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Starling Bank boss hopes banking is becoming less sexist Starling Bank boss hopes banking is becoming less sexist
(about 11 hours later)
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The woman behind the £2bn bank nobody believed inThe woman behind the £2bn bank nobody believed in
The boss of Starling Bank has said she hopes the sexism she overcame has made it "easier" for other women to start a business.The boss of Starling Bank has said she hopes the sexism she overcame has made it "easier" for other women to start a business.
Anne Boden founded the mobile-only bank, which is now valued at more than £2bn.Anne Boden founded the mobile-only bank, which is now valued at more than £2bn.
But she said female businesswomen have been treated like "boiled eggs" by male colleagues.But she said female businesswomen have been treated like "boiled eggs" by male colleagues.
"They are either too hard or too soft, but never quite right," she said."They are either too hard or too soft, but never quite right," she said.
Anne Boden began a forty-year career in banking after graduating from Swansea University with a computer science degree.Anne Boden began a forty-year career in banking after graduating from Swansea University with a computer science degree.
What hurdles do black women in business face?What hurdles do black women in business face?
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'Women are perfectionists - it can hold us back''Women are perfectionists - it can hold us back'
After the financial crisis of 2008 she became increasingly concerned about banks' relationships with customers and started planning to launch Starling Bank.After the financial crisis of 2008 she became increasingly concerned about banks' relationships with customers and started planning to launch Starling Bank.
It involved "audacious" approaches for investment which eventually bore fruit.It involved "audacious" approaches for investment which eventually bore fruit.
'Five-foot Welsh woman''Five-foot Welsh woman'
Anne Boden was a steelworker's daughter who started her career on the counter at Lloyds BankAnne Boden was a steelworker's daughter who started her career on the counter at Lloyds Bank
She said: "There I was, knocking on doors, saying I've got a great idea.She said: "There I was, knocking on doors, saying I've got a great idea.
"Nobody believed me, and they wouldn't have believed me, probably, if I was a different sort of person."Nobody believed me, and they wouldn't have believed me, probably, if I was a different sort of person.
"But I am a 5ft tall Welsh woman that was pretty determined that we had the opportunity to change an industry."But I am a 5ft tall Welsh woman that was pretty determined that we had the opportunity to change an industry.
"I persevered, and two years in I got the funding to build something as special as this.""I persevered, and two years in I got the funding to build something as special as this."
'Responsible job''Responsible job'
Ms Boden said she is most proud of the people who work at Starling BankMs Boden said she is most proud of the people who work at Starling Bank
Starling Bank has almost three million personal and business accounts and employs staff in London, Southampton and Cardiff.Starling Bank has almost three million personal and business accounts and employs staff in London, Southampton and Cardiff.
The Cardiff office opened in 2020, with plans to employ 400 people, but now has almost 900 employees in the city.The Cardiff office opened in 2020, with plans to employ 400 people, but now has almost 900 employees in the city.
"What I am most proud of is the people who work here, who really believe that the profession of being a banker, of being a technologist, has special responsibilities."What I am most proud of is the people who work here, who really believe that the profession of being a banker, of being a technologist, has special responsibilities.
"We look after people's money - that's a responsible job, and we want to do it well," she added."We look after people's money - that's a responsible job, and we want to do it well," she added.
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'Master every aspect of your business''Master every aspect of your business'
Starting the bank involved personal sacrifices for Ms Boden, who sold her Swansea home to help pay bills before investors backed her idea.Starting the bank involved personal sacrifices for Ms Boden, who sold her Swansea home to help pay bills before investors backed her idea.
She was also acutely aware that a Welsh woman in her 50s was not the usual start-up founder - and those preconceptions placed further hurdles in her path.She was also acutely aware that a Welsh woman in her 50s was not the usual start-up founder - and those preconceptions placed further hurdles in her path.
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Anne Boden explains how Starling is using data and analytics to build online banking for customersAnne Boden explains how Starling is using data and analytics to build online banking for customers
Anne Boden said women still face a higher bar than male colleagues in business. She said women still face a higher bar than male colleagues in business.
"Lots of women in the industry are having a tough time getting to the position in the organisations that they deserve."Lots of women in the industry are having a tough time getting to the position in the organisations that they deserve.
"And it's sometimes because of the boiled egg syndrome - they are either too hard or too soft, but never quite right," she said."And it's sometimes because of the boiled egg syndrome - they are either too hard or too soft, but never quite right," she said.
Asked if her own success made it easier for women to follow her path, she said: "I really hope that having role models makes things easier for lots of women.Asked if her own success made it easier for women to follow her path, she said: "I really hope that having role models makes things easier for lots of women.
"I am a technologist, with a computer science and chemistry degree from Swansea University."I am a technologist, with a computer science and chemistry degree from Swansea University.
"I have started a bank that is one of the leaders in the world of fintech."I have started a bank that is one of the leaders in the world of fintech.
"It can be done by people from Wales and we can lead the world - and we can be women.""It can be done by people from Wales and we can lead the world - and we can be women."
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