Blog

Women in Alternatives: “Technology Is Being Used to Create a More Level Playing Field”

by Preqin

  • 06 Jan 2020
  • PE
  • VC
  • HF
  • PD
  • RE
  • INF
  • NR

State Street’s Lizzy Buss speaks to Louise Weller about how technology is encouraging girls into finance careers, reducing hiring biases across companies, and supporting women in their daily working lives


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your career and your experience to date?
I work for State Street where I am a Vice President in our InfraHedge business and responsible for business development in EMEA and APAC. My career has taken me from technology and operations to sales and marketing. I have worked across all asset classes and I’m a self-confessed information junkie. I’m always interested to find more efficient ways of doing things for my clients and I’m excited at the technology revolution we’re currently living through.

How can technology be used to encourage girls when at school to consider careers in finance?
Technology can help us break down barriers and perceived barriers to entry; for example through initiatives like the fantastic video hub run by ‘Inspiring Girls,’ helping to raise the aspirations of girls around the world by connecting them with female role models.  

How are companies using technology to reduce biases in the industry when hiring?
Technology is being used to create a more level playing field and help reduce unconscious bias in our industry. For example, companies are leveraging technology that uses quantitative linguistics models to analyze how well words and phrases perform in certain scenarios (e.g. in attracting talent through job adverts). This gives us the opportunity to find and address the hidden biases that we uncover (e.g. are females responding to our job ads and, if not, how can we change the linguistics to remove hidden biases toward males?).

How are companies embracing technology to improve female retention and support women in their careers?
Leveraging technology to power remote working is one clear way. While remote working opportunities should not be unique to females, the biological differences between genders mean that there are days, weeks, months, and even years in which females may not thrive in their regular office environment. With data and connectivity now literally at our fingertips wherever we are in the world, remote working is helping to catalyze the increase in female representation within business. Companies that embrace technology to achieve personalized workplace planning will benefit from better business outcomes such as reduced costs, reduced staff turnover, improved client satisfaction, increased client retention, and growth. The technology is there, but the main challenge I see facing many large and well-established firms now is how to navigate the cultural change of supporting and encouraging a balanced, mixed-gender workforce.

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Lizzy is a senior member of the InfraHedge team where she leads business development for EMEA and APAC and is responsible for marketing and PR globally. 

Lizzy has 20 years’ experience of building businesses and streamlining operations across a range of different organisations.

Lizzy joined InfraHedge in 2018 from Enhanced Custody where she was responsible for expanding the business in EMEA. 

Prior to joining State Street, Lizzy spent eight years running and growing a family office which invested in multiple asset classes globally across equities, fixed income and alternatives. Lizzy was actively involved in all aspects of the business, from investment selection and due diligence, to operations and service provider selection.  

Previous to this, Lizzy was a Director of Sales & Relationship Management at UBS Prime Brokerage where she helped grow the business in London, Scotland, the Nordic and Benelux regions. Lizzy has also worked in credit derivatives operations at UBS as Global Product Manager of OTC Online and in technology at JPMorgan as a Global Programme Manager.

Lizzy holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham. Lizzy is an active member of AIMA, SBAI, TISA, 100 Women in Finance and Women in Banking and Finance and Lizzy serves on the Board of Help For Children (UK).

Lizzy was shortlisted for the Women in Investments Awards 2018 and highly commended at Women in Financial Advice 2019.

This Q&A is part of Preqin’s 2020 series on women in alternatives. Keep an eye out for our upcoming report Women in Alternative Assets 2020 and register your interest by emailing Preqin.marketing@preqin.com.

In the meantime, you can read our factsheet for the latest statistics.

 

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