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Q&A with Lissele Pratt

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Lissele Pratt, COO & Co-Founder @Capitalixe

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

My career path has been anything but conventional. As a young person, I was constantly on the move, never fitting in, and often underestimated. Despite my struggles, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started my first business selling jewellery at 16, which was a challenging but rewarding experience.

After a variety of odd jobs, I landed an internship at an FX brokerage in London. I found the fast-paced, competitive environment exhilarating and realised that it suited my personality perfectly.

Since then, I've worked my way up the ranks and co-founded Capitalixe, a payments and banking consultancy. As a woman in fintech, I have faced my fair share of obstacles, but being strong-willed and determined has helped me overcome the challenges that come with being a woman in a male-dominated industry.

I'm a firm believer that unconventional paths can lead to great things, and I am living proof of that. My career path may not have been traditional, but I have been able to carve out a successful and fulfilling career in fintech.

What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?

Navigating the world of fintech as a woman has certainly been a challenging experience for me. With only 30% of the workforce being female and a meagre 11% holding leadership roles, it's no secret that the industry is male-dominated. Unfortunately, I've come across male coworkers who have underestimated my abilities and even talked over me in meetings. But, despite these frustrations, I've learned to be assertive and stand up for myself in these situations.

However, the most valuable lesson I've learned in my career is to never become complacent, no matter how successful you are. In the early days of my career, we lost a major client that contributed to over 50% of our revenue. It was a devastating blow, but we were able to bounce back quickly thanks to our pipeline of prospects. This experience has taught me the importance of always being prepared and to never stop looking for new opportunities.

I firmly believe that this mindset has been the key to my success as a fintech entrepreneur. Despite the challenges I've faced as a woman in this industry, I remain hopeful about the future. I believe that the tide is turning and that as more women break through the glass ceiling, we will see greater progress towards building a more inclusive and diverse fintech industry.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?

When faced with an unusual or uncertain context, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. However, I believe that taking a step back and approaching the situation with a clear and open mind is key to finding a successful solution.

In order to gain a better understanding of the context, I like to ask questions and gather as much information as possible. This can include researching the topic, seeking advice from colleagues or experts, or simply taking the time to reflect on the situation. By doing this, I can develop a more comprehensive understanding of the challenge at hand and identify potential solutions.

I also believe that it's important to approach the situation with a sense of curiosity and openness. This means being willing to consider different perspectives and approaches, even if they may be unconventional. By thinking outside the box and being creative, I can often identify new opportunities or approaches that may not have been immediately obvious.

Ultimately, the goal is to find a solution that not only addresses the immediate challenge but also sets the stage for future success. This may require taking calculated risks, being willing to pivot when necessary, and being adaptable in the face of uncertainty.

Based on your experience, what's the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

As a female leader and entrepreneur in the fintech industry, I believe that the key suc -confidence is critical to success as a female leader. This can involve seeking out mentorship and support from other successful women, taking on challenging projects and opportunities, and developing a clear understanding of your own strengths and capabilities.

Resilience is another crucial factor for female leaders. In a male-dominated industry like fintech, women are likely to face setbacks along the way. It's important to be able to bounce back from these challenges and stay focused on long-term goals. This means developing a growth mindset and being willing to learn from failures and mistakes, as well as seeking out support from colleagues, friends, and mentors.

Finally, adaptability is also key for success as a female leader, particularly in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving. Fintech is a fast-paced industry and being able to adapt to new technologies, trends, and business models is essential. This requires a willingness to take calculated risks, experiment with new approaches, and be open to feedback and constructive criticism.

By developing these skills and qualities, women can overcome the unique challenges they face in the workplace and succeed as leaders and managers. I believe that it's important for female leaders to support and uplift one another, and to continue pushing for greater opportunities and representation in the industry.

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