At Interac, we celebrate diversity and believe bringing our authentic selves to work drives the best results and allows us to learn from one another. We are a diverse group of people and are committed to creating an environment for diversity of thought and experience, where unique ideas, perspectives and voices are not only welcomed but encouraged.
For International Women’s Day, we are featuring Joanna Schoneveld who has worked for Interac for 16 years. She shares more on her journey at Interac, best career advice for other women looking to enter FinTech, and how she #breaksthebias.
What is your name and job?
My name is Joanna Schoneveld, and I am the Director of Fraud Technology & Operational Enablement on the Fraud Mitigation & Strategy team at Interac.
What does a typical day at Interac look like for you?
A typical day starts with attending daily stand-ups with the team, followed by many meetings with various partners and stakeholders as we focus on delivering the highest value initiatives and fraud solutions.
What is your favourite part of your job?
That no two days are the same, and that I get to work with genuinely amazing people. We have a highly skilled team of fraud experts, data scientists, data architects, and developers, that are doing a remarkable job at mitigating fraud risk and developing capabilities to allow for growth and market expansion.
You’ve worked at Interac for 16 years. Can you share more about your journey and what has kept you here?
I started out as an Analyst in our Fraud Operations Department and have had the good fortune to progress in various roles over the years, growing and evolving within the organization. Interac really is a fantastic place to work, and I have stayed because my belief in our vision, values and our people has not wavered. We are doing impressive things in FinTech and our leadership knows that a key driver to our success is the well-being and development of our employees. We have a keen sense of community, and overall, we feel supported; whether it be having people rally around us in times of personal crisis, offering support during challenging times like the pandemic, or providing continuous opportunities to learn and grow. It is no surprise that we were recognized as a Top Employer this year.
Fraud is known to be a predominantly male profession. What has been your experience being a female in Fraud and how do you #breakthebias?
Early on in my career, I became acutely aware that women were viewed and treated very differently in this industry; we tend to be overlooked for opportunities or pushed into specific roles and career paths or hit certain ceilings. I observed that women are judged, more so than men, on appearance and must contend with the biases formed in that judgement to be seen and heard for our intellect and expertise. I was once told that I was not qualified for a position and lost out to a male counterpart even though I had a higher educational background, and similar knowledge and expertise. That experience lit a fire in me to speak up and challenge biases against women and the barriers we face, and more importantly to support other women through mentorship on our continued journey toward equity. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge all the wonderful women and men in this industry who have pioneered and championed changes to #breakthebias, although our work is not done, we have come a long way.
What advice do you have for other women looking to enter the FinTech space?
Anything is possible, you just must believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you too. Find mentors, expand your network, and really get to know people. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and show people the value you bring to the table. Making authentic connections and continuous learning are key.
Restaurants and small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. Do you have a favourite female-owned restaurant you’d encourage others to try?
It is important to note that businesses owned by women, people of colour, and immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, so I am glad you are asking this question. I do enjoy eating out and am a little embarrassed to admit that I have ordered from restaurants more times than I have cooked over the last year. I have so many favourites, so I am having a tough time choosing one. I can tell you that the next restaurant that I am really hoping to try soon is Sugar Kane on the Danforth, which is a Black female-owned restaurant that serves Caribbean and Cajun cuisine.
What is an interesting fact about you?
That I have owned a boa constrictor for as long as my career at Interac? I am not sure; I feel like I lead a very uninteresting life in comparison to others, but I love it. I am the mother of two very energetic boys and my life outside of work is very much centred around them and their sporting activities. Through them, I get to meet a lot of different people, which I really enjoy. I love getting to know people, listening to their stories, and finding opportunities to help and connect people when I can.
Outside of that, in my spare time I coach soccer, am an avid reader, and love to travel.
What makes Interac a unique place to work?
I have said this before, but I cannot emphasize it enough, Interac knows that employees and a healthy culture are key drivers of success in our business. The investment in our people is and has always been first class.
Learn more about like at Interac here.