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Garima’s team is waging a war on financial crime and their biggest weapon is diversity

“Diversity is critical in managing risk. When everyone is thinking the same way, things get overlooked.” Garima Chaudhary, Head Financial Crime & Compliance Management Solution Consulting, Americas

Garima leads our Financial Crime and Compliance Management Sales Consulting team for the Americas. She’s extremely passionate about her team’s mission—to create a safer world.

In the current pandemic, when crimes against women, child exploitation, and the drug crisis have exploded, Garima’s role in empowering financial institutions to detect and fight crime has never been so critical.

An inspiring career at Oracle, spanning fourteen years and several continents, has proved to Garima that diverse perspectives are imperative if we are to win a fight against criminals who are constantly evolving their illegal tactics.

The impact of financial crime is systemic
Millions of people around the world are losing lives and continuing to suffer due to the devastating impact of the criminal activities which are funded by money laundering. The United Nations estimates that $800 billion to $2 trillion is laundered for illegal industries every year.

“After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the second top motive,” Garima explains. “Forced labor generates over $150 billion per year by robbing a stunning 25 million people of their freedom and basic human dignity—which is roughly the population of Australia.”

Technology is a game changer in the war against organized crime
Nothing is more rewarding to Garima than being able to make a difference for these victims. “Even as a kid, crimes like human exploitation always bothered me,” she remembers. “Now, by helping financial institutions prevent money laundering, I’m proud to be contributing to the fight against organized crimes like sex trafficking, modern-day slavery, and terrorist financing.”

Garima’s team is using cutting-edge technologies such as graph analytics, machine learning, AI, and deep learning to fight highly complex financial crimes successfully. “Our technology works by assessing complete customer behavior and increasing the agility of an organization’s financial crime compliance programs,” she describes. “This is what excites me to come to work every day—even in my home office.”

Career beginnings  
Garima joined Oracle as a solution engineer in India in 2006. Two years later, she began traveling around the world as a consultant, working with financial institutions to deploy the same product she had helped engineer. “I got the opportunity to work with large customers in Australia, South America, and the US and help them implement our product,” she recalls. “Working directly with operational response officers gave me the insight to see exactly how the software I was developing was helping them manage and streamline operational risk processes.”

After a seeing first-hand how end users were using our product, Garima returned to India to apply her insights directly to product development. “I went back to engineering and was able to leverage all of my consulting experience to lead the development of our first version of a risk management product,” she says.

A journey defined by constant growth
Garima has always been driven to push her boundaries and learn new skills, and in 2014, she was ready to make moves once again. She relocated to the US full-time as a sales consultant, again working with institutions to tailor solutions to meet their financial crime and compliance needs.

“This provided me an opportunity to engage with our customers early on to understand their compliance responsibilities, challenges, and priorities, and work with them to develop a compliance solution that would drive value,” she says. “This is what helped me develop from a “techie” to a technical functional role.”

Leaders who listen
Throughout her career, Garima has benefited from thoughtful mentorship by her mangers in each role and geographic location. “Continuous valuable advice, encouragement, and support from experienced management has been key to advancing my career from a solution engineer to a leadership role,” she shares.

“I’ve been encouraged to take up new domains, enabling me to move among engineering, consulting, and sales consulting,” she describes. “This has allowed me to understand the products not only from the technology standpoint, but also from the business domain perspective, which really maximizes the value I can provide to clients.”

The business case for diversity
At Oracle, we’re firm believers that diversity makes our teams stronger and our ideas better, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Garima’s team. “Diversity is critical in managing risk,” she explains. “If everyone is thinking the same way, that's exactly when things get overlooked. I’m fortunate to be working in compliance risk where women are advancing like wildfire.”

Garima goes on to inform us that, based on research over the last 20 years, compliance is one of the fastest growing professions for women around the world. However, in the US just 30% in management roles such as Chief Compliance Officer are women, and globally that figure falls to 10%. Garima is proud of her senior position but equally passionate about bringing other women with her.

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap isn’t the only unfair treatment women have to live with. As we know, crimes against women have spiked during the pandemic, leaving law enforcement, compliance professionals, and regulators challenged with limited resources. “This is where we can help compliance professionals with innovative technologies,” she states. “Being able to identify crime patterns early on. Therefore creating a safer world for women—and everyone.”

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