Interview: Ghela Boskovich

Author:ICSA &nbsp

The founder of FemTechGlobal, speaks to Governance and Compliance about data discussions and understanding risks

Can you talk us through the drivers behind the company you founded? Why did you decide to create FemTechGlobal?

Every company is built on the premise that it solves a problem; the same goes for FemTechGlobal. But we're focused on better problem solving, not a single problem. To get to a really good solution, all of our assumptions about the design of that solution need to be challenged. Challenge doesn't exist if those designing the solution all think alike, look alike, and have like experiences. Good solutions call for diverse thinking, dissent, and discussion. FemTechGlobal is about improving diversity to help us better solve challenges - and to remind companies that diversity is better for business' bottom lines too.

What are your thoughts on the progress that has been made to improve diversity at the top of companies?

It's a lot of talk, but little change. It's a shame, considering how positively diversity impacts profits. Ethnically diverse companies perform 33% better than the norm, and companies with at least 25% women on the executive team perform better than those with no women at the top, by 47% return on equity (ROE). And companies with the highest board diversity have 53% higher ROE and 14% higher earnings before interest taxes and amortization than those with low to no diversity.

Why do you believe there has yet to be a shift in the mindset around data as a tool for change in the boardroom?

I think most of us recognise the value of data, and the growth of business insight solutions seems to prove it. But data offers more than insight, it can give direction and predict outcomes. Data illiteracy, though, puts a pause on adopting the roadmap that data can provide. There's an education gap at board level about the scientific method that informs these directions, and that gap affects the risk appetite around certain business decisions that instruct us: pivot, drop a customer segment, redesign the UX, accept more applicants because they're actually not as risky as you've assumed.

What discussions do you believe are needed within the boardroom to create a better understanding around data?

Basic data science 101: what big data is and how it is good for trends, as well as what micro data is and how it's good for decisions around a specific customer. The dangers...

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