Today is International Women's Day, a day dedicated to celebrating women's achievements throughout history and across nations.

At Berkeley, 50% of our employees are women, and we couldn't be more proud. So, we thought it only fitting as we celebrate women's achievements, to look within and chat with our own VP of Finance and Operations, Jackie Glazer, on her achievements and the future of women in payments.  We discuss how she got to where she is, her role as an executive committee member at Berkeley, and how the payments industry can work to improve propelling women forward:

Q: What is your role at Berkeley? And how long have you been here?

Jackie: I head up the finance and operations departments, and I've been here almost 4 years.

Q: How did you get started in the payments industry? Did you always work in finance?

Jackie: I got started in payments at Berkeley. But, I've always been an accountant, my previous role was VP Business Planning & Analysis (still in finance) at a public company in the healthcare space.

Q: What was your first job and how did you get from there to where you are now?

Jackie: My very first job was working for my dad. From there, it was the usual, went to school, graduated, was good at math, tried accounting, went to more school, graduated, got a job in an accounting firm where I learned a ton and got a solid foundation, moved on to consulting work for a number of years then moved into industry.

Once I was in industry, my roles were all fairly senior but in different industries with different regulatory requirements. I learned new skill sets with each and have built up my arsenal over the years.

Q: As a woman in an executive position in payments, how important do you think it is for women to be in executive roles within a company?

Jackie: I believe that diversity of all kinds is really important in an organization. Living in Canada we have endless opportunities for exposure to diverse cultures and having not only women but diversity in the workplace is really important. How else do you get any opposing perspectives if everyone is the same?

Q: There are obviously organizations like Women in Payments, working to support and progress women within the industry. What do you think of their initiatives and how do you think they can best suit women within the industry?

Jackie: I appreciate the opportunity that organizations like "Women in Payments" provide for everyone in the space. WIP has brought great educational opportunities with timely discussions, bringing experts from across the industry together.

WIP is great at providing speaking opportunities, often it is difficult to get the stage, especially if you don't hold a senior position with a bank or a network. WIP has been great to develop skills for women, and provide exposure within the industry in a friendly open forum.

Q: Do you think it's important for women to have mentors within the industry to give them insights, tips, etc? Or do you feel like a trial by error system is best?

Jackie: I think having a mentor in your career is key, it doesn't have to be a woman and not in your industry either. I believe that someone who has gone before, sees you and your progress impartially and can provide honest and important feedback is invaluable. The most important part of a mentorship relationship is listening. If you call someone a mentor, listen and give yourself the opportunity to consider the feedback, how can you act on it and how can you use it to improve yourself.

Q: Our CEO Jonathon won the "Adovacate for Women" award at WIP last year, do you think its important for men to participate in the WIP space and work to support women?

Jackie: Yes, I think that the Women in Payments organization provides lots of learning opportunities that are not just for women. Having men participate shows they support the organization and that they don't want to miss out.

Q: How can other CEOs and leaders ensure women have a space to grow within their company and show their value?

Jackie: Management teams today have figured out that being exclusive isn't the best way to manage a company. Gone are most of the days where business is done on the golf course and the women aren't invited. Today the women are invited to the table, the basketball games, dinner and even the golf course. Inclusion isn't difficult. It just takes action.

Q: Any advice for young women looking to enter the payments industry?

Jackie: Take any opportunity to learn, everything is moving fast and as long as you're open to learn, your opportunities are endless.

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