Daiga Trumpe
Chief Human Resources Officer
by Jake Liban Pezzack

Daiga Trumpe's humble beginnings would not have foretold an illustrious career in the Technology industry.

Beginning her professional journey in the artistic field, Daiga graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Pedagogy. Transferring the skills she'd accrued, Daiga ventured into the teaching profession, specialising in art and design. But it wasn't long before disillusionment set in. "I slowly started to realise that this wasn't my dream, nor was it financially rewarding," she notes.

Opting for a change, Daiga graduated from Latvian State University with a MsC in International Economics & Business. Her first corporate job was in the Telecommunication industry, with mobile operator Tele2.

"From that point on, I never looked back. I became completely enamoured with technology."

Whilst being interviewed for a role with a Microsoft start-up in the Baltic States, Daiga was asked to envisage where she saw herself in ten years' time. There was little hesitation. She knew exactly where she wanted to be. "Country Manager," she retorted.

Identified as somebody with high potential, Daiga was enrolled in the company's EMEA HiPo program, and assigned a Senior Mentor/Executive Sponsor. Demonstrating a penchant for functional leadership roles, her efforts culminated in a thoroughly deserved appointment to Country Manager in the Autumn of 2008.

"The decade I spent at Microsoft effectively served as my business schooling. It taught me how to perform in a fast and dynamic environment, manage internal stakeholders, and always be ready for change."

Moving out to Dubai, Daiga embarked on the next phase of her career: Management Consulting with a Global Executive Search firm.

"It was a rather unique experience," Daiga remarks. "I had to acclimate to emerging business standards, as well as the culture. Both are very different from well established western markets. I was an outsourced Talent Acquisition Business Partner for leading global & regional IT companies, building their teams from scratch."

Having witnessed limited growth opportunities for women in these markets, Daiga got involved in Reach, a non-profit mentor program that facilitated young female talents across the Middle East. Championing these causes, she even published leadership studies, examining issues faced by women in gulf ICT industries.

Eager to employ somebody with flair and dexterity, EXANTE scouted out Daiga, offering her the opportunity to build a HR team with a strong in-house Talent Acquisition department.

For the last two years, Daiga has served as the company's Chief Human Resources Officer. She is currently based in Malta, leading EXANTE's HR team across five separate countries.
How do you feel EXANTE champions and supports their female employees?
I think the facts speak for themselves. Women make up half of our management team. 32% of our workforce is female, which is incredibly atypical when you consider how male-dominated our sector is. We've got equal compensation and benefits, a flexible work/life balance, and overall, EXANTE is just a great place to work!
Tell us more about your current role. What excites you most about working for EXANTE?
I'm EXANTE's Chief Human Resources Officer. My job is to take care of our most valuable asset: our people. Acquiring, cultivating and retaining the best talent. That's what I'm here to do!

Every day is different. There's always something new happening. We're a trendsetting company in a dynamic industry, so it's never dull! I work with a variety of smart and ambitious people, all of whom I admire and cherish!
Is there a particular accomplishment you're been most proud of?
As Head of HR, I led a company-wide transformation. By investing in leadership, I was able to build a performance-driven culture, changing EXANTE from a legacy start up into a pioneering, ambitious enterprise. I am proud of every new talent we've brought into the company. I love to see people enjoy what they do, and grow professionally.
How do you think we can incentivise more women to pursue careers in the FinTech sector?
I don't think there's enough emphasis placed on the importance of role models and mentoring. I was able to reach my potential because of such guidance. Women need supporters. We need counsellors. When balancing the pressures of corporate business and domestic life, I think encouragement is an indispensable tool.
What have been some of the most challenging aspects of your career? How did you surmount those obstacles?
It was difficult to sustain a healthy work/life balance when my kids were small. I was trying to be an attentive mother whilst simultaneously building my career. When I look back, I realise that I was lucky to have had a resilient support system and a flexible work environment.
Who or what has been the principal guiding force in your work life?
I always aspire to do my best. Ultimately, that's all you can do. Maximal effort is a must.
Who are some of your heroes?
As a general rule, I admire people who achieve and attain, in spite of their obstacles and limitations. My children inspire me too. I'm so proud of them.
What is something that people usually get wrong about you?
People tend to think that IT professionals are games enthusiasts, or that we're all hardware geeks who fix PCs. I'm afraid I can't do either!
What advice would you give to ambitious young women starting out in their careers?
Surround yourself with people who want to accelerate your growth and broaden your horizons. Avoid people who bring you down. And never take advice from anyone who has not done something remarkable with their own life.