“You have options — don’t be complacent in a toxic work environment!” with Rebecca Weizenecker and Tyler Gallagher
You have options — don’t be complacent in a toxic work environment! If you are in a position where you aren’t respected or treated well, leave. I have seen many fellow women make excuses for their employers (and I’ve been guilty of this, too). “I’ll get a raise next year.” “We just have a culture where people make weird jokes.” “Overall, I like my job, it’s just this one guy at the office who is creepy.” If you have said or heard anything that sounds similar to the above, NONE of that is okay. We, as a society, need to have a zero-tolerance policy and set higher standards for ourselves and our co-workers. It’s important to proactively search out a supportive work out environment.
As a part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Weizenecker, the Director of Sales and Client Success at FundThrough, leading the sales and marketing team since 2018. In the past decade, she has built several scalable, revenue-generating departments at various startups. She’s driven to help others and believes that being a good listener, possessing a sense of humor and using a no-nonsense approach to problem-solving are the keys to building successful teams. When she isn’t working, she enjoys traveling, walking and scootering down the Atlanta Beltline, and snuggling her dog. Pet peeves include “mansplaining” and long, wordy emails.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?
The finance world has always appealed to me because money is something every human has in common; we all need/use money. It’s one of the biggest drivers of human behavior. Working in the finance industry plays to my strengths and has given me an opportunity to make a big impact on the world. I’m passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, and my current position gives me the chance to work with a wide range of people and impact their lives for the better.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far?
Once, I was at an event where I had the opportunity to run a product demo to Fortune 500 companies. It was an exciting experience; startups had the chance to gain the attention of the decision makers of prestigious companies. Normally, startups wouldn’t have the chance to speak to such a notable audience. I was thrilled to be a part of it, but I was incredibly surprised to learn that out of over 20 presenters, I was the only female. I think that goes to show that there is a need for more female representation in the tech and finance space.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, we kept hearing over and over from our clients that while FundThrough offers easy solutions for cash flow gaps, they wanted to simplify the onboarding process and gain access to greater funding amounts. Fortunately, we are currently working on a solution to provide a seamless onboarding experience and give our clients access to more working capital. This empowers business owners to control exactly when they get paid on their outstanding receivables.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
FundThrough’s strength is in our diversity. Our staff is made up of employees from more than 20 different ethnic backgrounds, representing citizenship of 11 countries. Additionally, 14 languages are spoken at FundThrough. Our leadership team is also 50 percent female. We are one of the few companies that actually walks the walk when it comes to having an inclusive culture. When I joined the FundThrough team, I immediately felt welcomed and valued.
Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all-white boys club.” This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?
The face of many financial firms on Wall Street changed because they were forced to adapt to a new, more diversified client base. Financial clients no longer looked like them (white males), and these clients wanted to work with agencies or firms that reflected their values. The market demanded it.
Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what three things can be done by a) individuals, b) companies, and/or c) society. to support this movement going forward?
Advice for Women/Individuals:
- You have options — don’t be complacent in a toxic work environment! If you are in a position where you aren’t respected or treated well, leave. I have seen many fellow women make excuses for their employers (and I’ve been guilty of this, too). “I’ll get a raise next year.” “We just have a culture where people make weird jokes.” “Overall, I like my job, it’s just this one guy at the office who is creepy.” If you have said or heard anything that sounds similar to the above, NONE of that is okay. We, as a society, need to have a zero-tolerance policy and set higher standards for ourselves and our co-workers. It’s important to proactively search out a supportive work out environment.
- Know how to identify a company that values diversity. When you are interviewing, ask about female representation both at the employee level and at the management level. “How many women work here? How many women are in leadership?” If the answer is, “Uhhhh, we have Lisa in accounting… and uhhhhh…what’s-her-name in sales.” RUN! You can also ask to speak to some of the female employees in person — even go out to lunch or shadow some members of your prospective department. It’s important to set yourself up for success by ensuring the company will be a good fit for you.
Advice for companies:
- Have a “no asshole” policy. Yes, our company is a diverse place represented by many different cultures, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, etc. But you know what we all have in common? We are all nice people. When hiring a new employee, look past their resume and get to know the person behind the paper. It will be beneficial to your company in the long run to hire kind people. Avoid mean employees, customers, partners, investors, etc.
You are a “finance insider.” If you had to advise your adult child about five non-intuitive things one should do to become more financially literate, what would you say? Can you please give a story or example for each?
- Splurge on luxury items that improve your quality of life. I do not follow the conventional budgeting advice of “you should spend x amount of your income on rent, x amount on groceries, etc.” Determine what makes you happy when it comes to spending. For me, it’s massages and international travel. If you looked at my expenses over the past year, you would probably say I spend an abnormally high amount of my income on spas and vacations. However, I live well below my means when it comes to housing, cars, and other expenses. It’s all about balance and finding what enriches your life the most. Don’t be pressured to spend money on certain items just because you “can.”
- Unsubscribe from all discount/coupon platforms. Have you ever purchased a salsa lesson for two because it seemed like a good deal and never used it? Me too. Even though these services advertise savings, they are designed to convince consumers to purchase products or experiences they otherwise would not seek out. Avoid the temptation, save yourself the money and unsubscribe.
- Avoid impulse buys. Let items sit in your online shopping cart for 24 hours. These days, it’s easier than ever to make a purchase in just a few clicks. The online shopping world is designed to encourage impulse buys by trying to catch you in a vulnerable moment and presenting time-sensitive offers like “buy in the next hour and get free shipping,” etc. Sometimes you just need to sleep on it to figure out if you really want the item or if you just want the deal.
- Invest in a good coffee machine. It sounds simple, but it will make a world of difference. You will save yourself a fortune — you can have a nice, luxury cup of coffee without the hassle and expense of stopping at a coffee shop every morning. And while you’re at it — buy re-usable cups! Those are great for your wallet and the environment.
- Go with your gut. It’s certainly important to do your research and even consult with friends and family, but ultimately, it’s your choice. Don’t be afraid to break away from the norm and do what makes you happy. It’s your life after all!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
One of the main reasons I have been able to advance in my career is because I had a good manager who saw potential in me. He treated me as an equal and spent time giving me honest feedback and coaching. In our first one-on-one, he took me to lunch and spent time just getting to know me personally and asked about my long-term goals. It sounds simple, but It was the first time I ever had a manager do that. I have never forgotten the positive impression it made on me, and I have used that approach with anyone I bring on my team.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life starts at the end of your comfort zone” has always motivated me to push my personal and professional boundaries. In order to learn and grow, you have to be willing to try new things, take risks, and take on challenges outside of your current skill set.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
There are a lot of causes for which I am passionate, but I particularly think great improvements can be made to the world of education. We should pay teachers more and invest in providing everyone with a quality, free, public education. By investing in future generations, we are setting our society up for long-term success. Improving education will cause a ripple effect of positive change.
Thank you for all of these great insights!
About The Author:
Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and Dubai focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. In addition to his role with Regal Assets, Tyler is a regular contributor to Forbes, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and Authority Magazine. Tyler has also been featured in many news publications and has been a guest expert on “The News with Ed Shultz”. Tyler is a proud member of the Forbes Finance Council a private invite only-group of hand-selected industry leaders.