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Events at Alpaca

Breaking the Bias in Fintech, Trading and Crypto

Mariangela Martinez
Mariangela Martinez

Any opinions expressed are opinions of the host and their guests. This content is for general informational purposes only. Alpaca Securities LLC and Alpaca Crypto do not recommend any specific investments, investment strategies, or cryptocurrencies.


In honor of Women’s History Month, we hosted a panel on Twitter Spaces with eight inspiring women in fintech and crypto. They share their insights, thoughts, and experiences in the financial industry, including how they got started with trading stocks and crypto and how they have evolved with the trends; how they started in traditional finance and moved to DeFi. They also discuss their experience as women in a largely male-dominated field.


Mariangela Martinez - Content Marketing Specialist, DX & Community

Keynote speakers:

Denise Steffel - Executive at Alpaca Securities

Constance Wang - Co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets

Guest speakers:

Hannah Hamilton - Defi Specialist at Genesis

Cara Hayward - Director of Strategic Partnerships at Currencycloud

Isabel Penzini - Founder of OLA

Sayo Hassan - Product Manager at Neo Financial

Vasilia Kratsios - Director of Client Relations at Alpaca

Michelle Washington - Director of AML at Alpaca

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Mariangela Martinez: Hello to all of our Twitter listeners. Hope everyone follows Alpaca, if not, you definitely should go and follow us so you don't miss any posts about our stock in crypto trading platform! Alpaca is a commission free trading platform. You can trade stocks and crypto, as well as create your own app for using our Broker API. It doesn't get any easier than that.

[00:00:20] My name is Mariangela Martinez, Content Marketing Specialist for Alpaca.

[00:00:25] Today we are hosting a panel to celebrate International Women's Month dedicating it to Women In Tech. We will be focusing our talk on trading stocks and crypto.

[00:00:34] It is striking that the percentage of women in trading is around 15%. Ladies, come on, let's change that!

[00:00:42] We have an amazing group of speakers joining us, definitely admirable women.

[00:00:47] To start, we have two keynote speakers: Constance Wang co-CEO of FTX Digital Market, and Denise Steffel Executive at Alpaca securities.

[00:00:57] Constance, will love to hear from you first.

[00:01:00] Constance Wang: Hi guys. I'm Constance, I'm the CEO of FTX and the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets. Sharing of a little bit of myself. So I was born in China. I moved as well when I was young. Studied all the way in Singapore and, and I was a Finance major after graduation. I joined Credit Suisse, but was totally bored in banking industry and moved to crypto two years later and joined SIM to build out FTX since the beginning of 2019.

[00:01:37] So for my keynote, I'm gonna share a little bit of my career paths and just share some helpful words for the ladies they are for your career build up a crypto and trading related. I think in general I feel what's really helpful in my own career is really to know yourself very well.

[00:02:08] So this is not only limited to know your strengths, know your skills, but also know what you can do, what you would like to do, what you don't absolutely don't want to do, to try to figure out what you want. So I feel that this is always the first step. And then a lot of homework actually needs to be done by yourself, about the industry that you want to work on.

[00:02:33] Throughout the years I interviewed many people that want to join FTX and it was surprising to me that how few people actually come to the interview without doing their homework, so most people don't do their homework and was expecting people to feed information or knowledge is to them, which I do feel that it becomes more and more common.

[00:03:00] So in my past, when I was trying to figure out whether I want to stay in banking or move to something newer, I did a ton of homework on different industries. So I actually finalized three areas that I personally would think that be a sunrise industry. So it was cryptocurrency and blockchain, Big Data, and AI.

[00:03:29] So these three directions were the three options that I was looking into when I wanted to move on from banking industry. And I did a lot of research online, reading on each of them. And I went to meet up conference just to talk to the people in the industry. And I figured out in 2018, when I left Credit Suisse, both Big Data and AI fields were very developer driven and I wanted to do sales work and business development work.

[00:04:03] So it wasn't a right fit for me. Although I liked that. So in the end I choose crypto, which was a blue ocean in 2018 and still a blue ocean right now. There's tons of opportunities. The space is chaotic, and people didn't know what they were talking about. I thought that was a chance for me because I didn't know and you didn't know, so yeah, I'm not so sure and a disadvantage. So that's why I chose crypto. It was a very much informed decision that I made in 2018. And I would think that that's something I made to last for maybe 10, 20 years of my career.

[00:04:49] So my first advice to young women starting their career, or thinking of shifting career is always make informed decisions, do enough homework, do more than enough homework to make sure that you have all the data points, you have all the reference points, that you are confident about the decisions. So on the same volume in note, I did reach out to many people like my school seniors, my professors, my managers in a bank, my college friends, I talked to many people on what do they think. So people gave me mixed answers. And I found that I experienced, I realized that people always talk from their own perspective. They talk about something that makes sense to them, if there's something new and they don't know it very well. Well, you know, to banking, traditional banking and tra-fi people, crypto is pretty much something new, but that like banking and try our traditional finance was my friends circle in 2018. So it wasn't really helpful for me to figure out whether I should build a crypto or like which part I should go to by talking to my existing network at that time. So I would really like to put this point across that when you talk to people, try to be aware of where they are coming from and what's their perspective, what's their background. And what's their knowledge about the things that you are asking. If you're talking to a crypto, let's say, if you are thinking of moving to a crypto and talk to someone in crypto, also be aware of which part of the industry they are working in, whether they are speaking from their specific perspective or they're speaking in general to give you a broader overview of the industry , which will help you make informed decision. And I think knowing ourselves better always outweighs other people's opinion, because people don't know what you are going through. Even if you tell them, they will not know the full picture. So you should always, always do your homework, know yourself very well and make an informed decision that would benefit yourself in the long run.

[00:07:08] So this is my first suggestion.

[00:07:11] The second suggestion I would like to say is don't be anxious about not knowing what to do. So a lot of girls, guys, a lot of people come to me and asking "Hey, I don't know what's my purpose what's my life purpose, what I'm going to do with my career" and they get anxious. I mean, I didn't know, I spent my entire college life thinking what I actually wanted to do. What's my purpose of life. I'd never, I was never able to find an answer. Actually to now if you ask me, what's my purpose of life, I don't, I can't get to an answer, but I love my job at FTX. I love working here. I love my career. I liked that I'm happy. I think that's all. So it actually goes back to the first point that you have to know yourself very well to make the informed decision that will last you a longer time, so that you are committed to that decision and you are actually happy. And even without knowing your life purpose, that you are happy, that's really, really important because we don't want to be an unhappy creature every day, wake up and think "Oh, I don't want to go to work today." Right? So this is my second thing that if you don't know your purpose of your life, where you don't know what you want to do for the next 20 years, it's totally fine. Don't be anxious about it. And the third thing is. I do want to say that as women, a lot of people talk about there's very few women in the industry and trading industry in crypto and financing in general. There's very few women. Well, when I go to like conference meetings I never see us as a women, and I always feel that if I'm thinking I'm a women, am I my putting myself at disadvantage? Or like, why would I think about gender in this day. So I always think that I'm on par with other men. In fact, I feel like in most cases I do better than them. So it's like they if view me as a women. And treat me unfairly, I stopped dealing with them, but in general for a very good partner, what business partner in general, I don't think about gender. I just think I'm on par with them. We are all humans doing the work together, which goes back to the point that we need to be confident. And where does the confidence coming from? That you know yourself very well, you have a very good industry knowledge, you have very good professional conduct that makes you stand out from the crowd, whether you are a man or a woman. So that's all I want to say. Thank you guys.

[00:10:03] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you Constance. Very inspiring thoughts. Love the amazing advice and completely agree with you. Thank you for your words.

[00:10:11] Denise Steffel: Hi, this is Denise Steffel. Thank you for having me on this panel today. I'm super excited about being here and being able to talk. I will state that this is my first Twitter event, so a little new to this, but super excited about it. I just wanted to basically introduce myself. I am Denise Steffel. I'm an Executive at Alpaca Securities, new coming into the market of FinTech and cryptocurrency. And we are super, super excited about our new platform and want to embrace this new opportunity in the world today of technology.

[00:10:55] From myself as a background, I've been in the financial industry for almost 30 something years, which probably ages me a little bit, but that's okay. I feel like I've done a great job of getting to know different parts of the business and working around the industry and trying to figure out the niche market of what I like about the industry and what piece of the industry I want to focus in on most.

[00:11:26] So I've started out just in retail securities and worked my way into some institutional trading, went to some correspondent clearing firms and also started up a small broker dealer years and years ago. But with the recent introduction into FinTech and in the last century working at a prior firm that was focused on FinTech really attracted me to the FinTech world and all the efficiencies that we can gain within the industry. So I left that FinTech company for a little while, and have now rejoined with Alpaca as a FinTech because I'm attracted to it. Similar to what Constance said it's a passion. You want to find something that you love and that you're passionate about. So as women, I would just say, and as anybody in this industry where you're trying to find your niche, find what you're passionate about, go look beyond some of the things that you're currently doing today.

[00:12:37] That's one thing that's great about our industry, I would say is that there's a lot of, lot of opportunities. So you need to expand your horizons a little bit and figure out "Hey, where do I fit best. What makes me excited about getting up in the morning?" The other thing I would say is, find mentors in the industry, people who you can trust and who are going to give you that good advice. I don't want the people who are gonna give me the fluff noise, right? I want people who are going to actually give me the true facts of "Hey, you're really, really good at this. And you're not so good at this." So if you're not so good at something go work on that. But if you're really good at it, follow those steps and, and be willing to take those criticisms from people in the industry and from people outside the industry.

[00:13:33] I try to surround myself with positive leadership, whether that's women or men, just somebody who's very positive and can lead me in the right path. But I'm super, super excited about being at Alpaca and I'm really, really looking forward to the next few years there to see what becomes of us and how we become this global markets that we're really looking to strive to get into. So super excited to be here. So thank you again for allowing me to be part of this panel.

[00:14:09] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Denise. And no, thank you a really, it was definitely very motivating, really good advice. I appreciate that. So it was great listening to our remarkable keynote speakers.

[00:14:19] And again, my name is Mariangela Martinez, Content Marketing Specialist for Alpaca. I actually found Alpaca not long ago. I was looking to join FinTech startups, and I came across Alpaca. And saw the impactful startup that it is. And for me, what is exciting, is to give anyone the opportunity to do trading from anywhere in the world, not needing to have millions in the bank, giving that opportunity to anyone it's amazing and definitely inspiring.

[00:14:47] Up next we have our panel speakers. First, we have Hannah Hamilton, DeFi Specialist at Genesis. Hannah, do you mind giving us a small intro?

[00:14:57] Hannah Hamilton: Yeah, definitely. So, as you said, I'm Hannah, I've been in the cryptocurrency space since about 2015. But I originally started working full-time in traditional finance. So started out there and just did all of this stuff on the side. And quite honestly, I didn't think I could work in it because I thought I was pigeonholed into my major. And then from there I started going to conferences, realized I had a good background in the space and ended up making the career shift and now I'm extremely happy and would not ever look back.

[00:15:38] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Hannah. Next, we have Cara Hayward, Director of Strategic Partnership at CurrencyCloud.

[00:15:46] Cara Hayward: Hi everyone. Nice to meet you. My name is Cara Hayward, Director of Partnerships at Currency Cloud for North America. We are a company that is a FinTech that is re-imagining the way that we move money around the world by helping our customers basically do cross-border payments and FX I started my career back in 2008 on Wall Street, so also in that traditional financial services space. As the proliferation of FinTech started to come about, I also took that leap and never looked back because I really enjoyed seeing how FinTech could really improve the lives of the average, main street person. Look forward to speaking with you all today.

[00:16:34] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you Cara. Next we have Isabel Penzini, founder of Ola.

[00:16:39] Isabel Penzini: Hi everyone. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here today. My name is Isabel Penzini, I'm the founder of Ola. In Ola we're enabling Hispanics to grow their wealth. We're starting with investment products. And the reason for this is that Hispanics are four times less likely to invest or have retirement accounts. And we really want to change that. I'm originally from Venezuela. I don't know if you've been following the story of Venezuela, but our economy basically imploded, we've had over 12 zeros deleted, from recurrency and just financial literacy has helped us really thrive. And crypto played a big part of that. Investing played a big part of that. So really, my goal is to help and inspire their people to become financially educated and give them the tools that they need to sort of put their money to work for them, which is something that we're all aspiring to do. So thanks again.

[00:17:35] Mariangela Martinez: Wow Isabel, that's really awesome that you're doing that. Thank you so much. Next we have Sayor Hassan, Product Manager at Neo Financial.

[00:17:45] Sayor Hassan: Hi everyone. Thanks for this opportunity, to be on this panel on speaking to women about women today. I currently work in product at Neo. My name is Sayor Hassan, Neo is a FinTech in Canada that is reimagining the way banking works. So we do not have like any traditional branches or like brick and mortar buildings for banking. Everything is done online, super fast, super quick. So I'm happy to be part of a team that is reimagining how banking works and just breaking the stereotypes in the financial industry. Thank you.

[00:18:26] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you Sayor. Next we have the Vasilia Kratsios, Director of Client Relations at Alpaca.

[00:18:33] Vasilia Kratsios: Hi, everyone. And also very excited to be on this panel and be part of this conversation today. So yeah, I am the Director of Client Relations at Alpaca. I started again like many people here in the traditional finance space. So I started my career working at Citibank, was there for a number of years, tried a few different things and also felt that the traditional finance space was interesting, but there was something more. And I always thought in all my free time, what I always found and I enjoyed was trading. And I thought, why not take what I'm interested in in my free time, and it kind of tied that into more of my actual full-time job. And so I worked as a Relationship Manager in Citi for a number of years, and I wanted to kind of take that skillset and bring it over to the FinTech space where things move so quickly. And for me, what's really exciting is really seeing how things move from week to week and how we are changing the barriers and opening things up for people all around the world. And so I'm really excited to be here today.

[00:19:35] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Vasilia. It's funny. I started doing trading in my free time as well and fell in love with it. So lastly, we have Michelle Washington.

[00:19:45] Michelle Washington: Hello everyone. My name is Michelle Washington and I serve as AML director for Alpaca. I would just like to say it is an absolute honor to be a part of this panel and discussion. And I commend my colleagues for spearheading this. As for me, I have dedicated my career to the financial services industry, which dates back more than 20 years. I predominantly served in the public sector for various banks, ranging from mid-size to global institutions and most recently FinTechs. My experience is varied in spans across the financial crimes, risk management and regulatory compliance space. I'm an active member of multiple committees focused on financial crimes, risk management, and regulatory compliance amongst other things, to include the securities industry and financial markets association also known as SIFMA, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, also known as ACAMS and the Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists also known as ACFCS. I am an avid supporter of all things involving women's empowerment and a regular participant and a local professional women's group called Women On the Rise. I'm also a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where I earned an Executive Master of Arts and Financial Integrity. And it is my hope today that through this discussion, the panelists and I can say something to inspire, encourage, and motivate other women by sharing our perspective and experience. Thank you.

[00:21:14] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Michelle. And thank you all for the beautiful introductions.

[00:21:19] So now to start with the panel, we're going to start with questions.

[00:21:22] Our first topic is stock trading and current events.

[00:21:26] For this first question, I believe it makes sense for most of you to answer. To set the stage, how did each one of you find yourselves leading a career in FinTech and what makes you the most excited about this industry?

[00:21:40] Cara, do you want to go first?

[00:21:42] Cara Hayward: Sure. Happy to. So I touch on this a little bit in my intro, but I started my career actually literally on the desk at Lehman Brothers five days before their bankruptcy, which is a really interesting start to my career. But what I got to see obviously that was the start of the financial crisis. I really saw the impact that the current way that the world was working was having on main street, right, and although I will never give up the experience that I got at a big bank and that's something I'm happy to talk about at some point as well, but I really said how can we better support main street, right? How can we really have a better impact on the lives of the everyday person? And as FinTech started to proliferate, I really do think it started to create diversification in the banking space and more access for the average person to be able to participate in the financial sector. Before that they were beholden to whatever their local bank branch was pretty much offering them or some of the big retail brokers. So anyway that's where I got my passion for FinTech, I wanted to have an impact in that space, and I think we're starting to see more and more how FinTech is impacting that. So for me, that's what I get excited about every day is how can we keep making the average person's life better through the power of FinTech and technology.

[00:23:06] Mariangela Martinez: Well, Cara definitely love that, thank you. Sayor, how about you?

[00:23:12] Sayor Hassan: So I joined Neo financial after working for a commercial bank. And I had read about them on the internet and I'd seen them in a few places. But I was a member of product, I am a member of Product Calgary, which is a local community for Product Managers in Calgary, and I met my current colleague during that event. So we exchanged LinkedIns and we connected again shortly afterwards and he shared the vision for Neo with me and he made me like excited and very pumped, I was super excited about how quickly things moved, how the plans that Neo had for the future, the rewards plans It was very exciting for me because it was capturing, rewards closer to people. So what that means is that we see a local merchant with your local hairdresser or your local barber. It wasn't massive rewards program as you'd see in the bigger companies. So I was excited and when an opportunity opened up for me to join that team, I just grabbed it. I met with my other colleagues and I did because it's a smaller space. So it was smaller when I joined, it's much bigger now; things moved really fast was really nimble and I love that. I've been at Neo now for over two years and I'm excited about all the things that in the pipeline that Neo has to offer within the financial space in Canada.

[00:24:42] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Sayor. Hannah, what are your thoughts?

[00:24:47] Hannah Hamilton: Yeah, so I mentioned that I started off in trad-fi, so I got involved in time of the Fin part of fintech early on. And then I was an Actuary at a large health insurance company and the job was good, but over time I kind of started to feel disconnected from the purpose of the work I was doing because a lot of it is profit driven and trying to price out products for maximum profits. So after a while, I thought some people say they love their jobs and that they love their work, and I thought that was a myth. I thought that people said that because they had to work and they wanted to feel better about it. But in my free time, I was always trading, researching crypto because I do believe in the use case it has for a more equitable society in the future, and I really didn't think I could pivot careers as I mentioned in my intro. But then I found out about Giveth DAO, which is a nonprofit DAO trying to decentralize that sector and utilize the permissionless and borderlessness of money to more easily give access to people who are raising money for their causes. So I started just volunteering there and then I realized "Wow, I think I can make this into a career." I got into Giveth, and from there once I was in the entire like FinTech, crypto space, things just snowballed, and I ended up working on strategy for a DeFi company. And then finally, leads me to my current position at Genesis, where I'm a DeFi specialist and I just research DeFi products all day and try to quantify the risk of those. And this is the stuff I used to do for fun. And now it truly is my career and I get paid for it and I still can't believe it. So, it was kind of a windy path to get into this career. And that's where I would tell people, just even if it doesn't seem like you can do this, take a leap, start working out or helping out at a DAO or just working in maybe super part-time helping out at a company and it'll open so many doors.

[00:27:07] Mariangela Martinez: Wow Hannah, thank you for that! Really nice. Michelle, what about you?

[00:27:13] Michelle Washington: Sure. I was actually contacted via LinkedIn by a recruiter for a startup FinTech firm about a new and exciting leadership opportunity. Although at the time I was not very familiar with FinTechs, I was at a point in my career where I was seeking something new and not traditional in terms of financial services and the opportunity fit one of my areas of expertise. So after much discussion with the recruiter and some additional research, the opportunity seemed to offer that something new and different I desired. And through my introduction to the FinTech industry, I immediately realized the ability to actually be innovative and to directly contribute to the successes of this type of company. Whereas through my experience in traditional financial services, albeit beneficial, those opportunities were more so geared toward maintaining something that was already created and not likely to change or simply required maintenance. Needless to say most, including myself, would  jump at the opportunity to join an industry that promotes the use of not only one skillset and experience, but also their creativity and that made and still makes me excited to this day to be a part of the FinTech industry.

[00:28:25] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Michelle. Vasilia, what about you?

[00:28:29] Vasilia Kratsios: Yeah, actually, Michelle, my answer was quite, quite similar to yours. It definitely revolves around creativity. So I think I touched on part of this and my intro, but like I said, I started in traditional finance and working for a very global institution in Citibank. And I liked how global that was and how different that was. But over time it did start to feel a little bit like it was similar day to day, and I always felt like there was a creative part of me that is completely unrelated to finance, but painting and all these other things that never really got utilized in my work. And I always wanted to find a way to take the creative element that is a part of me that never really came out during work very much and include that into my work, right? And that's kind of where I started getting interested in trading as well, like that was a creative aspect, but with an intellectual aspect. So kind of just merging different parts of myself and my day-to-day self, like I think my kind of my truer self. So, I started just doing some more research and kind of joining different events. I lived in Toronto and was going to different DeFi events, working in the payment space as well in finance, kind of is that sort of where that led me into that similar space and seeing how that evolves. And through different events like that, I think you get more and more excited when you do events like this, you speak to other people who are excited about it and you feed off each other's energy and it fuels you to keep diving into things. So that's ultimately, as I started looking around how I came to working on Alpaca, because it kind of merged a number of those different things, when you really feel like you can make a difference on a day-to-day basis. And it's not that repeat kind of thing that a lot of people were talking about. So yeah, that's really what excited me and led me here.

[00:30:11] Mariangela Martinez: Wow Vasilia, thank you for that. Now for another question, Cara, Isabel, Vasilia, hope you don't mind answering: being so heavily involved in FinTech, did that influence you at all to begin stock and/or crypto trading? And if so, when did you start?

[00:30:28] Cara, what is your experience?

[00:30:30] Cara Hayward: Yeah, so it didn't actually influence me to start stock or crypto trading. Oh, well, I shouldn't say that actually, it didn't get me to start stock trading, but it did get me to start crypto trading. But I would say it had like a big influence, right? So I think about when I first started getting into trading stocks, I would subscribe to Barron's. God, I can't believe I'm aging myself like that, right? But I'd get every weekend the paper and I read through it for stock recommendations, but then you go to trade and it was like $10 to buy one stock. So you kind of had to take a big position. So I wasn't really doing much of it. Let's put it that way, right? And I think the nice thing about what FinTech has done is it's just made it so much more accessible, so much easier with so much more information about multiple viewpoints on investment strategy and with the rise of Coinbase, I know that's obviously the most popular one, but it made investing in crypto just like investing in a stock. And obviously with a lot of the rise of the new neo brokers out there, it's become way less expensive to actually trade stock. So you can kind of take smaller positions and learn by doing which I think has always been the best way I like to learn. And I think it has done the same for a lot of other people.

[00:31:47] Mariangela Martinez: Yeah, I agree. Thank you. Thank you, Cara. Isabel, what about you?

[00:31:53] Isabel Penzini: Yeah, so the way I began is also sort of how I began in FinTech. And I can just touch upon that briefly. As an immigrant in the United States, it involves a lot of hustle. When I graduated from university, I needed someone to sponsor my visa so I could stay. And I was in marketing. I wasn't an engineer, so not a lot of people wanted to do that. So I focused on FinTechs and banks and financial institutions that have money, 'cause I know that they could pay for it. And I ended up working at Visa, which was amazing and they had an amazing program that you can join as a starting out of international. And you can even join it as an intern and then full time. But they had an employee stock purchase program where you could buy the stock at a 15% discount and I didn't understand what that meant; they also had a 401k that was two to one matching and my family had no idea what a 401k was, no idea what employee stock purchase program was. So that sort of made me go, and I love reading and I'm like a big nerd. So that made me go on a hole trying to understand what this meant, what it was to have a stock or own it with a 15% discount. And then that sort of enabled me to not only start my own investing journey, but also become a voice for other people like me that are in similar situations that have no idea what's going on. It's the first time they see it and really try to simplify what all of this means. And that sort of led me to start Ola and make it more accessible to other people like me as well.

[00:33:30] Mariangela Martinez: Wow, very inspiring. Thank you, Isabel. Vasilia, what is your experience?

[00:33:35] Vasilia Kratsios: So for me, there's a gap between when I wanted to start trading and when I actually did. And it's similar to like what we're hearing here, which at the time, so when I was in high school, I was really, really interested in psychology. I thought that's what I was going to major in, went in different direction with finance and economics. But part of that actually happened because I was at a bookstore and I picked up this book that was basically the intersection, it talked about the intersection of psychology and the markets. And that was kind of my first little introduction. It sparked something, just an interest in me, in the markets and the general consensus of how things move and how people think and that's really what led me to the pointing the direction in finance. But at the time when I was in high school, it's not like now, like you weren't able to just open what these new brokers just broken into account and start trading with a small amount of funds, like you said, you kind of needed a bit more capital, there was a higher barrier to entry. So for years I just read about it and I didn't have the funds to kind of really get into it. And I think getting your hands dirty is true, is definitely the best way to really kind of understand something. So I actually only started trading once I graduated from university and I had the capability to kind of get my hands a little bit more dirty and the funds to play around with a little bit more. And crypto just kind of came after that, right? Being in the payment space and just talking about it. Again, I really just believed in where that was going. So around like late 2015, early 2016, I just bought a few different coins and kind of wanted to have some skin in the game. And I really suggest that to people. I think if you're interested in it, especially now the barrier to start trading it's so low, you can just open an account and just get your hands a little bit dirty and see how things go.

[00:35:17] Mariangela Martinez: Love that. Thank you. Vasilia. Cara and Michelle, we would like to know your thoughts on the next question.

[00:35:24] How has your approach to stock trading changed in the last few years and how do you assess trends or tools? Cara?

[00:35:32] Cara Hayward: Yeah. So, other than having to Google how the new NFT language on Twitter, that was a fun one to learn, that was definitely a learning process for me. No, I'm just kidding! But I think that for me, I covered a lot of this in the last question, but it's really just being curious, right? Seeing what else is out there, what are the different trading platforms and what sort of education are they providing? So I think that's a key part of it too, is like, you can self-learn, but it's really nice when you have some guided financial literacy and other things that help you get into it. So I would say that I've just been really curious and seeing what's out there talking to friends who are doing it as well. And again just putting a small amount of money into each of these different tools and platforms and testing things out.

[00:36:24] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Cara. Michelle?

[00:36:27] Michelle Washington: Certainly. Over the last few years, my approach has been and is still geared toward educating myself on stock trading in general. But to also clearly understand the differences in stock trading versus traditional financial services. Through this effort, I often find myself attending webinars, conferences, and formal training on stock trading to learn industry trends, best practices, emerging typologies, and the most ideal solutions with a consistent focus on the area in which I serve financial crimes, risk management. I believe doing so has, and will continue to help me support Alpaca and the FinTech industry as a whole.

[00:37:06] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Michelle. Now for the last question in the stock trading topic, Isabel, Hannah, and Michelle. The markets are sensitive to our current events. The same can now be said for crypto markets as well. How do current events affect your work, your understanding of the financial markets and its influence over FinTech in general?

[00:37:27] Isabel, do you want to go first?

[00:37:29] Isabel Penzini: Yeah. So, when we reach out to like our consumers, many of them are first time investors, right? So they're very skeptical of how to get started. And our main goal is to provide educational tools about how to make good decisions, where to invest and we position it more as like a long-term commitment towards your future versus and just daily trading. I think that current events really affect people psychologically in the sense that you can get scared when you see your portfolio fall so much and lately it's been going crazy. So for me mainly, and for Ola, the main impact that it has is trying to help people really understand what a long-term perspective of investing truly means and how to sort of manage and not go too crazy with how the stock markets move. So I think always based on your trading or your investing persona, current events might affect it differently. If you're a day trader, it might be completely different, right? Because you can benefit or you can do options, you can do a bunch of different things, but if you're a person that's really just getting started, just focusing on the long-term, focusing on getting educated, focusing on understanding how markets move, it's going to be key to your success. So that's sort of how I think about it.

[00:38:51] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Isabel. Hannah, what about you?

[00:38:54] Hannah Hamilton: Yeah, so I am a very big macro person, so I think understanding the macro environment and how basically governments in different parts of the world have such an influence over people savings and all the money that they've worked so hard for. So you look at the current events in the Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia conflict. If you're in Ukraine and you've saved money for your entire life in that currency, you have money in the stock market, and then because of something completely out of your control, just the geopolitical landscape, now you, if you're fleeing your country, you don't have access to that capital anymore. Because one, if everyone took their money out of the banks, the banking system would collapse. But two, even before the invasion, there was cyber attacks that halted a lot of the banking activity and then seeing Venezuela, which, Isabel you work closely with, the currency that has been hyperinflated to the point of some bills being almost entirely useless and understanding that people, I think everyone in the world should have a right to self custody of their assets, meaning they could, they can take their assets with them and own their assets without permission from anyone. And also just offering people a hedge against inflation or government actions and bad economic policy. That's huge for me, because that's where I think there's a huge use case outside of what most of us are familiar with, which is just a somewhat stable economy in America or the rest of the Western world. So that's really huge for me. And that's just kind of macro-affecting the entire crypto landscape. I think because of that, it just, that use case does give a lot of utility to a lot of these protocols and especially the larger cap tokens. So, and it also just gives opportunity to people, it makes it not so much in an investment as it is an investment and also hope for a more equitable future. So that's kind of how a lot of the current events I've been relating to the markets.

[00:41:11] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Hannah. Michelle?

[00:41:14] Michelle Washington: This is a great question. Part of my role is to help ensure that the firm maintains reasonable certainty of who it does business with and how it does business from a financial crimes, risk management standpoint, therefore current events that can lead to an increase in risk or cause an adverse outcome to the financial markets and the FinTech industry as a whole could easily affect my work in the recommendations I make around risk mitigation.

[00:41:41] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Michelle. I appreciate the answers on our stock trading and current events topic. Going into our second topic: crypto trading and Web3. Our first question Isabel and Hannah, we would love to hear from you.

[00:41:56] Bitcoin launched in 2009 setting the foundation for a blockchain technology boom and was the first official digital currency. Since then, thousands of digital coins have been minted. However, in 2022, the concept of crypto trading is still a relatively new concept. Do any of you currently trade and invest in any cryptocurrencies? If so, how did you get started? Isabel?

[00:42:21] Isabel Penzini: Yeah, so the first time I heard about Bitcoin was actually around 2010 or 11, and it was at university. We were talking about international political economy and how this would affect the markets. If I would have been smart enough, I would have gone all the way back then. But, you know, coming from a background of just trying to be as stable, as secure as possible, giving everything that was going on, I really didn't pay attention to it. And then had all of these like misconceptions that it was leading to negative things in the world, like money laundering. And then once I started seeing how it was helping out people in Venezuela, for those of you that don't know, the currency got super devaluated, people couldn't even pay for simple things like a parking ticket because the credit limits were too low and there wasn't enough cash out there to pay. So the entire economy, it just got stuck and it became dollarized. And the way that people were getting access to dollars was thanks to cryptocurrencies. So, and I really saw like started to understand the potential of what this could have, and it really helped me shape my perspective of "oh, actually it's more than just like buying a coin and getting rich and posting my ape on Twitter," you know, this really has the potential to change the entire financial global economy and really help people that don't have access to a lot of these things. I think we still have a long way to go, but really it helped change my perspective of you know this is not just quick getting rich thing, it really helps me once people around the world. So as everything I always say, you have to have a diversified portfolio, make sure you're thinking long term, do a lot of research and educate yourself in what you invest in. But that was sort of how I took more interest into it.

[00:44:11] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Isabel. Hannah?

[00:44:15] Hannah Hamilton: So I knew about Bitcoin in 2015 and started using it. But just kind of as a means of transaction and I was fascinated with the cryptography behind the technology, but I started really trading when I was in college because my studies coincided with when the markets started getting more mature and there started to be different strategies, like you could do Bitcoin options a little bit and had some positions. So I was learning about those things in university, as they were coming out in the crypto space and I made a lot of money, I lost a lot of money shortly thereafter. And I learned, I think about a decades worth of stock market investing in one year of crypto investing. So that's kinda how I got involved and then just continued following the space because I think the financial sector is something that has not really been revolutionized or changed in decades. We're using the same models, the same products are offered. And now that we have DeFi and decentralized finance, we're seeing revolutionary products in this space and not all of them will end up being worth millions, but I think some of the technology will stick around and offer people better options for investing. So that's what has me so intrigued with the space now and led me into my current position. And I still trade a lot of those, but I would advise everyone don't invest in a small cap thing, just because you think it's going to make you millions. And then, like you said, Isabel, post that ape on Twitter. But I think it is totally fine to be fascinated with the technology and just kind of use these things because they are super, super interesting. And this is not financial advice.

[00:46:16] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Hannah and Isabel for the insightful answers. Isabel and Hannah, another question for you. With blockchain technology and web3 merging into the larger FinTech ecosystem, what upcoming crypto products are you excited to see or what product would you like to see built? Isabel?

[00:46:36] Isabel Penzini: For me, just because of my background, I keep mentioning this, but it's such a core of my day-to-day, what I do and what I believe in. So I think there's a huge opportunity for remittances. There's huge economies, like Guatemala that thrive, their GDP is just related to remittances and sending money back and forth is really, really hard. You would think with the technology that we have today, it would change, but it's very costly. It's very inefficient. So I'm really interested to see how crypto can help these families that might not have access to traditional banks. They might be far away, they don't have too much cash to be able to receive money, send money and invest for the longer term. So that's something that I'm really interested in seeing how the space evolves.

[00:47:21] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Isabel. Hannah?

[00:47:24] Hannah Hamilton: Yep, so kind of what I said before, I think that a lot of what's exciting is that there's completely new things. One, new products offered. One thing that I really like about this space is that programmable money gives us the opportunity to aggregate funds and organize them very well. So if you look at the constitutionDAO earlier this year, and in a few days $42 million dollars were raised from people all over the world who wanted to try to buy the constitution. So that was the largest crowd fundraiser ever successfully carried out. So you see with programmable money, there are all of these new opportunities for people. And I think that it gives smaller fish a chance to compete and get the same opportunities as big whales. So that's something that I think is very, very exciting.

[00:48:24] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Hannah. Our third and last question on our crypto topic, Cara, this question goes for you. How do you see the influence of decentralized finance and a greater adoption of cryptocurrencies affecting your careers in fintech and what areas are you most excited to work on?

[00:48:44] Cara Hayward: Yeah, so I think it was either Isabel or Hannah, who just mentioned this, but the cross-border space for me and obviously it's very personal to me. That's the space that I'm in. But when you look at the complexity, as was mentioned of moving money around the world, looking at not just the technology, but also the regulatory side, the AML and all of that, it gets very complicated, expensive, and can be very slow. I think there's so many things that we can learn from DeFi and the blockchain technology that can really help speed up payments, make them again more democratized, make them cheaper, and do it in a way that hopefully is a lot more transparent and safe at the end of the day, right? And it's, it's so funny because a lot of people look at crypto and they say, "Well, actually, maybe it causes more of a problem from an AML perspective," and yes, that is true as it's day. But I think there's, again, ways to leverage the technology behind it and actually use it to our advantage when it comes to the transparency of money. So that's what I'm most excited about.

[00:49:47] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Cara. Love the insight on the crypto topic. Moving forward to our third topic, Breaking the Bias. I would like for all of you to answer the following question.

[00:49:59] According to a study done in 2021 by Business Today, women make up less than 30% of fintech teams and less than 20% of fintech executive leadership. To top it off, women are also oftentimes paid less for the same work. Being as honest as you feel comfortable with, how do you feel about this reality and what steps are you taking to personally overcome these biases and oftentimes, private and invisible challenges? Isabel, would you mind going first?

[00:50:29] Isabel Penzini: Yeah, for sure. So the first thing that we need to remember as women is just ask, you know, sometimes we're too scared where we think we can't get what we want and what we've learned, like from the men is they just go and ask for it, even if they say no, and that's something that we can really learn from them. I think that the other thing that we need to do is, it was mentioned at the beginning of this panel, it's not a woman versus a men thing. The best mentors that I've had have been men, the advocates that have pushed me to do what I'm doing to become a female founder to go raise, to go do all these things, are men. So it's not us versus them. It's how you find your people, you find people that mentor you, that helped open doors, that you can go back and give you feedback and push forward. And then I think also the final thing I'll say is just showing up, just having representation, showing other people that you can, you can do this. I'm a big fan of building in public. I've tried to write a lot of essays. I've tried to publish our investor updates just to make sure other people are part of this journey. And they see that they're not alone, that there's people doing this, that together we can do it too. So just having that representation, I feel is really important. So those are just some things that I personally do and encourage others to sort of do the same.

[00:51:57] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Isabel. Sayor, would you go next?

[00:52:00] Sayor Hassan: Oh, absolutely. So the study is accurate and it's sad as well, without any concrete statistics to draw on, but based on what I've seen quite frequently with the exception of a few organizations, a lot of fintechs have no women in the C-suite. I've also worked in organizations where I was one of the few, if not the only woman in the space with no female representation leadership roles. I remember once when a woman joined my product team as a team lead and I was super happy, I set up like a virtual coffee chat to connect with her and congratulate her. It's that it's not common to have a lot of women in this space and there are multiple reasons why this could be the case. However, I'm going to speak on it from my point of view, which is, I'm married and I have two kids and for the fintech space, it requires like a lot of commitment. It requires a lot of time and personal sacrifice as was stated in the article that you shared. And oftentimes it's a real challenge for women to dedicate more time than needed for work, because they often have to choose between family commitments and work commitments. And this doesn't work in our favor because the organization is looking, people are looking, and oftentimes women are not trusted to go the extra mile. However, this is hardly ever like an issue for men because they have often times, or majority of the time, they have a woman covering the homefront. It's just the way the family dynamic has been set up traditionally. It works in the favor of men. So in my experience, what I have done and it's kind of to manage it is I'm super transparent at work. I set very clear expectations with my team and my colleagues of my availability and my capability, ahead of time, so it's clear when I can deliver it, or if someone else needs to fill the gaps. And yes, this has absolutely worked. It worked against me at some point, but have been very fortunate to work with folks that have been understanding and supportive. So I'll say transparency helps, especially when you're in like, maybe you have little kids or there's really nothing, you don't have that support on the homefront, so you're not able to dedicate as much time as your male colleague. It can be painful, but letting everybody, set some clear expectations with people, your colleagues, your boss, people you work with, your stakeholders, and your team does help. And that way you can plan ahead of time. And I think that has also helped in my career is getting ahead. So what that means is if there's something I need to deliver on my male colleague can start like a week from when it's required. I have to start way ahead 'cause I know I don't have the luxury of time that he does. So that has helped me a lot. In terms of coming into the space, one of the steps that I took and I've seen [that] work for women across board is through learning. Women generally have to work twice as hard. It sounds like a cliche, but it's actually true. So if you're interested in during the fintech space, as Constance said, learn about the industry, know the trends, build a network within that space, be active on platforms that can give you visibility, and generally this opens doors. This can open doors for you. So like I've spoken on when you're in, within the space and you're in a situation similar to mine where you have little kids and you have to be dedicated on the homefront, but you also have to work. And then I've also spoken about coming into the fintech space from, I don't know, whichever traditional career path that you're currently on, just being out there, learning, knowing the industry, knowing the trends, attending events. 'cause that's how I got my new job, joining a community like the company today, interested in chasing that down and joining it, does help. And oftentimes, like I said, opens doors for women.

[00:55:54] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Sayor. Hannah, what are your thoughts?

[00:55:58] Hannah Hamilton: So this question, yeah it definitely is a male dominated field. And I remember my first crypto conference, which was Bitcoin Miami, and I was there and I was so excited to meet so many people. And then I would go up to a group and they'd be like, "Oh, who are you here with?" and not meaning a company, but meaning like a man who probably worked in the industry. And that was definitely a little shocking to me, but it is predominantly male work or men in this space. And that I've noticed already changing quite a bit. And for me, you also kind of have to learn like some opportunities and invites and intros will be offered to you and then they go away because maybe they were offered because someone was interested or something like that. But in that realm, I've kind of learned, letting people know, "Hey, I'm here and I'm serious about being here. And I have this huge set of knowledge and I would love to apply it to the space. And I'm passionate about the space." I'm just kind of letting that be known right away. But then following that up, I will say, I also ran into all of these issues in traditional finance, and web3 fintech - the crypto world has been by far, I've found the most progressive and accepting in that area. And I have found so many men that are so supportive of getting more females into the space. At ETH-Denver a little bit ago , I was at a meetup and there was, it was probably 80% men, 20% women, but one of the men suggested. "Hey, how about every other? (It was an AMA where people were volunteering to be asked questions. He was like,) how about every other person we have a female speak? Because we need more females in the space." So it really has been so great to see that. And I think that that is a testament to the entire space where one, it's full of people that really care about what we're doing and two, a lot of those people are hoping for a more equitable future.

[00:58:12] So I think there are definitely some challenges being in a male dominated field that's largely run by men. But on the flip side, it also is one of, I think the best spaces to be in and people are very, very understanding. So that's been my experience. And I just encourage women to not be discouraged to join the space because it is predominantly male.

[00:58:38] Mariangela Martinez: Wow, that is actually really good to see. Yeah. I agree with you! Cara?

[00:58:43] Cara Hayward: Yeah, I think I'm looking at my notes and actually a lot of my points were covered already. I think we all have similar experiences here, but the end of the day, it's like A) use your choice, right? And find your tribe. I think that there's more choice for women than ever. And you know, these types of things, they take time, right? It's not going to happen overnight that we're going to change this, but there are organizations out there that are actually trying to make a difference in a real way. Use your power of choice to go try to join the companies that are doing the right thing, and then become a leader as fast as possible. Because once you show that you're leading the way to be better, you're going to attract people to you and you're going to have that influence to make, to change overall, right? And then, all of a sudden you have a team of people that is just absolutely killing it in what they're doing. And other companies realize that if we don't change, we die right? So it does take time. But I do think that like find your tribe, hold them hard, be a leader. I think the other thing, representation was brought up, and I think that's fantastic. Like we need to get, I think if you have something to say, people say get a seat at the table. If there's not a seat, sit on the table, get in that room one way or another, right? And then share, right? Let's get into the universities. I think oftentimes that's why potentially this industry is a bit more male dominated as for some reason or another developers at the beginning were men right? And they were hired into these organizations and all of a sudden there were just all male kind of companies. So how can we get it in when people are just starting to think about their careers and show them that there's a million different roles that are available to women, yes, get into development if that's what you're interested in, but if you're not, there's so many other things, right? There's a whole bunch of other roles that fintechs need to be successful. So I think between those two things, that, that would be my advice.

[01:00:42] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Cara. Really good advice. Michelle, what about you?

[01:00:46] Michelle Washington: Listen, I'll be the first to admit that these statistics are rather disheartening and touches home for a lot of us as this is a very real thing. With that said, I would like to respond to this question, not based on personal experience, rather from a quote I read on the women's web, which I believe addresses this question and I quote,

[01:01:08] "Gender equality basically begins in the mind. It is an individual's perception of treating another person at par with themselves. It does not happen in one day. It's more of a practice that you do every day. Observing an international women's day or month may seem meaningless if we do not understand the crux of the meaning of equality. Ultimately, it is something that we need to internalize and reflect on in our actions as well. Without this, purely focusing on observances does not help us further the cause of equality at all. The good news is we do not have to start from scratch. In fact, there's plenty of wisdom that we can draw upon from the women who have fought the fight before us, as well as from men who have supported the cause of gender equality. To overcome these biases and oftentimes private and invisible challenges, we can learn so much from their struggles, their learning and the experiences which they have shared with us, similar to what we're doing and hoping to achieve here today."

[01:02:09] Mariangela Martinez: Well, Michelle, I actually felt that quote! Thank you! Vasilia, what about you?

[01:02:16] Vasilia Kratsios: I feel like a lot of what I wanted to say has been said, and I love that I'm on a panelist, but we're all kind of in agreement and in the same direction. So I'll be brief. I think it's in that same vein, as when I think of that statistic, I think in a more positive light, like this is how it is right now. And it doesn't have to be, you don't have to fit in within that 20, that 30%. Sometimes it feels like there's only certain spaces that need to be filled. And I think we need to do every single day, something that kind of puts us in that direction of equality. And that's within each of us to take those steps forward, and events like this where we talk about it and it becomes top of mind. Because I think that's how you kind of get over your biases, is taking that step back and realizing what your biases are and passing that on to other individuals as well, right? It's not just women talking with other women, but opening that conversation to the whole group to men as well, right? So I'll stop there 'cause I think otherwise everything has been mentioned.

[01:03:19] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Vasilia. Moving on to our last question of our panel today on Women Breaking the Bias in FinTech, Trading & Crypto, I am asking this question to most of you. Is there any advice you'd like to give or advice you've been given in the past, that you'd like to share with others about breaking the bias in fintech? Sayor, let's start with you.

[01:03:41] Sayor Hassan: Yeah, for sure. So for me, what I'm going to say is, again, I'll be speaking from my perspective is, but I do think that some of these would apply to everyone, I think a good place to start would be to put this year's theme of break the bias and put it to work at home. So break the bias in traditional roles, assign responsibilities in the home based on who's available at the time, or who's more flexible, not who society says should do what, support each other. That's what I've seen [that] worked for me. So yeah, that's really helpful if your partner has more time or more flexibility, then they should be able to handle whatever needs to be handled at that point. But bringing it into the workspace or into the corporate world, if you can cultivate a relationship with a sponsor in your organization. And I say that because having a voice on the inside, that's in your corner in rooms that you do not have access to, will and can advocate for you is helpful. It has helped me in the past before. Oftentimes this person is more senior than you and can guide you by pointing out what you need to improve, what you need to improve on, and what you're good at. And it can be an influencer or decision maker in your organization and can put your name forward. Like I said, in rooms that you do not have access to and this person doesn't necessarily have to be on your team, but it's okay, it's helped with the app or if not then it's okay. And if you're not able to get a sponsor within your organization, then a mentor within your industry or within your space is also helpful, because then they can guide you and just give you feedback for your career path or your career trajectory. And then another thing that I try to practice is taking up space. I think someone alluded to this earlier as well, and speaking up, make a contribution, ask a question. If you feel like you deserve a promotion or you deserve a raise or you deserve a training, whatever you opportunities that you think you deserve, make a case for yourself. If it's helpful, go with numbers, go with data. I found that that has helped, also your perspective is unique, is different, so share it. My former team leader at Neo told me this, men in general are very confident, and even when they're wrong, they don't cower, they own it and they move on. If it's hard for you to do this, maybe make a draft of what you want to see ahead of that time. I've also found this super helpful for me. And finally, I'm going to say self-promote yourself. It's impossible for you to be recognized for the work that you do if you're invisible. So show your achievements during meetings and on social media, post it on LinkedIn, your slack channels, or whatever communication tools that you use in your organization, promote your interviews, promote your projects. And if you feel like you're not at the level where you can confidently self-promote yourself, then upskill, do identify the gaps that you have and do the work on yourself.

[01:06:42] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Sayor. Such good insight. Isabel, would you like to go?

[01:06:48] Isabel Penzini: Yeah, well, I think it's everyone kind of summarized it really well. I think we're at time too, but you know, just for all the women listening and the men to just continue to be supportive, encourage other people to speak up, take your seat at the table. And you know, the world is changing and we have to be a part of the change. We can't just sit back and complain, so reach out, support other people, encourage them to talk and then we're doing great things guys, so I'm very proud of everyone that's here today.

[01:07:18] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Isabel, I agree. Cara, what are your thoughts on the advice?

[01:07:22] Cara Hayward: Yeah, I also think that everything's been well summarized, but yeah, show and tell, right? Don't just tell you have to have something to show, but don't just show, cause you got to speak up for yourself and take risks. Put yourself out there, ask for what you want and don't be ashamed of it. Thank you so much for having me on this today.

[01:07:39] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Cara. Love that. Hannah?

[01:07:43] Hannah Hamilton: Yep. I would say one thing is find a mentor. I think that's huge. And if anyone needs a mentor or wants to talk to someone about that, feel free to reach out to myself, or I can put you in contact with someone in the space that you're interested in, and that's the kind of signal and my message for the women. And my message for the men would be to encourage women to be in the space. Don't underestimate them and view them as an equal, welcome them into the space.

[01:08:18] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Hannah. Very good perspective. Vasilia, what is your advice?

[01:08:23] Vasilia Kratsios: Yeah, I think I would echo what everybody's saying, so I'll be quick, but I would just say go for it. You know, sometimes I think it's a little bit hard, I think it's what a lot of people have said here. Sometimes speaking up, sometimes voicing your opinion or even saying what you've done it kind of sometimes feels being showy, but it's not, people won't know unless you tell them, right? And that's totally fine to do so, that's definitely my advice. And thank you for having me on the panel today.

[01:08:51] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Vasilia. Michelle?

[01:08:53] Michelle Washington: Sure. I would like to believe that I have professionally matured through the financial services industry and this was not achieved in silo. Instead, this was accomplished with the direct support and guidance of some very influential people, some in the industry and some not, but all very near and dear to my heart. One in particular is Carla Harris, former vice-chair woman and current senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, who gave a presentation to women titled how to own your power. And she remarked,

[01:09:25] "How people perceive you will directly impact how they deal with you. The power of authenticity. You are your own competitive advantage. Nobody can be you the way that you can be you."

[01:09:38] And last, but certainly not least, my mother, another strong woman who has broken a lot of barriers in her professional life, who consistently encourages and motivates me. I would like to share one of the many inspirational quotes she has shared with me by CJ Lewis, with all of you, and I quote,

[01:09:56] "A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows is in the journey where she will become strong."

[01:10:04] Thank you all for this opportunity.

[01:10:07] Mariangela Martinez: Thank you, Michelle.

[01:10:08] Thank you to all of our panelists for the very insightful and motivating answers. It was great talking to all of you and listening to your thoughts and opinions. It is definitely motivating talking with inspiring women like you. I hope to be like you when I grow up, and hopefully we can motivate more women to join a very male dominated field.

[01:10:29] To our listeners, check out Alpaca for more information about stock and crypto trading, and always remember to do research before investing. Thank you everyone for joining.

[01:10:39] All views and opinions expressed by the guest speakers are solely their views and opinions and do not reflect or represent the views and opinions of Alpaca Securities LLC, Alpaca Crypto LLC, and AlpacaDB. The guest speakers' opinions are based on information they consider reliable and therefore Alpaca Securities LLC, Alpaca Crypto LLC, and AlpacaDB do not warrant its completeness, accuracy and it should not be relied upon as such.

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Securities brokerage services are provided by Alpaca Securities LLC ("Alpaca Securities"), member FINRA/SIPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlpacaDB, Inc. Technology and services are offered by AlpacaDB, Inc.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only. The example above is for illustrative purposes only. Actual crypto prices may vary depending on the market price at that particular time. Alpaca Crypto LLC does not recommend any specific cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency is highly speculative in nature, involves a high degree of risks, such as volatile market price swings, market manipulation, flash crashes, and cybersecurity risks. Cryptocurrency is not regulated or is lightly regulated in most countries. Cryptocurrency trading can lead to large, immediate and permanent loss of financial value. You should have appropriate knowledge and experience before engaging in cryptocurrency trading. For additional information please click here.

Cryptocurrency services are made available by Alpaca Crypto LLC ("Alpaca Crypto"), a FinCEN registered money services business (NMLS # 2160858), and a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlpacaDB, Inc. Alpaca Crypto is not a member of SIPC or FINRA. Cryptocurrencies are not stocks and your cryptocurrency investments are not protected by either FDIC or SIPC. Please see the Disclosure Library for more information.

This is not an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, or open a cryptocurrency account in any jurisdiction where Alpaca Crypto is not registered or licensed, as applicable.

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Mariangela Martinez

Mariangela Martinez is a Content Marketing Specialist, DX & Community at Alpaca. She loves working in the Fintech industry and is invested in how it is changing.