Simona Fionda, Head of Europe Enterprise Risk at Funding Circle UK believes there is power in remaining curious, of constantly looking for opportunities.

Simona revealed this to Fahreen Kurji, Chief Customer Intelligence Officer at Behavox, during October’s BeWomen fireside chat. 

Fahreen and Simona discussed much during the one hour event, from how she relaxes, to the challenges of being a woman in the male-dominated industry of finance.

“I will give quite a controversial answer,” said Simona.

When I first began in financial services, I really didn’t see any gender issues. The first time I noticed about gender was when I joined the risk profession and started to attend events at the Institute of Risk Management; there were hardly any women around me.

Simona Fionda, Head of Europe Enterprise Risk at Funding Circle UK

“However, as I progressed through my career, I experienced a good balance of male and female leaders. When I joined the Women in Banking and Finance non-profit organization, many members were talking about how difficult it was for them. Although I couldn’t relate, I could understand. But when I think about who have been my mentors and sponsors, who have given me opportunities throughout my career – two were male, one was female.”

Simona has enjoyed quite a career so far, working for decades as a risk and audit professional in international financial services, from FTSE 100 companies to digital start up banks, and the UK regulatory family.

Simona is also a co-opted member of the Audit and Risk Committee at Queen Mary University of London, a member of the Investment Committee and the Vice-Chair of the Professional Standards Committee at the Institute of Risk Management. Simona is currently leading the first review of the Professional Standards in Risk Management for the IRM.

As always, considering one of the main purposes of the BeWomen event is to enable our team to gain insights from industry insiders, the one-hour fireside chat culminated in a round of Q+A with the Behavox team, which included a question about Simona’s experience at the Queen Mary University of London, by fellow alumni, Adam Hopewell, Global Head of Talent at Behavox.

Why not check out our other BeWomen sessions, with Emmanuelle Bury-Lucas, Chief Compliance Officer at BNP Paribas, and Carolina Brochado, Founding Partner at EQT Growth.