Women in Fintech - Robin Nunn
Last year, I was honored to be selected by NYC FinTech Women for inclusion on its 2021 Inspiring FinTech Females list. This annual list features 65 women transforming financial technology across five categories. Specifically, I was recognized in the Leaders category for my efforts in driving innovation and promoting advocacy for women and gender equity.
Why is this advocacy so important to me? Because even after decades in the legal field, I still find myself the only Black woman involved in conversations on many of the fintech and legal issues in which I specialize. Law remains one of the least diverse professions in the United States and the fintech industry, in particular, has been dominated by white males historically.
From a young age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would help those in need. Both my parents were lawyers who began their careers as civil rights attorneys in Arkansas. After college I joined the U.S. State Department, spending time in Kenya. I later worked for several public organizations in Chicago and New York City, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Because I believed I could make a greater impact in the world as a lawyer, I decided to attend The University of Chicago Law School where I had the opportunity to study under former U.S. President Barack Obama. After graduating, I clerked for the Honorable Barrington Parker, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
It was during my initial experience in private practice, following my clerkship, that I became interested in financial services work. It was an exciting time, when technology and financial services were starting to intersect and new tools such as cryptocurrency and blockchain were being developed and introduced.
I then transitioned to in-house counsel positions, first at American Express and next at Capital One. In these roles, I worked in the ever-evolving mobile payments market and wallet adoption revolution. I also had the opportunity to advise on facial recognition and wearable technology that formed the foundation for new mobile payment and security features. These experiences served me in good stead when I returned to private practice, interfacing with a larger portfolio of clients in the fintech space and taking on leadership roles.
As many in my profession did, I spent my early career attempting to appear more androgynous and look less like a Black woman. But experience has taught me that being Black and a woman has both posed challenges and provided benefits to me. I strongly believe that many of my attributes, like strength and perseverance, which are often characterized as Black female attributes, make me a more effective attorney and advocate.
What I have learned is that diversity is beneficial; that it helps companies be innovative and position themselves as thought leaders. My advice to young women, especially Black women, is to be their true selves at work. That they are proud to bring their authentic selves, as well as their individual ideas and experiences to the table.
Read here the original article in The Fintech Times
About Robin Nunn: Robin leads one of the country’s preeminent banking and financial services practices. She works at the intersection of law, business, and government policy. Robin’s dual background in corporate and private practice provides her with valuable insights and perspectives. Although her experiences are broad, her focus is on current issues connected to new communication technologies.
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