As part of this year’s Women’s History Month celebration, Citihub Consulting talked to some of its consultants about the space they occupy, as women, in the traditionally male-dominated finance technology industry. This week, we focus the spotlight on Maralene Downs, Associate Partner, New York.
What drew you to work in finance technology industry?
With regard to technology, I always did well in school. As a result, my father would challenge me to understand how reading, writing, mathematics and science were interrelated. He taught me how to apply what I learned in school to the world around me. I believe that is what most engineers do, regardless of discipline, and that is what drew me to become one.
“The women I have met or interacted with in this (finance technology) industry are high achievers and extremely talented.”
With regard to financial services, as I read more about the financial crisis of 2008, I was intrigued by two things; 1) why certain people were unable, or unwilling, to go back to the basics to understand the structure of the products they bought and sold and, 2) how technology could be used to provide information (i.e. quantitative) to executive management, allowing them to adjust their processes, and the associated controls, to minimize risk.
Over the years, what changes have you seen in finance technology industry relating to women’s contribution, roles and leadership? What do you think were the drivers?
When I first started working as an engineer, there were relatively few women in the field, and fewer still in executive management (of any discipline). As I look at the financial services landscape today, I see more women represented in executive management than when I started. I don’t know what the drivers are, however, I do know that the women I have met or interacted with in this industry are high achievers and extremely talented.
How has Citihub Consulting supported you, as a woman, in your career?
This is an interesting question … I don’t know that Citihub Consulting supports me any differently than they support a man with the same talents – and THAT is very important to me! I don’t want to be treated differently because I am a woman. I do want to be treated differently because of my intellect, my strong work ethic, and my commitment to the success of our clients. I believe Citihub Consulting treats their employees in this manner, which is one of the reasons that I enjoy working here.