Marla Sofer: On Bringing Lessons and Learnings From Women’s Networks into Fintech

Marla Sofer

Marla Sofer is the Strategic Partner Development Director of Financial Services at Microsoft, one of the world’s largest technology companies. As a fintech executive, Marla propels growth through her client-focused attitude while utilizing her background in conflict resolution to negotiate practical solutions for complex problems.

As a champion of women’s equality in the workplace, Marla co-founded LendingClub’s Women’s Internal Network and also recently founded a Bay Area chapter of the Invesco Women’s Network. Marla was awarded the title of 2020 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Marla Sofer talks about working in the Middle East for American University’s Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution program
  • Why Marla went into the financial services industry instead of diplomacy
  • What is the correlation between well-developed communication skills and professional success?
  • The ugly truth of sexism in organizations: female executives often gain responsibility but not career growth
  • Marla discusses the importance of creating women’s networks, especially in male-dominated organizations
  • How Marla is making a difference in the workplace by encouraging feedback and trust in female-focused groups
  • How do you establish company culture while challenging tradition and convention?
  • Marla’s bright vision for the future of fintech (hint: empathy and diversity!)

In this episode…

Are you a woman in an industry dominated by men? Do you want to be in a tight-knit community of professional women who empower each other?

Over the years, Marla Sofer has repeatedly experienced the feeling of being one of the only women—or the only woman—in a room full of men. As a financial technology executive, Marla has fought fiercely for gender equality in organizations that believe equity means having one woman at the boardroom table. Despite constant frustrations and setbacks, there has been one major shining light in Marla’s fight for equality: women’s networks. Marla has created and participated in many female-focused groups over the years—and today she is here to reveal why creating a women’s network in your area is the secret to success you’ve been looking for.

In this episode of Next Wave Leadership, Marla Sofer, Strategic Partner Development Director of Financial Services at Microsoft, sits down with Dov Pollack to talk about her inspiring journey as a female fintech executive. Listen in as Marla discusses her storied background in international conflict resolution, the ugly truth of deep-rooted sexism in large organizations, and the importance of building tight-knit women’s networks in your organization. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Founded by Dov Pollack, Next Wave Leadership is an executive coaching firm focused on helping CEOs, executives and emerging leaders create great places to work by creating great places to grow.

If you are a leader who is looking to differentiate your voice, own your story, and choose your path with purpose.

Next Wave Leadership can help you get the results you want and need.

To know more about what we can do to help you and your team grow, visit our website at or send us an email at


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