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Banco Inter: CFO talks about women in leadership roles with Helena Caldeira

July 2023

The April edition of G5 Talks interviewed Helena Caldeira, CFO and IRO of Banco Inter. She has been at the Bank since 2016, and this young executive is now responsible for the entire financial and market relations area. She discussed her professional career with Levindo Santos and Francisco Bilé, Partners at G5, and Maíra Bordieri, Analyst, also commenting on the challenges faced in the corporate market, particularly by women, as well as the challenges of managing a digital bank that is constantly transforming and achieving high growth rates. G5 Talks is a project through which business leaders exchange experiences and learnings with the team at G5 Partners. 

Women and the job market 

Helena said that she always sought growth and space by dedicating herself to her professional training, without being intimidated by obstacles. For her, the fact that the financial market is predominantly male has never interfered with her ability to pursue dreams and projects. “I tried to ignore this fact during my entire life, ignore it in the sense of not feeling withdrawn because of it. I believe that people need to be evaluated for their skills and capabilities. I always overlooked problems or difficult situations that I found myself in. I always invested in my professional training, as well as in my personal development, through courses, therapies and by reading a lot, which makes me who I am today”, she explained. According to Helena, the fact that she comes from a predominantly female family pushed her even further. “They are strong women. Having this inspiration at home has always made me go further. And that made me who I am. I also try to do my part by bringing more women to the team, in the most natural way possible,” she stated. 

Tolerance for errors to grow at Inter 

With over 10 million customers and a market value of over R$50 billion, Banco Inter has been expanding. Helena has also grown a lot professionally during this process. “I have a lot to contribute to Inter, but there are a lot of other people who can also contribute. We are reinventing ourselves and growing. We have grown, but we have to constantly share responsibilities and increasingly attract people with technical experience in new areas”, she said, also adding that “the Bank likes to attract good people with people skills. We have already become a reference employer brand.” According to her, one of Banco Inter’s biggest challenges is “to continue growing consistently. This is even more challenging than maintaining the entrepreneurial drive, which is already well ingrained in our culture”. Helena highlighted that one of the key points for the Bank to remain agile and always with adequate governance, in addition to having “tolerance for error”. “There is always a chance to propose or bring something new. There is also tolerance for error, as long as you try to correct mistakes quickly and learn from them. This is part of our culture. How do we do this while preserving processes and security? By not letting our pillars fail. Stability, integrity and security are our pillars”, she concluded. According to Helena, the Bank executes this work on an ongoing basis. “We constantly seek to improve our governance. If our corporate culture did not have tolerance for error, genuine error, we would not have the opportunity to test and grow. Innovation, with governance, has to be the agenda”, she concluded.

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