Inspirational Woman: Neeta Mundra | Banking and Financial Services Executive, Salesforce

Neeta MundraNeeta Mundra is a senior executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to driving business outcomes with over 19 years of global banking and insurance experience and a deep understanding of technology and financial services.

Neeta Mundra recently won the “Exceptional Women of Excellence Award” at Women Economic Forum.

Besides her full-time role at Salesforce, Neeta is non-executive director and on the board of Young Women’s Trust (UK), on the committee of Women in Banking and Finance (Head Women on Board program), and a mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation. She is very passionate about technology disruption, transparency in financial services, open banking/finance and appears in various panel discussions. She is an angel investor in fintech start-ups and is particularly interested in women led fintech start-ups.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not in the beginning but now yes. Absolutely! In fact, I put 1-3 years plan and visit my plans regularly. I know this sounds very theoretical or methodical, but I was inspired to take this approach when I read Zero to One ( by Peter Theil). The essence is that organisations need to constantly evaluate vision( and skills ) based on the goals. I believe the same applies to individuals aspirations and careers goals. It is a good practice to regularly reflect on where one wants to be in a certain period of time and what skills/areas need to developed in accordance.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Being a minority in minority, the challenges are a constant.  I grew up in Mumbai, India and lived in USA, Australia and UK and one thing I have learnt is “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” I am tenacious and rarely give up before leaving any stone unturned. The biggest one is the need (for women) to constantly prove themselves and twice as much as male counterparts.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Personally, extremely proud that my daughter takes me as a role model and has decided to pursue technology in university.

Having engineered the exit of two companies, I am an angel investor and biased towards women entrepreneurs.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

It is very difficult to nail one aspect, so I will name three:

  1. Learning continuously (growth mindset)- I invest in myself
  2. If I believe in something- I do not hesitate in having fearless conversations
  3. You are as strong as your network- I have good sponsors in the company and industry who are my solid sounding boards.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I am big supporter of mentoring and coaching. Personally, I have had great coaches and enjoy giving back and helping. I often get approached for mentoring – but I believe mentoring works best on an area or topic or in the form of micro mentoring. I am a mentor at Barclays Riseup and Natwest Accelerator.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

While I am not a big fan of quotas, however, I do believe defining a mandatory quota of equal number of women leaders (top business execs and board) would help increase the pace of Gender Equality as it has a cascading effect across the organisation, culture, pay gap and pension gap issues.

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