Skip to content

Thriving outside of my comfort zone – Insights from Heidi Cantell, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Image for Thriving outside of my comfort zone – Insights from Heidi Cantell, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Welcome back to a new chapter of “My Seat At The Table”, our exclusive blog series launched to honor International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month – and that is now extending beyond March because we believe that celebrating remarkable women should happen everyday, not just once a year.

If you’re not familiar with this format yet, in this blog series we hear from incredible Enfucers from diverse backgrounds and roles who share what it truly means to them to have a seat at the table.

If you’re not familiar with this format yet, in this blog series we hear from incredible Enfucers from diverse backgrounds and roles who share what it truly means to them to have a seat at the table.

Have a read and join us in our mission to raise awareness, advocate and celebrate women in business.

Hi Heidi, what’s your day to day work looks like at Enfuce?

In the People Team, my day revolves around various tasks, from talent acquisition to making sure our lovely employees have all the tools and support to succeed in their job.

Three years ago, when I joined Enfuce, I was mainly responsible for talent acquisition, seeking out the best talents to join Enfuce. Fast forward to today, my role has shifted more towards general people operations, including onboarding, learning and development, while still keeping an eye on talent acquisition. One day, I might be building courses in our learning platform, and the next, I’m working with hiring teams to ensure we provide the best candidate experience and transparent hiring for all.

My day revolves around various tasks, from talent acquisition to making sure our lovely employees have all the tools and support to succeed in their job.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I’ve got a strong background in competitive sports since I was five, so my goals have always been more or less around sports. I’ve never dreamed of a specific profession, but I remember getting my kicks from practicing and competing in rhythmic gymnastics and later from 2002 onward, in competitive cheerleading.

Staying long hours at a gym was my dream and living my childhood and young adulthood in sports has had an incremental influence on my own personality and way of thinking. Thoughts and goals about my profession and career came only a few years ago in 2018 as I retired from coaching cheerleading as the sport had taken most of my time for the previous 16 years.

What do you think of International Women’s Day (IWD)?

My wish is that there wouldn’t be a need for IWD and raising issues about gender equality but as we’re not living in an ideal world, IWD plays a crucial role in advocating diversity and equality in the society.

What does it mean to you to have a Seat at The Table?

For me, having a seat at the table means having the possibility to participate in those discussions that are in my field of expertise, as well as being heard.

In a wider perspective, it means creating a culture that is inclusive and supportive and where people with different characteristics may have their voices heard despite their demographic or background. For me, it’s also about showing an example and encouraging others to raise their thoughts in different forums.

Can you share a personal or professional experience where you felt the impact of having, or not having, your Seat At The Table

When I was younger, I had to work with clients who were for the most part older men. Due to my age and gender I did witness some inappropriate behaviors – which at the time got me quite upset. These experiences however taught me to focus my energy into things that I can control.

That being said, I must say, I’ve always had great managers to support me in my growth and give me the space needed to grow and get my seat at a table.

Who are the women who influenced your career the most and you feel helped you get #MySeatAtTheTable?

As my background stems from competitive sports, I have had the fortune to be surrounded by exceptional female peers and setting up goals that have felt impossible to achieve. I tend to be relatively risk averse so people with a fearless attitude are the ones that I really look up to.

If I had to name a few, I’d give a huge shout out to my dear multiple World Champion friend Ina Tiittula, who has an outstandingly optimistic view on life where everything is possible if you just set your mind into it. And she has achieved a lot!

Staying long hours at a gym was my dream and living my childhood and young adulthood in sports has had an incremental influence on my own personality and way of thinking.

Outside of sports, my dear friend Laura Kaikkonen has done phenomenal work in the field of marine science and as a young female scientist, and has paved the way to show great examples to younger scientists and also acted as a role model for me. And third, my previous supervisor, Enna Forsström, just gets things done, and has helped me to pursue my own goals throughout my career.

How do you empower other women at work or in your day to day life?

To me, I find it important to empower new joiners and all our employees in the business with my own efforts, creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can be as they are and that everyone would feel encouraged to raise up their thoughts. Outside of work, I tend to be known as a hype-person to push other women in my network to reach for their goals and just go for the things they’re passionate about.

What’s the advice you would give to other women who might want to have a Seat At The Table and are currently facing challenges?

Outside of work, I tend to be known as a hype-person to push other women in my network to reach for their goals and just go for the things they’re passionate about.

Trust yourself. Surround yourself with people who encourage you. Seize opportunities that feel slightly too big and uncomfortable – you’ll only learn outside of your comfort zone. The less you know, the more opportunities you have to learn, take that as a gift!

In your opinion, what can the fintech industry as a whole do to promote gender equality and ensure that women not only have a seat at the table but also feel heard and valued?

I think this from two perspectives. First, individual companies should focus on inclusion in the workplace to make sure that the environment supports all genders. Also being present in those forums where younger girls are on their way to choosing their careers and showcasing them alternatives in fintech and wider in tech industries.

In a wider perspective, increasing the representation of women in every channel where the fintech industry is being brought up such as events, panels and awards to name a few. Encouraging others through strong representation will ease getting a seat in those tables and also being heard and valued. Our co-founders act as a great example of strong female leadership and are for sure acting as the pioneers in this movement.

Thank you for sharing, Heidi!

And that’s all for this week’s interview. Interested to hear more from incredible Enfucers? Check out our blog with Thy Bui, our Analytics Engineering Trainee here at Enfuce, all about the importance of finding your own voice.