06 2019 | INSIDE

 11 Andrea Dunlop is this year´s ‘Most Influential Woman in Payments’. Payment Source’s award is designed to recognize women who set an example for their peers. © Paysafe

"Step forward, never sit back"

Andrea Dunlop is this year's most influential Woman in Payments. The Paysafe CEO of Acquiring & Card Solutions has been working in the payments industry for over 16 years. And she has a very clear vision for the advancement of women in this industry.

In March Andrea Dunlop has been named one of ­Payments Source's 'Most Influential Women in ­Payments'. The award is designed to recognise women who set an example for their peers, are unafraid to learn from ­newcomers and are diligent about encouraging a fresh­ness and ­diversity of ideas. "Just days after we've been celebrating International Women's Day at Paysafe, I'm honoured to be named one of Payments Source's most ­influential women in payments among such a talented group of people. Payments is an incredibly dynamic ­industry. Against that backdrop it's great to be part of a team which doesn't stand still and is always looking at what's next," Dunlop said at the award ceremony.

She started in the payments industry after she had spent over ten years working in communications in the RAF. "When I decided it was time to leave and enter the world of business, I was able to use my technology ­experience to become a project manager, and I ended up working for Mastercard in that capacity. I've worked in fintech ever since and never had a dull day." During her impressive career she has encountered many examples of gender inequality, though: "That doesn't go away just ­because I am in a more senior role now. I hear so much from so many women across the industry about gender in­equality, not to mention other diversity issues."

So there are many well-known barriers to be overcome, says Dunlop. Management culture and poor practice is a key factor for her. But there are also issues with recruit­ment via male-dominated networks, and roles often being allocated on a "who you know basis," rather than merit. In addition, there's a lack of ­flexible working, and few female role models and leaders that have broken the glass ceiling to inspire women who are earlier in their career path. But if she had to pick the most important one, for her it was self-worth: "I think we are often our own barrier. With that in mind, my main piece of advice would be to step forward - don't sit back and think that the next role will come to you just because you did a good job."