Laserfiche Women In Tech: Headshot_Stephanie LawrenceLaserfiche was founded by Nien-Ling Wacker, a woman who began her career building custom solutions out of her home in the 1970s. She grew her business into the world’s leading ECM software company, which works to enable the digital workplace of the future. Today, she is recognized as a visionary leader and a pioneer in her field.

Wacker, along with countless other women, have made huge contributions to technology—yet women are still fighting for equality in the tech industry. Fortunately, the team at Laserfiche draws inspiration from women across the world who have blazed trails as technology leaders. As an ongoing initiative, we will highlight some of those talented women who have excelled in the technology field.  

Stephanie Lawrence is the Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President of Operations and Technology at Investment Advisory Services, Inc. In her role, Stephanie oversees all cybersecurity, technology and operational areas, and oversees and develops all process management and workflows.  Read on to learn more about Stephanie and what inspired her to pursue a technology-focused career.

How has technology changed the role you play in the financial sector?

Having been on this side of the business for as long as I have has given me a real appreciation for technology such as business process automation and workflow translating. These technology solutions have created less overhead (and minimal brain damage) when sourcing historical information or working to onboard new services, clients and employees, since accuracy and continuity are firmly in place.

The level of efficiency, accuracy and scalability I have come to appreciate having a healthy ecosystem is immeasurable.

During your time at Investment Advisory Services, Inc., what are some technology initiatives of which you are most proud?

  • Complete overhaul/restructure of technology ecosystem which contributed to winning the Fidelity Be Greater Award
  • Automated business processes and workflows for onboarding new clients, account maintenance and client services with expanded secure delivery and execution options that are both compliant, and yield a robust audit trail and reporting capabilities. This has resulted in substantial cost savings and greater operational efficiency
  • Participation across multiple fintech thought leader groups and pilot programs contributing to the ever changing financial technology landscape

What advice would you give women who are interested in pursuing technical roles, even if they may not have a technical background or formal education in a tech field?

Self-educate, never stop reading, ask questions, fail a lot, learn from those failures and use them as an opportunity to further your knowledge. Be prepared for pushback, to be dismissed, or to receive minimal information when pursuing answers, but do not get discouraged and allow these instances to fuel your journey.

Your success depends on your drive, and you are the only person who is able to determine what your success means. If you want it, it’s yours—so make it count.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

When I was working in New York at just 22 years old, I had my first tough client meeting. The best advice I received came in the form of tough love.

I was told to leave my feelings at the door—that I could “lick my wounds” at home, but figure it out in the meantime and come back tomorrow with an answer.

If you could spend a day with any woman in history, who would it be and why?

Amelia Earhart because she had a dream and a goal where failure was not an option, merely an opportunity for further learning and improvement. She challenged a male-dominated industry head-on, without hesitation—proving against all odds that she could and would be successful.

This level of drive and focus has changed the landscape for women to succeed in male-dominated industries, historically, and is what will continue to drive change in future. I would have loved to have spent a day listening to her thoughts, aspirations, and all of the things she sought to accomplish in her lifetime.

 

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