×

ABC = Agility, Balance and Collaboration

By Valerie Dias, Former Chief Officer: Risk & Compliance • Visa Europe

September 22, 2015

When I’m in a tight spot I often think “How would a fraudster tackle this?” Given I’m the Chief Risk Officer at Visa Europe, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Across the organisation I work with many talented and engaged people but some of the brightest and most determined people I contend with don’t work for Visa at all – they are the criminals who want to get hold of your card details. They are highly motivated, extremely agile, enlist specialist skills and are forever looking out for new opportunities.

I was recently asked to give a presentation at the Professional Women’s Network Leadership Forum, which focused on the theme of Agility, Balance and Collaboration. So I used this approach in my presentation and asked myself:

  • How would a fraudster encourage and enable women to grow their careers?
  • How would they advance women in leadership?
  • What would they do to smash the glass ceiling?
  • It’s a light hearted approach but there are some serious points to make.

Broadly speaking there are three types of criminals and all can teach us lessons about diversity and talent management.

Opportunists

The white-collar criminals. This is the front line and there are lots in this role.

Lesson:In the UK, women make up 57% of new recruits to white-collar jobs but only 17% of executive directors and 4% of CEOs. I don’t think women lack ambition, and we’re not all held back by family responsibilities so something is going wrong here.

Gangsters

They force their way up the criminal career ladder with a combination of muscle and guile, rather than talent.

Lesson: Successful career women are often accused of something similar, yet there’s no evidence to suggest that women are more disposed to use charm or pushiness any more than men are. Let’s bust that myth.

Masterminds

These are the ones I admire and fear in equal measure. They tend to be talented, they’ve risen to the top, and good at talent management. Good at spotting it, securing it and then nurturing it. They are prepared to be very flexible and get the job done no matter what.

Lesson:Really successful enterprises know what good talent looks like and create the conditions that allow it to deliver.

I must admit that I take an idealistic view and I think that in a company like Visa women can have it all – a career, children and a life beyond both of them.

We have a long standing motto at Visa ‘Studium and prosperandum. Voluntas in conveniendum’. This means ‘The will to succeed. The grace to compromise’. I think the same principle applies to our careers and this brings me back to the theme of the conference – Ability, Balance, Collaboration. It’s how criminals do it, so surely we can do it too – only legitimately!

Share this post

Like this post

Related Articles

Has the time arrived for biometrics?

July 14, 2016

Recent Visa research shows that 73% of people would like to use biometrics as a form of two-factor authentication. So how are we responding to the exciting opportunities offered by biometrics?

Jonathan Vaux Read More

The Olympic Flame sparked contactless payments in Lillehammer

April 20, 2016

Until recently, despite being among the keenest card users in the world, with nearly 2 million contactless Visa cards present in the market, Norwegians had been slow to adopt the new technology.

Jens Nes Read More

Prepaid leads the digital revolution

November 09, 2015

Imagine yourself in ten years time. Look back at how payments has evolved. What will be the stand-out change? What platform has made the difference? We think prepaid cards are on course to have a massive impact.

Greg Sheppard Read More

Visa Inc. and Visa Europe reunite as one global company

June 21, 2016

Visa Inc. and Visa Europe have reunited! The two companies originated from the same Visa that started as a pilot program in 1958, but have operated as separate entities since Visa Inc. became a public company in 2008.

Charlie Scharf Read More

6 reasons why payments rule

October 08, 2015

It takes Visa just six milliseconds to authorise your contactless purchase of your morning coffee. Most people don’t even think about how their payment is made.

Nicolas Huss Read More

Cybersecurity and the road to biometrics

June 06, 2016

This week, Visa Europe presents a three-part series on a subject that is dominating the headlines: biometrics. We have invited Safran, the leading supplier of technology for security as well as aerospace and defence, to give us its perspective on why biometrics is such a hot topic today and where they see the industry heading.

Philippe Le Pape Read More

The mobile-powered planet

June 10, 2016

This week, Visa Europe presents a three-part series on a subject that is dominating the headlines: biometrics. We have invited Safran, the leading supplier of technology for security as well as aerospace and defence, to give us its perspective on why biometrics is such a hot topic today and where they see the industry heading.

Philippe Le Pape Read More