Cristina Junqueira, a visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of Nubank, has made history as the first Brazilian executive to be recognized by Fortune in their prestigious Under 40 list. With this accolade, Fortune celebrates the remarkable contributions of young leaders who are revolutionizing various industries. Junqueira's inclusion in the finance category is a testament to her exceptional achievements and her role in transforming the banking landscape.
In 2013, while pregnant with her first child, Junqueira embarked on a remarkable journey by co-founding Nubank alongside David Vélez (CEO) and Edward Wible (CTO). Together, they set out to challenge the status quo and disrupt the financial industry in Brazil. Their brainchild, Nubank, quickly rose to prominence as the largest independent digital bank in the world.
Junqueira's remarkable journey is not only a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit, but also to her resilience and determination. As a prominent female business leader, she provides a model of success in the face of gender bias and discrimination. Furthermore, she demonstrated unwavering resolve as she raised venture capital while seven months pregnant, defying societal norms and challenging the barriers faced by women in the male-dominated world of finance.
One of Nubank's core values is to build diverse and inclusive teams, and Junqueira has been instrumental in championing this cause. Within Nubank, 43% of the 2,700 employees are women, occupying various seniority levels and departments. In the engineering field, where gender disparity is often pronounced, Nubank boasts a remarkable 20% female representation, well above the industry average of 12%. Junqueira's commitment to fostering diversity and empowering women serves as an inspiration to aspiring female leaders in Brazil and beyond.
Junqueira's influence extends far beyond her professional achievements. When she’s not shattering barriers in the business world, she’s making history as the first pregnant woman to grace the cover of a business magazine in Brazil. On top of that, earlier this year, Forbes recognized her as one of the Most Powerful Women in Brazil. Meanwhile, in 2019, she was honored with the Visionary Entrepreneurs of the Year Award by BRAVO.
With an impressive academic background, Junqueira holds a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Engineering from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), as well as an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Her diverse educational journey and experience in strategic consulting and traditional banking laid a strong foundation for her entrepreneurial pursuits.
Junqueira’s story is an important one. Her achievements at Nubank have not only revolutionized the financial industry but have also broken down barriers for women in business. As the only Brazilian executive recognized in Fortune's prestigious Under 40 list, Junqueira's legacy will continue to inspire future generations of leaders, proving that success knows no bounds when passion, innovation, and diversity converge.