4 mins

For 11 years, imagine for a moment being a child growing up training with two Australian Olympic swimmers and an Olympic Coach. How might striving daily for world-class excellence shape a young mind for a future flourishing career in the FinTech industry? Today, we know the answer to this question.

“In it to win it,” sums up the character of Women Leading Tech Awards winner and EML’s CEO of Australia, Rachelle St. Ledger, who is thrilled to be acknowledged by her peers for over 20 years of dedication to the FinTech industry.

She adds, ”You could call my passion for my work my third child. It’s amazing to lead the way for women in the workforce and Women In Tech. It’s also heartening to witness how EML has diversified since I joined the company 5 years ago. I was the only woman in attendance (with 16 males) at our executive offsites 4 years ago. Today, equality at EML is evident across all roles – teams, leadership, exec and the board. It’s not just gender related either. Diversity is so important at EML globally and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

One of Rachelle’s heroes is New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. This is how she describes her role model. ”Mother, leader and an inspiration who respects people and diversity – a super role model for our time. I see strength reflected in her emotionality and empathetic nature.”

Rocketship drive from a young age, an inspirational work ethic from her parents and natural competitiveness with her sister in sports and academically set the seeds for developing St. Ledger’s award-winning mindset. She admits she loves a challenge.

”At the beginning of my EML days, it was tough. New country (returning to Australia after 10 years), new team (Australians are very different compared to the English) and the need to ensure the Australian business grew and turned a profit. We had a huge amount of work to achieve at all levels of the organisation and we did it together with one vision as One Team. The results in the time afterwards were extraordinary with growth of 2,147% in the first couple of years. Equally important, employment engagement survey results enjoyed 97% participation and 91% of employees said they were proud to work for EML.

Moving forward, we execute our plans to inspire transformational digital change for our customers and communities and all of our executives have extensive industry-specific experience and display with our team a strong culture with #oneteam, #awesomeness, #simplicty and #openness being our values that we live and breathe.”

EML’s exciting Project Accelerator strategy is all about digital transformation for our customers and communities… The rapid evolution of new verticals,

predicting and plotting where new business will emerge from and having superb tech infrastructure to support that expansion globally. Rachelle cannot contain her excitement regarding this warp drive acceleration.

”What energises me most is that our exec team are all on the same page and all aligned as One Team. It truly is outstanding. COVID has seen us communicate and collaborate more than we ever have, united as one force (no matter what time zone!) within the organisation. What a brilliant foundation to launch a major, ambitious strategy.

From an IT perspective, being able to connect with us once within 28 countries and growing will be revolutionary and open up the world to new clients from Day 1. With FinLabs, investing in FinTech to disrupt the industry and digitally transform companies is exhilarating through additional product ideas, enrichment and execution.”

The CEO of Australia was in deep reflection about the unexpected outcomes that the global pandemic provided. ”Not that anyone could have prepared for a COVID situation in advance, but I am so exceptionally proud of our Australian team. We survived it, we have had so much communication and time with colleagues (even though we are mostly remote), by working as #oneteam we have achieved strong GDV growth compared to the previous year, we won deals with several key brands just prior and during COVID and are launching many of these programs during COVID has led to an impressive year.”

Looking into the horizon, Rachelle contemplates the future. ”When we examine what’s next, we’ve never been as busy adding value and securing new partners – and the pace isn’t slowing down. The main type of businesses we are dealing with is fellow FinTechs and disruptors in new verticals who want to launch products with elegant APIs by partnering with us long-term. As our smallest global team, Australia loves to lead the way with innovation as we have a healthy competitive streak in our DNA for having the right conversations with the right people to deliver the EML way.”

Motivated since a child by winning, Rachelle St. Ledger shares valuable career lessons that have served her well over the years. ”Never give up and never burn bridges. I indeed want to win, but winning can be defined as having a happy, motivated, passionate team who support each other and get back up each time we get knocked down and celebrate as one when we have success.

As JFK said, The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis (i.e. COVID) beware of the danger – but recognise the opportunity.

… What an exciting time to be in FinTech, privileged to be part of ‘Women Leading Tech’ leading the way, hopefully, passionately, for others within EML and the FinTech industry.”