Francesca Dowling is the Head of Compliance at banking app, Amaiz.
She has over 20 years’ experience of working in the regulatory field.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I have around 20 years of experience in the regulated sector. I took a break to concentrate on raising my 4 children before moving into Fraud/AML, which led to a career in Compliance. I am currently Head of Compliance for Amaiz, the business banking app for small businesses, which entails ensuring we identify and prevent the proceeds of crime, detecting fraud and adherence to GDPR.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No, I try not to plan what I can’t control. I simply realised where my strengths lay and focussed my attention in that area. I believe in hard work and continued learning, I also believe you create your own opportunities in life.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Of course, as a working mother, when my children were younger I always felt that I had to prove my commitment to my job far more than my male counterparts, but I’m sure it helped me learn how to manage large workloads and conflicting priorities
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
My current role, as Head of Compliance and MLRO, I am proud to be apart of Amaiz’s journey and to play such a vital part in the success of such an exciting company.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Hard work, I am afraid. There is no quick fix. My biggest drive to become successful was watching my daughters decide what they wanted to do when they finished school and realising that I could be a role model to them.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Any good manager should be a mentor, it is important to share knowledge and experiences with those with whom you work. Your team should grow and thrive under your management and mentoring is a key part of that.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
The biggest challenge a lot of women face is returning to their career following a break to raise children. I know personally, I had to restart my career. Seeing women returning to prominent positions would change the pace. The value women bring to society and the ability to multi-task should be recognised and awarded.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Don’t plan too far ahead, enjoy each stage of your life.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I would love to be involved in raising the profile of working mothers. I feel there is a lot of positive discrimination towards men who require time off for child-care and that they are recognised for managing their work and home life, whereas women are seen as not taking their role seriously if they have to deal with family emergencies.
What one thing would assist more women in succeeding?
Flexibility, a modern company should, where possible, take a flexible approach to working hours. This would mean that responsibility could be shared by families and in my experience employees will always have a better attitude towards their work when their individual circumstances are taken into consideration.
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