Dora Ziambra

I started out as a derivatives trader in Chicago, built my own options trading business in Germany, worked in international banking in London and Frankfurt, and joined a start-up advisory in Africa. Along the way, I worked for the likes of ECB, Deutsche Börse and PayPal.

I have worked for Azimo for the past seven years and been part of its journey from an ambitious scale-up to a global cross-border payments company.

Azimo is now a  leading  digital money transfer service with offices in London and Krakow. The company’s mission is to make it cheaper and easier for people to share money around the world. Currently, customers can send money in over 60 currencies to more than 200 countries and territories using Azimo’s award-winning app and website.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I would be lying if I said yes. I have planned my career within organisations but I have also made lateral  and even outside the sector moves – change is good.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Every job/career/day has its challenges and can motivate us as human beings. It has at times been a challenge to have people make assumptions about me based on my gender/appearance but I have managed to defy those assumptions. I was also challenged when I no longer liked the sector I was working in (trading/capital markets) and wanted a change.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Life and careers are long – highlighting an achievement would be short-sighted. Most achievements tend to be more important at the time they happen and in their given context.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Grit – learning to deal with setbacks, picking up and trying again.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Be flexible and always be learning. The tech sector is very fast-moving – whatever was the new thing a year ago is probably obsolete today!

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

There are barriers for women in most sectors but in my view, it stems from lack of critical mass. The more women that work in a sector and succeed, the more will be interested in joining and the more “acceptable”and common it will be.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

More women need to choose STEM as their discipline early on during their education to then increase the pipeline of female candidates for tech jobs. Companies should be mindful of creating inclusive environments for women, including and not limited to career development, flexible working hours and open culture.

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