Witad Awards 2022: Gender equality/diversity professional of the year (vendor)—Amy Kadomatsu, ComplySci

Amy Kadomatsu, CEO of compliance software vendor ComplySci, speaks openly about the rarity of being a woman in her position in the world of financial technology. “It was surprisingly challenging to land that first CEO job, which is this one,” she says. “When I think back to my first time in the C-suite, I was the only woman.”

Kadomatsu started her career as a bank analyst in the mid-1990s, and she’s since held a number of senior roles at a variety of vendors and consultancies. In 2018, she landed at ComplySci as COO, and was named president a year later. Then, in October 2020, she was named CEO.

The road to the top job has led Kadomatsu to think deeply about how to craft her team and which voices she must bring to the table to enhance diversity of thought, opinion, and style in the organization. She says it is important for CEOs to not hide their authentic selves and their other passions, which can be powerful tools in attracting and retaining talent.

Due to her determination to create an inclusive workplace and to welcome people from marginalized backgrounds into the industry, Kadomatsu has been involved in a number of initiatives that aim to boost diversity and the visibility of underrepresented groups in the industry. For instance, since 2013, Kadomatsu has been board chair and mentor at Mouse, a center of tech and education for children that engages students in learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem). “Diversity attracts diversity. I didn’t realize that would be so powerful unto itself,” she says.

Overall, Kadomatsu believes that exposure to people in high-level roles can inspire people who may never have sought that kind of job or thought they were capable of pursuing it. Kadomatsu is passionate about encouraging people to achieve their goals and boosting the confidence of others.

She tells a story of an intern she once hired who had the potential to attend an excellent university. The intern did not possess the confidence needed to apply, though, due to concerns about finances. Kadomatsu told her, “Let’s apply to the best college we can think of, and we will deal with the rest later.” This summarizes Kadomatsu’s ethos, which is one of supporting and lifting up others. “If you interact with someone, and you see a spark, say something,” she says. “When you come upon someone who you think has potential, say something. You will be surprised what will happen from that.”

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