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SheCanCode spotlight series: Diane Betts, Director, Client Programme Delivery, Fiserv

Fintech

ARTICLE SUMMARY

We caught up with Diane Betts, Programme Director at Fiserv, who is leading Programme Delivery for the Enterprise Payments Platform for Fiserv in EMEA.

She joined Fiserv in August 2017, following the acquisition of Dovetail, where she led global banking digital transformation programmes through the delivery of the Dovetail Payments Hub. Prior to joining Dovetail in 2011, she led payment card scheme platform delivery and Service Operating Model organisational design and transformation during tenures at Visa Europe, Reuters and IBM. fiserv

What led you to a career in financial services and payments technology? 

Travel has always been a passion of mine. I loved the idea of having the ability to communicate with as many people as possible and therefore at University I studied French and Italian. On graduation, I joined IBM as they were offering roles to language students, and my venture into the world of technology began. After IBM, I held roles at Reuters, Visa Europe and then Dovetail – which is now part of Fiserv.

The ability to communicate in different languages is an important and useful skill, whatever the industry. I still use these skills today in my current role. Whether it is with clients or with colleagues – languages give you the ability to communicate with various groups of people. There also is a translation layer required when you are working in technology. I can speak with highly technical experts and then translate what they are saying into something digestible for a non-technical audience.

The technology industry is very open to everyone in that way. While the title of the industry may be tech – you don’t necessarily have to have a deep technical background. You can come from any area and apply the skills you already have.

Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?

I have been fortunate to have several role models throughout my career. In the form of direct managers, peers and colleagues and teams I have managed. I’ve always been surrounded by inspiring people who have really challenged me to think differently and broaden my perspective.

One of the important things, when it comes to role models in this industry is ensuring that you seek out people who inspire you and enable you to develop for the better. I feel very lucky to have learned and grown by observing many inspirational leaders.

What are you most proud of in your career so far? 

While there are many memorable moments, I am most proud of having contributed to the successes of the organisations and clients I have worked with in my career. I have been part of projects with clients that have transformed and shaped how the payments industry operates.

For example, when working with clients at Visa Europe, Dovetail and Fiserv, I have been a part of a number of digital transformation projects that have had a great impact on moving the industry forward – and these haven’t been easy steps forward. Working with banks and financial institutions on any digital transformation project is an extremely complex process. Especially so when they are systemically important financial institutions in their regions.

I take pride in how I shaped my career. I have constantly challenged the status quo, taken risks and pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone.

How do you take time out from work? What do you like to do to wind down? 

I like to get active – running, cycling, and yoga. I am a huge fan of gigs – I love live music. And of course, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family – especially after the last couple of years we have had. Being able to do that once again is great.

When it comes to leadership, do you have any key principles or guardrails?    

I am constantly thinking of how I can add value to what I do – for my clients, colleagues and team. Leadership is also about learning from those around you. As a leader, it’s important to keep your perspective broad and inclusive.

It’s also important to break the big things down. Progress can be measured in even the smallest of increments – it’s still progress. Things are always easier when you go through them step by step. There is always an alternate, more optimised way, a new path to take, a different perspective. I always say, don’t give up, the most obvious way is rarely the only way.

Time is a key commodity. Be intentional with your interactions. Make time to absorb, reflect and adjust to what’s happening around you. Take time to connect with people you rely on and those who rely on you. And of course, always make time for your friends and family.

Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive? 

Fortunately, no one has ever tried to stop me or put roadblocks in my career. I always make sure I have parallel tracks running at the same time when it comes to learning and development. I enjoy taking on additional tasks outside of my role to ensure I am being challenged, learning and really broadening my perspective.

What I have witnessed over the years when it comes to learning and development, is that there are different ways to approach this. Beyond the traditional options, there’s tremendous opportunity and value in coaching and networking to share ideas and perspectives. We tend to associate learning with training or education – however, this is only one aspect. For me, the network part is crucial, especially as you go further along in your career.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

I have been out of my comfort zone a number of times. However, this is where maximum growth has come from. I learned that when something is uncomfortable and unfamiliar don’t be scared, as the next time will always be less daunting.

The way I navigated these situations is by leaning on my network for support and advice. This has been invaluable. And in most instances, situations are never as bad as you think they are. You can build something up in your mind, but then things turn out for the better. For me, progression has always been important. I am constantly looking for ways to learn and grow.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology? 

Go for it! Sit down and work out what you want. Put your end goal in sight and then plan your path. Break things down – look at the individual steps you need to take to get there. Be willing to take risks along the way, always consider the consequences, but be brave within your own risk threshold. Not every opportunity will be right, but if you know what your goals are, you stand a better chance of seeing the right opportunities and the way forward as things come up. Don’t worry if things change – you can navigate and adapt.

Finally, don’t do it alone. Seek out help if that is what you need – from friends, family, and old and new colleagues. If you need coaching, then look for it. And pay that support back to others. Coach people – allow them to lean on you for advice. Build that network around yourself, one built on mutual support and perspectives. Then you will really enjoy the journey ahead.

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