Top 10 Women in FinTech, MEA

Following the launch of FinTech Magazine’s Top 100 Women in FinTech 2024 supplement, we honour the Top 10 entrants based in MEA

In March 2024, FinTech Magazine recognised International Women’s Month with the launch of our Top 100 Women in Fintech supplement, championing female leaders and pioneers driving innovation across our industry. 

In this Top 10, we highlight the leading Women in Fintech based in MEA, shining a light on their incredible careers and the work they perform for leading financial organisations. 

10. Aalya Ghouli

Aalya Ghouli, BNP Paribas

Aalya Ghouli is Head of Fintech, GreenTech and Startups in Africa for BNP Paribas. Based in Casablanca, Ghouli assumed the role after 15 years at BMCI Groupe BNP Paribas, where she started out as a General Secretary Project Coordinator in 2008 before rising to become General Director of DIGIFI & DIGISERV. Aalya’s career has seen her amass 25 years of experience in the Moroccan and African fintech sector, with positions held at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and PwC.

9. Nora Labuschagne

Nora Labuschagne, Sanlam

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Nora Labuschagne is the Chief Operating Officer for Sanlam Fintech, a division of the diversified financial services company Sanlam. In this role, Nora is responsible for enabling Sanlam Fintech portfolios to meet their objectives, removing friction and ensuring the business leverages the power of the broader Sanlam organisation. Nora has spent over 13 years at Sanlam in a variety of roles and was formerly Chief Executive of Client and Intermediary Experience before assuming her latest position. 

8. Myriam Ben Sayeh

Myriam Ben Sayeh, Mastercard

Myriam Ben Sayen is Crypto Risk Director for EEMEA at Mastercard. In her role, she is responsible for the design and execution of Mastercard’s Crypto Risk & Innovation strategy in the region, leveraging her 12 years as a strategy consultant where she advised Government entities on the implementation of public policies to get the best results. With a focus on digital strategies and enablement, Myriam’s career has taken her to several leading organisations prior to joining Mastercard – including Cognizant, EY and Valyans Consulting. 

7. Lisa Nyman 

Lisa Nyman, Visa

At Visa for over six years, Lisa Nyman has been Senior Director for Digital Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures since 2019. A fintech leader at one of the world’s largest organisations, Lisa was promoted from Director of Innovation, Business Development and Partnerships to her latest Dubai-based role. Her experience is extensive, having spent over eight years at Ericsson, where she reached the position of Strategic Marketing Director. Lisa has received executive training in fintech from Imperial College Business School. 

6. Hilary De Grandis

Hilary De Grandis, McKinsey & Co

Having dedicated the last 18 years of her career to McKinsey, Hilary De Grandis specialises in financial services, banking, insurance, risk and fintech. Joining as a research analyst in 2006, today Hilary is the Director of EEMA Banking Insurance and Risk Practice, and Global FinTech. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Hilary’s promotion to Director came in January this year, after 12 months spent as Senior Practice Manager of Banking, Insurance & Risk in EEMA, and Global Fintech, and over eight years as McKinsey’s EEMA Financial Services Practice Manager. 

5. Milkah Wachiuri

Milkah Wachiuri, Cellulant

Passionate about transforming organisations, building departments from scratch and improving systems and processes to drive business growth, Milkah Wachiuri began her career as an Auditor at Deloitte. In this role, based in Nairobi, Kenya, Milkah was responsible for planning audit engagements, managing audit teams and reviewing firms across various industries. Joining Cellulant in 2012 as a Business Performance Manager, Milkah has since risen to Chief Growth Officer, where she is charged with driving organic and inorganic growth for the business. 

4. Lucy Yueting Liu

Lucy Yueting Liu is the Co-Founder and President of Airwallex. Founding the fintech in 2016 and first assuming the role of COO, Lucy became President in 2018 as she helps Airwallex on its mission to build global financial infrastructure to empower businesses of all sizes to grow beyond national boundaries. As Co-Founder, she has helped deliver the company’s modern technology stack to firms seeking to expand globally. Based in Hong Kong, her formative career has seen her work at Barclays, CICC and FinTech Australia. 

3. Ola Doudin

Ola Doudin, BitOasis

A graduate of the University of Birmingham with a BEng(Hons) in Electronic and Communication Engineering, Ola Doudin is the CEO and Co-founder of BitOasis – the Middle East & North Africa’s (MENA) largest digital asset trading exchange and platform. Establishing the company in 2015, BitOasis operates out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and aims its services at individuals, professional traders and investors both regionally and internationally. Before BitOasis, Ola was a Researcher at Imperial College Geomatics Engineering Group, where she developed GPS systems for industry projects, including microchip programming and design.  

2. Adina Eckstein

Adina Eckstein, Lemonade

Adina Eckstein is Chief Operating Officer at leading insurtech Lemonade. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Adina has been in the position for over two years, having previously been employed as Lemonade’s Vice President of Operations and Chief of Staff. With previous experience at Tvinci, BBC and HSBC, Adina has accrued an impressive skillset for delivering strategies and executing business growth. Speaking about her team at Lemonade, Adina says: “We work every day to push the boundaries within the insurance industry, raising the bar for what's possible. While we push for a future where women's lists become obsolete, I'm happy to contribute to bridging the gaps, advocating for an industry that values and empowers everyone's contributions, equally.”

1. Wajeeha H. Awadh

Wajeeha H. Awadh, Al Baraka Group

Specialising in project management, fintech, technology management, banking and PMO, Wajeeha H. Awadh is the Chief Digital Officer of Al Baraka Group. A graduate of four different universities – including Montana State University, Staffordshire University, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation and University of the West of Scotland – Wajeeha has been at Al Baraka Group for over eight years. Prior to taking the role of Chief Digital Officer, she was Head of Section for Digital Banking & Fintech and part of the Digitalisation & FinTech Initiatives team. Based in Bahrain, Wajeeha is a member of the BAB Digitization Committee as part of the Bahrain Association of Banks, and an External Advisory Board Member for the College of Business Finance at Ahlia University. 

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