Fintech Women You Should Know: Ari Montgomery
As the director of talent acquisition and diversity and inclusion at Treasury Prime, Ari is responsible for Treasury Prime's talent acquisition, strategy, and operations for all roles across the company ranging from executive-level positions to highly technical niche roles. Ari joined Treasury Prime from Smarsh where she closed 90 requisitions, over 70 of those being hard to place technical software engineering roles. She started her recruiting career in an agency position where she worked on a portfolio including 300 clients. Ari recently received her Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University, furthering her passion for opening the door to technology for underrepresented groups.
How did you break into the tech industry?
I studied psychology and criminology in college and I thought I was going to either be a therapist or an FBI agent. I wound up working for the State of Oregon in the Department of Justice as a child support case manager. My caseload was huge — around 900 cases at any given time. It started getting extremely emotional and taxing, and even downright dangerous. I started to feel like, this is too much.
Someone suggested that I go into recruiting because of my experience juggling high caseloads. So I started over with a new career pivot and worked my way up at an agency, learning to source for all kinds of technical roles, from site reliability engineers, DevOps, and data engineers, and I learned the ins and outs from my peers. I did agency work for about three and a half years, then I got recruited to a SaaS company. I worked my way up at Smarsh and became the senior acquisition partner, and in September 2021 I joined Treasury Prime.
I've also been an actor since I was 18. I’ve done everything from commercials, network TV shows, film, and theater. That’s how I supported myself through college. I still do a few acting gigs — I just did a Toyota commercial. So, I’ve made all kinds of pivots in my life.
How do you like working in tech?
I love working in tech. Every day I learn something new. I really nerd out with the engineers and love to pick their brains and hear about their projects. Every day they tell me about a new tech tool that came out and it always has a funny name like gherkin or Cucumber — I get to learn about how all these tools work together.
What advice would you give to other people or women who want to get into or advance in tech?
It's never too late. It's always possible. You know, some people took a chance on me, and I want to be that person for others. So maybe a candidate doesn’t fit perfectly on paper, but there is potential in everyone and really, I have found in my career that the biggest driver is enthusiasm, energy, and ambition. So it doesn't matter if you don't fit all the needs or the requirements of a job description. It matters if you care.
How do you like working at Treasury Prime?
I absolutely love it. It's very different than what I'm used to. I came from a company that was about 1000 people so it was a huge shift. But I would never probably never go back to a bigger company at this point. I love the direct change and impact you can make, I love how people put so much trust in you and you can run with new ideas. Sometimes you’re challenged because so many things have never been done before and it’s up to you to create something new, but that's the autonomy I've always wanted. I want to be able to set processes and procedures and have the trust of executives to do what I'm good at. Recently, the company put me through Cornell's Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program, and then I did a presentation for the whole company on unconscious bias in hiring. I feel like my voice is always heard and that's something I haven't felt in a lot of places.
What has your growth been like at Treasury Prime?
I started as an individual contributor and then got promoted after 6 months and now I’m hiring my own team, which is pretty incredible. So that really speaks to the trust that the company has in the people they hire. I also think Treasury Prime has some of the best benefits I've ever had in my life. I know how important health care is. I have two kids under three and one of them has special needs and developmental issues, and I can tell you that we have some of the best coverage when it comes to specialists. We also have some of the best protections when it comes to maternity and paternity leave — four months of paid leave is pretty incredible. So yeah, our perks are really easy to talk about with candidates because they just speak for themselves.
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