight after university.

What challenges did you face when founding and running DigiDoe? 

Being an entrepreneur is a whole new world compared to working for a massive multi-national bank like HSBC, where I was lucky enough to enjoy a long and stimulating career before co-founding DigiDoe. It felt like bungee jumping from a cliff. No one has yet created a product and a business like DigiDoe’s before. We really believe we are setting a fintech precedent and building the global payments system of the future.

An entrepreneur’s life is always up and down – one day you think you are the next Elon Musk and the next day you think you might die homeless if it doesn’t all work out. And on some occasions, to be honest, these two feelings could be on the same day! But while it’s exceptionally challenging, it’s also incredibly rewarding to be doing something new and innovative, which could change the way people pay forever.

Are there any women in tech/fintech that have particularly inspired you?

A couple of years ago I read ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta (Facebook), and it truly inspired me and helped to build my confidence. I drew inspiration from Jen Calvery who was my mentor at HSBC – she brought a new paradigm of thinking to HSBC and particularly how to use artificial intelligence and advanced technology to fight financial crime. I am also extremely happy that we have so many VCs and angel investors networks around who support, encourage and nurture female founders.

What advice would you give to women looking to get into fintech?

Go for it! We definitely need more women in fintech. There are a great many programmes for female entrepreneurs in fintech such as HSBC ROAR and Female Innovators Lab by Barclays Rise. There are also angel investment networks and VCs which support female founders such as Angel Academe.

How do you think fintech solutions can help advance women’s financial health?

I would highly recommend reading a great book called ‘Invisible Women’ by a brilliant author, Caroline Criado Perez. The main idea behind this book is that the world is designed by men for men. The reason for this is that there is lack of representation of female opinion or data about females in decision-making processes or product design processes. The only way to ensure we have fintech products which cater for women is to ensure we have more women in fintech products and business teams. Only that will ensure that products are created by people who can deeply relate to their customers.

The previous fintech-themed interview with Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO and Founder of Tapoly, can be found here.

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