Breaking Barriers and Fostering Inclusion: Dina Sam’an’s Visionary Journey in Finance and Technology

Dina Sam’an stands as a beacon of innovation and resilience in the rapidly evolving tech and finance industries. As the Co-Founder and Managing Director of CoinMENA, she has carved a significant niche in the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) region’s cryptocurrency exchange landscape.

Beyond her remarkable role in pioneering digital financial solutions, Sam’an is also an influential figure in advancing women’s roles in technology. She serves as an Advisory Board Member for Women in Tech Bahrain and holds the distinction of being the youngest board member in the history of Princess Sumaya University, her alma mater. We at EliteX are proud to introduce Dina Sam’an as one of the Impactful Women in Finance, 2024.

Her journey from launching CoinMENA in 2020 with her co-founders to becoming a leading figure in the finance industry exemplifies her dedication and foresight. Sam’an’s passion for cryptocurrency as a means to democratize access to premium financial services globally has been the cornerstone of her work. Her vision that digital money, designed for the internet age, could revolutionize how we think about and engage with financial services is not just innovative but transformative.

“Through determination, innovation, and a collective effort towards inclusivity, Sam’an is paving the way for a future where women in finance and technology are celebrated for their contributions and achievements.”

Sam’an’s inspiration to pursue a career in finance was partly influenced by her father’s background in the field and the realization that finance was ripe for disruption in the digital age. The challenge of launching CoinMENA during the COVID-19 pandemic tested her resilience, adaptability, and strategic thinking. Facing the complexities of obtaining regulatory approvals and adapting to the pandemic-induced shift to remote work, she led her team through uncharted territories. This period of adversity became a catalyst for innovation, highlighting the importance of flexibility and a forward-thinking mindset. The keys to Sam’an’s success in the finance industry are resilience, strategic thinking, effective communication, adaptability, and a strong commitment to collaboration. These qualities have enabled her to navigate the dynamic world of cryptocurrency and contribute to the field significantly. Staying abreast of industry trends and advancements is a constant in her career, with a deep personal commitment to remaining informed through newsletters, podcasts, and continuous research.

Among her many accomplishments, Sam’an is particularly proud of the establishment of CoinMENA University. This initiative reflects her belief in the power of education to demystify cryptocurrencies and foster broader financial literacy. The platform offers over 100 articles and videos in Arabic and English, aiming to elevate public understanding of digital currencies and their potential to transform financial transactions. Sam’an is acutely aware of the challenges women face in the finance industry, emphasizing that the journey towards inclusivity and equity is a collective endeavor. She points out that the gender gap in representation and compensation remains a significant hurdle. To combat these challenges, Sam’an advocates for the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, such as mentorship programs, targeted recruitment, and transparent pay structures. These efforts, she believes, are crucial steps towards creating a workplace that not only acknowledges but actively values the unique contributions of all team members, providing equal opportunities for everyone.

In promoting diversity and inclusion within her organization, Sam’an employs strategies that extend beyond CoinMENA to the broader tech and finance communities. Her active participation in the Women In Tech forum exemplifies her commitment to empowering women and challenging the norms of what is achievable in the tech industry. Through such initiatives, Sam’an not only champions the cause of women in tech but also sets a powerful example for others to follow. Reflecting on the evolution of women’s roles in finance, Sam’an is optimistic about the future. She observes that the landscape is changing as more women enter the fintech and crypto spaces, driven by companies’ increasing recognition of talent regardless of gender. This natural progression towards talent-based hiring practices is a positive sign for the industry, and Sam’an looks forward to seeing continued growth in this direction.

“Her leadership not only champions the empowerment of women but sets a powerful example of how diversity and mentorship fuel progress in the digital economy.”

Mentorship plays a pivotal role in Sam’an’s career, with her parents serving as her most influential mentors and role models. Their example of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of excellence has deeply influenced her approach to both life and work. From them, she learned the importance of continuous learning and the value of striving for excellence in all endeavors. For young women aspiring to build a successful career in finance, Sam’an offers sage advice: focus on narrow goals and celebrate small wins. Understanding that the path to success is built on incremental achievements rather than overnight transformations can be empowering. By appreciating how far they have come rather than how far they have to go, aspiring professionals can maintain momentum and stay motivated throughout their careers.

Dina Sam’an is at the forefront of addressing the challenges that women face in the finance industry. Recognizing the significance of collective efforts to foster a more inclusive and equitable environment, Sam’an underscores the importance of initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through proactive measures like mentorship programs, targeted recruitment strategies, and transparent pay structures, she advocates for a comprehensive approach to diminish the gender gap in representation and compensation. Sam’an’s leadership reflects a commitment to creating a workplace that values diversity and offers equal opportunities for all, thereby enabling women to excel and contribute fully to the finance sector.

Balancing work and personal life is a theme Sam’an navigates with a deep sense of personal commitment and understanding. She believes that true balance comes from aligning one’s career with their passion, thereby turning work into a rewarding component of life that complements personal values and well-being. Sam’an’s approach to maintaining a healthy work-life balance involves a conscious effort to allocate time and energy towards all aspects of life, ensuring that career achievements do not overshadow the importance of family, friends, and personal health. Her personal life, particularly time spent with family, acts as a grounding force, providing her with perspective and fulfillment beyond her professional accomplishments.

“Dina Sam’an exemplifies the transformative power of resilience, strategic inclusivity, and the relentless pursuit of innovation in finance and technology.”

Sam’an’s journey is not only illuminated by her achievements but also by the influences that have shaped her career. The lessons of resilience, determination, and continuous learning imparted by her parents have been instrumental in her success. To young women aspiring to build a career in finance, she advises focusing on small wins and perseverance, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging progress to motivate.