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Meet the 500: Finastra CIO Tamila Fathi

The innovation leader on why her spirit animal is an elephant, why she is a real estate agent in her spare time, and more.
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In her role as chief information officer, Tamila helps lead global fintech company, Finastra, which generates $1.85 billion in revenue and serves 90 of the world’s top 100 banks. As a woman in the male-dominated tech industry, she says she has  experienced her share of discrimination. “If I could change one thing about the industry, it would be to make it easier for diverse talent to climb the ladder in technology,” Fathi says. “Although we have come a long way, we still have much farther to go before we make executive suites not just accessible to, but inclusive of, diverse talent and diverse thought leadership.”

Education: Southern Methodist University (BBA-Organizational Behavior and Business Policy) 

Best Advice: “Early in my career, I was reminded I would always be different because I was one of the few women in tech. More than once, I was told that my greatest successes would only happen after I fully accepted my differences and stopped waiting for others to accept me.”

Key Strategies: “Be human, be vulnerable, be transparent, and be honest. Mistakes are how we grow. As a leader, I strive to create space for others to fail fast and fail forward.”

Pivotal Moment: “It was not an easy decision to file for divorce when my daughters were only 2 and 5. But looking back, it was what I needed to do, and it shows my daughters that hardships are part of building character, strength, and ambition.”

Destinations of Choice: “My daughters and I love to travel together. Our favorite trip so far was to Europe, visiting Harry Potter Studios in London and seeing the beautiful landmarks in Paris.”

Hobby/Passion: “I love to use the artistic and creative side of my brain. I’ve been a makeup artist as a hobby for more than 25 years. I enjoy teaching others how to do their makeup and look forward to doing the same for my girls when it’s time.”

Local Fare: “My new but old favorite is Sadelle’s in Highland Park. I used to travel to New York often, and on every trip, I would go to Sadelle’s. Now that it’s here, I’m excited to get a Salmon Tower with a gluten-free everything bagel for brunch.”

Fun Fact: “People might be surprised that I’m a real estate agent in my ‘spare’ time because I enjoy helping others find their dream homes.”

First Car: “It was a Honda Civic Si Hatchback.”

Walk-Up Song: “Katy Perry’s song, ‘Rise.’ When I hear it, I can feel every single word.”

Book Club: “Anything by Brené Brown is a must. The sooner we embrace being vulnerable leaders, the sooner we accept diverse talent and diverse thought.”

Animal Spirit: “An elephant. Many have said I have the memory of one while others have seen my loyalty and strength shine through.”

Alternate Reality: “Before my technology career, I thought I would be a pediatrician.”

Looking Ahead: “I’m excited about learning more about life, cybersecurity, and technology. Life is about living, learning, and growing. I can’t wait for the next new challenge and experience!”

This Q&A is extended content from Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit for details.


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…

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