Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Companies with more diverse management teams do better... so go get more women' Square CFO

Square chief financial officer Sarah Friar. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Square chief financial officer Sarah Friar. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

'Companies with more diverse management teams do better... so go get more women'.

This was the message from Sarah Friar, chief financial officer of tech company Square.

As chief financial officer of Jack Dorsey's $20bn payments company Square, Ms Friar is setting a pace that has helped the company to beat market expectations and triple the share price.

Speaking at the Web Summit's MoneyConf event in Dublin today Ms Friar said that diversity in companies was not increasing with time, and that companies have to really push to implement this change.

"If you want more women you are better off saying 'I'm only going to interview women' and it is amazing how many recruiters will come back and be like 'oh we can't find any' - in the whole world you just can't find a woman? If you just keep pressing them... you have to push to bring diversity in."

Square, which was started by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has a management team that is 50pc made up of women.

Ms Friar, a native of County Tyrone said that employees will leave if they do not feel that they are working in an inclusive environment.

"You can do all you want to hire people in but if they arrive and it is not an inclusive environment they won’t feel like it is the place for them and they ain’t staying."

Ms Friar also told a packed RDS that there was a lot of space for Square to expand further.

"Today 28 million small businesses in the US don’t except electronic payments, in the UK 50pc of small businesses don’t, there is a space there, it makes things more convenience for consumers," she said.

In terms of possible future acquisitions, Ms Friar said that the company was "always looking."

"We are looking to Europe, we are always looking a the emerging markets, China is a very different beast, it feels like a more tough market for Western companies to break into."

Today's event was opened by Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave, who said it was "great" to be back in Dublin.

"We have always wanted a reason to come back and MoneyConf is the perfect reason."

The event is being attended by over 5,000 delegates from more than 80 countries.

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