Helping People Achieve Financial Independence Drives the Dynamic Team and Culture of SoFi

Chief People Officer Anna Avalos explained how SoFi’s mission drives its people, now approximately 4,000 strong, while the fintech company’s culture supports and empowers them.

Written by Stephen Ostrowski
Published on Jan. 20, 2023
Helping People Achieve Financial Independence Drives the Dynamic Team and Culture of SoFi
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People have different needs. This is true for most things, but is especially the case for their finances. 

There’s the savvy armchair investor looking to bolster their portfolio. The recent college grad is just trying to juggle the demands of professional life with competing financial priorities, all while trying to build a strong financial foundation. The late-stage career professional assiduously tracks their accounts with the prospect of retirement on the horizon. And while the wants and needs of all of these people might change over time, there’s a shared hope for financial security regardless of life stage. 

San Francisco-headquartered fintech company SoFi, which offers a member-centric, one-stop shop for digital financial services, is on a mission to help people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. And as each person’s financial situation varies so dramatically, so too does the support they seek from financial technology. But that’s a challenge SoFi gladly accepts.

 

SoFi team members pictured volunteering
SOFI

 

SoFi is driven by our mission and values,” Chief People Officer Anna Avalos said. “Our team members are ambitious and care deeply about our mission, which is to help people achieve financial independence and realize their ambitions. It is amazing to see how much we are able to accomplish working together as a team.”

Among those accomplishments — which include introducing new features and capabilities — the company has made a handful of recent acquisitions to build out a robust portfolio of financial products and services. For example, in 2020, its acquisition of Galileo Financial Technologies helped SoFi facilitate digital payments via its API. In 2022, SoFi acquired Latin America-based digital banking company Technisys as part of the company’s pursuit to build the AWS of fintech. 

After these acquisitions, the SoFi team is now global, and is more than 4,000 professionals strong. And while team dynamics have changed since its founding just over a decade ago, there are certain values and elements of culture that have remained the same. Avalos recently discussed with Built In the culture, employee experience and values that comprise the momentum behind SoFi’s mission.

 

All About SoFi

The 101 on SoFi starts with a big figure: 4.7 million. This is the number of people that use its product for everything from banking to student loan refinancing, credit insights and investing. Building off its iOS and Android app, the company rolled out its inaugural credit card in 2021.

 

When have you noticed SoFi’s values coming to life?

I see it every day, but probably top of mind for me would be when our team was recently working to support the integration of Technisys. One of our core values is “Embrace diversity” — ensuring everyone feels welcomed, included and able to contribute. Watching how thoughtfully the team worked to create space to understand the experiences of the employees at Technisys — which is largely a Latin American-based business — when determining the integration plan was an amazing example of our values in action. We know that one plus one can equal three when we work collaboratively and value the insights of others.

 

 

How is SoFi working to improve the employee experience? 

Our goal at SoFi is to be a place where people love to work, with diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of everything we do. What that means in terms of the employee experience has shifted over time — especially since the pandemic. We recently launched SoFi Gives, where our employees can take up to 16 hours of paid time off throughout the year to volunteer. We’ve also launched wellness benefits and worked to ensure that mental health and overall well-being is prioritized. 

 

“Our goal at SoFi is to be a place where people love to work, with DEI at the center of everything we do.”

 

All of this — coupled with engaging events and educational content from our SoFi Circles (which are our employee-led employee resource groups) and monthly celebrations of our SoFi values through our “Value of the Month” programming — is meant to build connection and to support our employees so they are able to bring their full selves to work.

 

DEI at SoFI

SoFi has nine employee-led ERGs, or “SoFi Circles”:

  • Ability @ SoFi
  • Good Grief
  • Parents at SoFi
  • SoFi’s Network for Asian and Pacific Islanders
  • SoFi Pride
  • SoFi Unidos
  • SoulFi
  • Veterans at SoFi
  • Women at SoFi

 

Additionally, SoFi publishes a DEI-focused podcast on Spotify, with previous episodes including “Being Black in the Workplace” and “National Coming Out Day: The Importance of Self-Love and Authenticity.” 

 

What changes are being made to both the in-office and remote employee experience? 

We shifted to a hybrid way of working, offering employees the ability to work remotely from home, in an office or a combination of both. This not only was important from a mental health perspective during the pandemic, but also offered employees more flexibility to balance the needs of work and home by reducing commuting times. Since Zoom fatigue is real, and in order to help us come together with intention, our offices’ site leads launched Thoughtful Thursdays the third Thursday of the month to encourage our team members to come together for a variety of rotating experiences like chair massages, volunteer activities and fitness events. 

 

Support Amidst Turbulence

Just as SoFi tweaked elements of the employee experience to support its internal team members during the pandemic, it also made external changes to support its members in times of turbulence. For example, it introduced a variety of features to help members navigate market volatility, like in-app market recaps throughout the day, Q&As led by in-house certified financial planner professionals on Twitter and more. 

 

What can new hires expect from their career journeys at SoFi? Why is now a good time to join the team?

SoFi is a great place for anyone looking to make an impact. Our goal is to be a top 10 financial institution, which means there is much growth ahead for both our business and our employees. New hires can expect to join a mission-based company that is changing people’s financial lives for the better and does so by really living its core values.

 

 

Related ReadingBehind the Scenes of 3 SoFi Fintech Products

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via SoFi.

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