Mastercard’s Nicola Entwistle has been named one of 50 rising stars in WeAreTheCity’s TechWomen50 Awards. The awards recognise emerging tech talent, highlighting up-and-coming inspirational females and helping create a new generation of female role models for the industry.
Nicola said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be a winner. These awards are vital for encouraging women into tech roles. Mastercard has a real focus on driving gender equality, with networks such as the Women’s Leadership Network and initiatives like Girls4Tech. Digital is a really exciting place to work, forever changing and evolving with plenty of opportunities. You don’t need a technical background to get into a tech role – you just need to have a passion for technology and how it’s shaping our future. 90% of new jobs will require digital skills and women are less likely to go for digital roles, so it’s vital that we encourage more women to take up STEM subjects and tech roles.”
Nicola joined Mastercard in 2014 in the Digital Payments team. She currently works with banks to enable their customers to use their banking apps safely and securely to pay online with Masterpass. She previously led the work with banks and digital partners in the UK to launch one of the biggest developments in the industry since chip and pin: Mastercard’s tokenization platform, which enables mobile payments and digital payments such as Apple Pay.
In 2015, Nicola took part in Mastercard’s talent rotation programme, where employees take on assignments in different markets around the world. She consulted on digital strategy in Mexico City for six months and worked on the digital strategy for some of Mastercard’s largest customers in the market.
Nicola is a key member and campaigner for the Mastercard European Women’s Leadership Network and a STEM ambassador, taking part in Girls4Tech, which encourages young girls to take up STEM subjects. In her spare time, she mentors female Masters students at the London School of Economics, providing advice and mentorship in order to open up opportunities for the future female pipeline in the technology sector.
The awards, which are sponsored by WorldPay, were entered by over 500 people from across the UK and Northern Ireland, and judged by a panel of 20 industry experts. Over 15,000 public votes of support were received.
At Mastercard, 60% of female employees work in technology roles. Mastercard’s award-winning Girls4Tech programme is aimed at creating future problem solvers. The curriculum was created in conjunction with top engineers and technologists at Mastercard to teach the foundations of STEM principles. Mastercard recently committed to reach 200,000 girls aged 10-13 through the Girls4Tech programme by 2020. Mastercard has a thriving Women’s Leadership Network, and has launched its returnship programme, Relaunch your Career, in the UK, UAE, Belgium and Dublin.