Women’s History Month: sisters are doin' it for themselves

Zest AI team
March 25, 2024

How the Women at Zest are changing financial services for the better

No need for sweet dreams when it comes to finding powerful innovators and accomplished savants when walking the floors of Zest AI (whether that be literally or digitally). Across the company, we like to boast that the smartest folks work here, but it wouldn’t be Women’s History Month without a tip of the hat to the ladies of Zest AI.

In the financial services industry, women make up 53 percent of the entry-level banking workforce but less than one-third sit in a VP level or higher. In the U.S. tech sector, women make up 35 percent of STEM employees, and only 25 percent of C-level leaders are women, and a mere five percent represent racial minority females. There’s plenty of room to improve in between the two industries that Zest AI resides in. Credit unions are leading the charge with 51 percent of their CEOs being women.

How do we include more diversity in business decisions? That has been a big part of the theme for Women’s History Month this March. Making decisions that positively impact as diverse of a country as the U.S. means making sure that the makeup of your company equitably reflects that diversity and includes it at every level. Zest AI wants to be a reflection of our customers and the people they serve, but also inspire the industries we sit in to continue pushing forward when it comes to better representations of diversity, better ways of inclusion, and better solutions for equity. 

Can we celebrate all the women at Zest AI in one blog? Of course! Amongst the women at Zest AI, there is a commitment to compassion, a drive for excellence, and a powerful advocate at every level. There’s so much to celebrate, but this Women’s History Month we’d like to spotlight a handful of women who tend to stray away from the spotlight.

Just to name a few: here are some women innovating, leading, and championing DEI at Zest AI

  • Aarti Manjeshwar, Engineering – she leads her team with a diligence that helps them achieve things greater than the sum of their parts and takes the time to get to know how to best support those around her
  • Emma Garton, Client Success – leading in Zest AI’s deeper dive into DEI, especially when it comes to spotlighting, educating, and championing inclusion efforts around the company and bringing those ideals to her interactions with our small credit union customers
  • April Ronquillo, Executive & People Operations – she works behind the scenes to make sure every Zesty across the company feels seen, heard, and appreciated
  • Kasey Matthews, Data Science – a leading example of putting DEI into development, since she helped develop the ZRP, which has enabled fairer lending for not just Zest AI’s customers, but any institution that would like to make more informed decisions
  • Maggie Huang, Marketing – overseeing the operations of all of our events and client gifts, she makes sure that everyone feels welcomed when they join the Zest AI team
  • Lois Broussard, Legal Operations – she’s a strong advocate for women in the legal field, and a strong advocate for Zest AI when it comes to ensuring the company is moving forward strategically and swiftly
  • Annie Janofsky, Demand Generation – from a Google search to finding us on social media, she ensures that the heart and hard work of her fellow Zestys is always on display and shining bright
  • Kathryn Bonesteel, Strategic Initiatives – she expertly brings external parties into the fold through strategic communication and top-notch collaboration skills, ensuring that people feel both welcomed and informed

So the title’s not entirely reflective of the heart and actions of the women at Zest AI. It’s very obvious that amidst the success of the women working here at Zest, there is a desire to not only do better and make change for themselves, but for the world around them. 

This focus on being the change and relentlessly pursuing the building of an equitable financial system is at the core of all that we do at Zest AI — from every decision we make when we build models to the products we put into market and how we talk about them.

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