Everyday is International Women’s Day at First AML (Really.)

Like gets like + a lot of work.

Here’s the secret to attracting female talent.


We have big dreams here at First AML, and we know that to achieve them, we need the best people. But how do we both attract and keep the best? Diversity and inclusion.


A time for reflection

When our founders started First AML, they had big dreams to make customer onboarding fast, secure and frictionless. To do this, and to blaze their own trail, they knew they had to do something different. The best way they knew how was to get as many unique and varied opinions as possible to help them make well informed decisions.

This attitude to diversity and inclusion is at the core of First AML. While female representation in finance and tech is woefully low in general, here at First AML we have a female: male ratio of 58:42 overall and an astonishing 50:50 ratio in our software and product engineering team.

It’s great to see more and more women being involved in IT. It’s always good to have a diverse team, exchange different ideas, approaches and experiences. That’s what makes us go forward.

– Anna Rygiewicz, Senior Engineer


Next level commitment

So when we say that every day is International Women’s Day at First AML we mean it. This year we have taken a month to celebrate the women in our lives. We’ve also taken time to reflect on the journey that we are on in continuously improving diversity and inclusion (not simply gender) across our organisation.

Over the last 12 months we undertaken three significant strategies to firstly establish and then embed a diverse and inclusive workplace that is continually evolving and improving;

  • Product & Engineering Diversity & Inclusion Alliance
  • Conscious recruitment
  • Balanced candidate pipeline

Product & Engineering D&I Alliance

This group was initiated to ensure the Product & Engineering team (and First AML as a whole) encourages and promotes a safe and welcoming environment for EVERYONE. We meet fortnightly to discuss initiatives and ideas for making that happen whilst maintaining our current diversity and inclusion standards.

Gender diversity and equity in the Product & Engineering team is a major focus as we acknowledge the importance of a diverse and balanced workforce in contributing to an efficacious and inclusive working environment.

Arriving at First AML, one of the first things I noticed was how the Engineering team was so diverse. As we know, tech teams are traditionally very skewed when it comes to culture and gender inclusivity. Here at First AML, they are dedicated to actively reversing this backward tradition – it’s so refreshing!”

– Bede Cope, Senior Product Manager
 
Conscious recruitment

When recruiting for any role we make a conscious effort to ensure that not one potential candidate is excluded from being addressed or considered. We ensure that the “voice” of all interactions in the recruitment process is reflective of the culture here at First AML. This has proven to be enormously effective at attracting talent that will thrive.

We use gender decoders in our recruitment collateral and content so that gender biases are not introduced or suggested. Our candidate interactions are constantly evolving – ensuring that they are aligned with where we are on the journey to becoming the best place to work for everyone.

The interview process is another significant focus. We ensure that potential candidates are able to see first hand the diversity here at First AML by ensuring that the interview panel is made up of people of different genders and roles.


Balanced candidate pipeline

Our approach to recruitment is to always ensure a gender balanced pipeline of candidates. The selection of candidates is obviously based on those that more closely match the requirements of the role and the culture fit within the team, however, we strive to have an equal ratio of gender in the pool of selectable candidates. We acknowledge this activity can drive adverse effects e.g. the length of time to recruit is often protracted. But, the benefits that we realise by taking this approach far outweigh these effects in the long run.

One of the main factors that drew me to First AML is how much effort they put into increasing D&I in the P&E team. It’s not just gender diversity either, it’s also cultural diversity. It’s definitely a refreshing change compared to my previous experiences, and I didn’t realise how much of a positive impact it would make on my general wellbeing at work. As a young woman of colour in tech, I feel very fortunate to be starting off my career in such an empathetic and wholesome environment!

– Magdeline Huang, Software Development Engineer


What’s next?

The momentum we have started to gather as an organisation is amazing to be a part of – the support from everyone at First AML to make this the best place to work for EVERYONE is inspiring.

The intention of the next 12 months is to start building upon the foundations that we have laid and to continue to promote diversity, inclusion and equity across our workplace.

Specific initiatives include;

  • Hiring for a wider range of experience levels (graduates through to seniors), and focusing on how to then grow those individuals quickly internally, building future leaders
  • Continuing to hire senior women leaders, even though the candidate pool is smaller – we will never shy away from that challenge.
  • Nurture our existing employees and work toward long-term retention
  • Continue to evolve our remuneration transparency, and provide more data to help inform team members and candidates
  • Extend our candidate pipeline balance criteria to include other attributes as opposed to simply gender


International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the amazing women in our lives, but it should also serve as a reminder to reflect on where your organisation is on the journey in becoming a truly diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace.

Here at First AML we are by no means perfect; this is just the beginning and we have a long way to go. But as you can see, we are passionate and we are taking those important first steps in acknowledging we can always do more.

It is an exciting and rewarding journey to be on and I encourage all organisations to use the month of International Women’s Day to ask yourselves – are we doing enough…what else can we do to ensure our workplace is the most desirable place to work for ALL people?

I think International Women’s Day is a great reminder to celebrate the women who have come before us laying the way for people like me having the opportunity to live a privileged and meaningful life. First AML really tries to embody diversity and inclusion with whatever we do – whether that’s hiring a diverse bunch of engineers, ensuring pay transparency, creating a safe space for people to contribute, willingness to learn about people’s cultures/traditions and being very accepting! Diversity allows us to design and build products that have input from a variety of people – it ensures that we build products that cater to a variety of audiences.

– Reshmi Ravichandran, Engineer
We’re always on the lookout for amazing talent! If you’re interested in working at First AML, check out our careers page to find out more.

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