Eva Wong

Co-founder and COO of Borrowell

Eva Wong wants to bust the myth that entrepreneurs are born. She co-founded the fintech firm, Borowell, without technology or financial services experience and without having been part of a startup. In 2019 she was named EY’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. 

“Building a great culture is a key part of why Borowell is successful.”

Borrowell uses technology to help more than a million Canadians manage their finances. Fintech is a male dominated industry but half of the Borrowell staff are women or are non-binary. The company has a gender-balanced goal that it treats like its financial goals or user acquisition metrics. 

“You can’t be a leaders unless you’re operating with a high standard of ethics”

Ethics, humility and adaptability are the qualities that a leader should have, according to Eva. You can’t be a leader without integrity, without listening to other people and without being able to rip up a plan and think of something else.    

“I wanted my work to make a difference.”

Eva’s career has spanned both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Going into new industries and ramping up quickly led her to view a challenge that required her to learn new things not with fear but with excitement.  She became an entrepreneur because it felt like the best way to have an impact.

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Perceptions of women’s leadership in Canada are strong

With a score of 81, Canada ranks first of all countries studied in the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which was established to quantify both women’s and men’s levels of comfort with women’s leadership. (A score of 100 indicates complete agreement that men and women are equally suited to lead.)

While confidence in Canadian women is strong, a study published by the Royal Bank of Canada in July 2020 found that within months of Covid lockdowns, women’s participation in the workforce fell from a historic high to the lowest level in 30 years.

Canada, like every country studied, is a nation where women experience ongoing discrimination that constrains their ability to exercise their potential as leaders.

Less than 20% of people working in fintech in Canada are women

Less than 20 percent of people working in fintech in Canada and less than 10 percent of those on the executive teams are women according to itbusiness.ca.

However, Canada’s index score for the field of high tech and artificial intelligence is 85 and for banking is 87, indicating that a higher visibility of leaders like Eva Wong could create a role-model effect and increase the participation of women in those fields.

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