By Stephanie Johnson, Global Director of ABM and EMEA at Recurly

In the expansive world of work, there’s an abundance of choice—and it’s important to find a role that excites you and aligns with your passions.

I am currently the Global Director of ABM and EMEA at Recurly, a leading subscription management and billing platform. But the world of Fintech was not my first career step and certainly not on my radar as I submitted my University application for fashion design.

Prior to my role at Recurly, my career was initially within the fashion sector, with roles covering product development to managing the marketing strategy for a number of premium fashion brands, and even taking a big step by founding my own company focusing on brand growth and retail partnerships. But the giant leap was diving into the world of tech, a defining moment in my career that I’ve never looked back on.

A seamless transaction

The initial shift from fashion to fintech felt like I was exploring a whole new world. But I quickly realised that both share a common thread— the importance of understanding how to engage with diverse audiences. Fashion revolves around capturing the essence of individuality and tending to consumers’ wants and needs with bespoke experiences. Fintech, specifically subscriptions, is no different – it’s about helping brands drive subscriptions through personalised services that meet consumers’ specific needs.

Significant investment is driving the fintech space forward; the latest is a UK-led, £1bn fintech fund aimed at getting the UK to rival Silicon Valley. This is a huge step towards creating a more accessible entry point into a sector historically marked by gender disparities.

The changing face of Fintech

Despite the challenges that women face entering this field, the fintech industry has opportunities for those willing to make their mark.

As only 11% of board seats in fintech are occupied by women, diversity is not yet where it should be. And, with fintech being one of the UK’s leading industries, we hold a competitive edge—and responsibility. We need more diverse talent to maintain this leadership position. That stems from encouraging young people to study subjects that will support them before they enter this industry.

However, fintech companies are increasingly recognising the value of diversity and inclusion in order to promote innovation to cultivate a workforce that mirrors the diverse markets they serve. Therefore, diversity and inclusion extend beyond buzzword. They are essential in a business to drive innovation and craft products that resonate with a wide range of consumers.

For example, McKinsey’s report, Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, details how the “relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time.” And a Wall Street Journal article also found that “diverse and inclusive cultures are providing companies with a competitive edge over their peers.”

Put simply: diversity nurtures innovation. Cultivating a team with a wide range of talents and points of view should be a priority for businesses’ efforts moving forward.

Exciting brands in the payments world

As subscription-based models gain traction in various sectors, the appeal of convenience and adaptability is evident. In no other industry is the diversity of consumer expectations so clear. Subscriptions are tailored to distinct preferences, as businesses simultaneously relish stable, recurring revenue streams and heightened customer loyalty.

Yet the foundation of a thriving subscription model lies in delivering value. Working with global brands such as Paramount+, Twitch and True Royalty TV, Recurly has provided the opportunity for me to further see the importance of listening to what both consumers and brands want from their subscriptions.

Acknowledging customer feedback and refining offerings accordingly is the catalyst to ensuring that subscriptions remain mutually beneficial. This empowers businesses to acquire, retain, and scale subscribers. While audiences enjoy more of the content, services, and products they love.

Technology at the centre

The allure of the fintech industry lies in its capacity to drive innovation and meaningful change. Technology won’t resolve everything, but it can be the driving force for solutions and positive transformation.

My transition to fintech allowed me to engage in problem-solving (which I find thoroughly enjoyable). Also to advocate for Recurly customers so they may streamline business processes and yield strong subscription business results.

For anyone aspiring to thrive in the world of fintech, embracing the future of AI is paramount—as it holds boundless potential to revolutionise industries ranging from healthcare and finance to transport and entertainment. Yet, embracing AI doesn’t mean surrendering control. Rather, it will allow us to continuously evolve, learn, and grow.

Transitioning from fashion to fintech constituted a leap that redefined my career. It has taught me that in order to drive impact and transformation, we need to be willing to explore the unknown and embrace change. I’m excited to see what’s to come.

About the author

Stephanie Johnson is the Global Director of ABM and EMEA at Recurly, where her diverse background in fashion marketing and technology converges to accelerate meaningful change in the fintech sector. With a commitment to promoting diversity, innovation, and impactful solutions, Stephanie continues to promote best practices and sustainable marketing growth in the world of fintech, driving lead-based marketing on a global scale.


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