Meet Vittoria Millan – Corporate Relationship Manager at Forte Markets, a company providing tailored advisory and training services within the Banking & Finance sectors impacted by regulatory change. These services are complemented by support to FinTech and RegTech startup ventures through their business life. Vittoria also launched Women in Tech Global.
In a nutshell: What role does technology play in your everyday life?
Technology doesn’t just play a role in my job, it plays a big role in my life. When starting my career, I asked myself: how can I make the most out of emerging technology?
While studying my MSc, I won an entrepreneurial competition where, together with my team, we developed a product – MunchTech – using Blockchain technology to store and save information. At this moment I started to study and learn about all the positive possibilities creating by emerging technologies, such as Blockchain.
This journey brought me to today, where I work for Forte Markets, powering the next generation of thought leaders by providing tailored advisory and training services to the banking and finance markets. I started the Women in Tech Global programme to shine a light on key tech sectors such as Law, Finance, and Regulation and examine their intersection with Diversity and Inclusion.
Working in communications: How should for example female founders communicate their venture/ idea to the world?
I don’t believe there should be a difference between how women and men communicate their ideas to the world. Before communicating ventures or ideas, aspects to consider are:
- Self-belief, self-confidence and confidence in your idea
- Having a clear structure of the project
- Having completed all the necessary analysis
- Are you delivering a project with a purpose?
- Are you passionate about the purpose?
- Last but not least, are you taking the risk of pursing your dream?
What has been your most challenging project so far and why?
To me the most challenging project has definitely been Women in Tech Global. As a young woman working in a new and predominantly male environment, gaining credibility has been hard and I have to prove myself everyday – but this challenges me and make me feel even more motivated.
I grew up in a very supportive environment and I always wanted to make a difference in society, learning that open communication and facing problems head-on are the keys to making change. A positive attitude plays a fundamental role in this. The more problems I faced, the more solutions I devised.
Today, the problem we deal with in the tech industry is the lack of diversity and inclusion within teams and the boards of companies. Women in Tech Global reveals how diversity extends beyond conversations about gender. As society raises its awareness and workforce demographics change – senior leaders are beginning to understand the different shapes of diversity. Studies show how increasing workforce diversity in gender, race, politics, sexuality, religion and thought, has a positive impact on business growth, creativity and innovation.
With our events and conferences we promote and celebrate success through platforming leading women in tech, and including male champions and firms promoting development within this space.
What would you say are the most important skills women need to bring to the table if they want to be successful in tech?
Tech is a competitive environment but it is full of opportunities for all types of people with a diverse range of skills. However, whether in technology or out, successful women should always define their personal standard of success, overcome a fear of failure, abandon perfectionism and always leverage and expand their network.
Who are your (tech) role models and why?
There are many people that I admire and inspire me a lot. Some standout women include Anne Boden, the CEO at Starling Bank, Ghela Boskovich, Founder of FemTechGlobal, and Claire Calmejane, Chief Innovation Officer at SocGen.
These women inspire me as they are not afraid of communicate their idea to the world and have worked hard to succeed in a male-dominated industry. They also support and inspire other women along the way – which I think is a key quality for female leaders.
If you could be the CEO of any startup in the world, which would you choose?
To me what makes a great CEO is in the leadership skills she or he has and the company culture they cultivate in their company. To me, Charlotte Crosswell – CEO at Innovate Finance is definitely a role model to follow. She embodies great leadership, leading a hugely influential Fintech organisation, while encouraging her team to meet their potential and shine.
What steps should be taken to attract more women to tech?
I think that lack of diversity is a systemic issue. We can begin by improving the education system inside schools, encouraging more young women and girls to pursue ‘non-traditional’ roles – encouraging teachers to break out from their ingrained biases and encourage pupils to push their boundaries.
I think language and communication in tech must be examined more closely. How are job postings worded, and what words do technology companies use when describing themselves? Certain words and phrases can be off-putting to women, and this will only harm a business in the long run if they hire from a limited pool.
Company HR policies should also be inspected and adjusted. How can the workplace provide more flexibility and support for women in the industry? It could be through modified working hours, flexible working opportunities, support for expectant and new mothers – and beyond. When all these factors are considered, I believe we will have a far more inclusive and diverse workforce in technology.
What would be your message/advice to women trying to get into technology?
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It’s where all the best things happen. And remain positive and kind. Although the world of tech can seem scary, and male-dominated, remember that there are groups of women and men out there, ready to support you, advise, refer and nurture you. Respond to negativity with kindness, and ‘pass it on’ – it’s our duty to help the next great woman, too.
Vittoria Millan is Corporate Relations Manager at Forte Markets, an advisory and training firm within Banking & Finance sectors impacted by regulatory change. She also launched Women in Tech Global and is Co-Founder and Head of Communications and Sales at data processing company Much Tech Ltd. Shortly put: She leads marketing and communications for high-growth technology startups.