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Alessa Betts

Advisor, Association of German Banks

 

And - Winner - 2017 TechWomen50

I would encourage all girls thinking about pursuing STEM to stick at it. [You] are not alone.

What do you do?

"My role involves a lot of research into the regulation around the use of innovative tech in banking." 

I am an Advisor in the Digital Banking, Big Data & AI space in Berlin. As part of my role, I talk to both banks and FinTechs to find out about the challenges they face in this area, as well as the challenges they face when trying to work together. 

 

Prior to my current role I worked in technology consulting at EY, where I worked on a range of projects, from customer data analysis for a bank, to a cloud implementation project, to the creation of an app to link large corporates with entrepreneurs. 

Why did you choose this field?

"My current role allows me to remain in tech but gain experience in a completely different working environment." 

At school I always loved maths and grew to love science as I saw it as a fascinating application of maths, among many other things. I decided to study Natural Sciences at university as it would allow me to keep my interests broad. I chose to then go into consulting as I enjoy working with other people and, again, it offered me a broad range of experiences. The technology side of consulting was a natural fit as it matched my scientific interests and is also so hugely relevant to both business and every-day life. 

 

In my current role I have learnt a lot already, in particular around some of the challenges to implementing innovative technology in a bank.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Last year I was nominated for two awards celebrating women in technology, one of which (TechWomen50) I won. Never in a million years would I have thought it was possible to be a role model at such a young age but I’m so proud of the award and hope I can use it to build on my work encouraging women of all ages into both technology and STEM subjects in general. I want many more women to do the same, especially as we are so underrepresented in the field, which does not reflect how capable we are.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM as I learn something new every day. STEM subjects are what is changing the world more than anything right now, and I love being part of that.

Best advice for the next generation

I would encourage all girls thinking about pursuing STEM to believe in their capabilities and to stick at it, even if it sometimes seems intimidating. They need to know that they are not alone (even if they may be the only girl in their class) - there are multiple networks all trying to increase the representation of women in this field. There are lots of incredible role models out there.

Fun fact

The German equivalent of STEM is MINT (Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaft, and Technik). Interestingly, Engineering is substituted by Computer Science, but the goals are the same.