Suzan is a passionate leader at Visa, sponsoring a range of internal programs on recruiting and employee engagement designed to support the needs of the business and engage employees. As a powerful driver of inclusion, Suzan mandates that interview slates for every open position on her team include diverse talent. She has a demonstrable record of accomplishment in educating her peers on the importance of their role in creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and accepted. Suzan regularly participates, as an executive sponsor, in Visa’s Employee Resource Groups and is co-anchor of ViBE (Visa Inc Black Employees). She works to build awareness, and mentors both internally and externally. Through a partnership with Columbia Business School, Suzan hosted a joint event in Visa’s Innovation Center to open access to Visa for that year’s group of MBA students. In addition to her work responsibilities, Suzan has been a Board Member in organisations such as The Zawadi Africa Education Fund; Executive Leadership Council. She is also regularly invited to be a panel speaker on the topic of ethnic minority inclusion, and has earned a President’s Award for her work with the Red Cross in New York.
Sonia joined Visas Asia Pacific office in 2000 and she moved to the US in 2014. She is currently responsible for partnering with business groups in Visa to drive initiatives while balancing risk and agility in innovation. Prior to moving to the US, she worked with banks, retailers and service providers in Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa on fraud, chargeback, brand protection and data security initiatives. Growing up in multi-cultural Singapore, she considers herself pathologically pro-diversity. Besides being an active campaigner for diversity and inclusion initiatives in the risk function, she is also the co-chair for the Visa Womens Network which is focused on ensuring women in Visa are able to reach their aspirations. Over the years, she has mentored colleagues in Dubai, Singapore and USA, to help them thrive at work while embracing their authentic selves. Externally, she volunteers at the Penninsula College Fund to help low-income, first-generation college students of immigrant families reach the college graduation finish line, and is a mentor for Everwise as well as Aspire Foundation, mentoring aspiring women around the world.
As Senior Director, Global Data Security & Third Party Risk at Visa, Sonia leads a global team responsible for development of payment security standards and third party risk policies and elevating Risk as a value creation function.
Besides her proven track record of leading globally diverse teams to drive execution of risk policies, she has also recently championed a diversity inclusion initiative within the Visa Risk Organization called Know and Grow with a co-worker This is a 6-month, team-based program that provides an opportunity for Risk employees, especially the underrepresented, to interact with the Risk Leadership Team and other Risk colleagues, and learn outside their core work area. The overarching goal of the program is to promote and facilitate cross-pollination, connections and collaborations to build an inclusive Risk organization, and most importantly, to counter potential biases and perceptions.
Sonia is also a mentor for a number of people outside of the US including one Macedonian, now based in Dubai, and 2 Asians from Singapore. Her true passion lies in teaching, elevating people (from any background), and rolling up her sleeves to make a difference and to change the game.