This week we talk to a founder of a conscious tech startup that helps consumers embrace sustainability when shopping online.
Fazilat Damani is a seasoned business strategist with over ten years of experience working in banking and financial services. Inspired by consumer demand to become more sustainable, she made a career change and founded SULY.
London-based SULY has developed an algorithm that provides a sustainability score for fashion brands and products. The scoring is informed by data taking into account the most reputable resources available on environmental, social and governance criteria and can be personalised to the issues that people care about the most.
How and where did you start your career in tech/fintech?
I have been aligned to digital strategy and tech innovation throughout my career in financial services, mainly from a product management and business transformation perspective. So when I decided to venture out on my own, it wasn’t a massive leap for me.
What challenges did you face when founding and running SULY?
From recruiting a founding team that shares the same values to creating a product that is appealing to investors, there is a new challenge every week! The good news is that it keeps me on my toes and there is never a dull moment.
On the other hand, I have struggled to manage my work/life balance and that can take a toll on my mental health. Luckily, I have a great support team that recognised this and reminded me to slow down and take a break. I listened and have introduced more structure into my work week so I know when to unplug.
Are there any women in tech/fintech that have particularly inspired you?
Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank. Unapologetically bold and fearless she is someone who knew what she wanted and went for it.
What’s the most pressing issue for women in tech today?
We can easily be dismissed as “just a tech enthusiast” so we need to be more aggressive to get our point across and taken seriously. While this is nothing new for women, it is distracting as we prefer to spend our time developing solutions to the world’s biggest problems.
What advice would you give to women looking to get into startup tech?
Just go for it! you will regret it if you don’t. Don’t worry about making a mistake or failing, in the startup world, falling on your face is a rite of passage.
You can read the previous tech-themed interview with Kira Unger, CEO and Co-Founder of PocketLaw, here.