W2 Global Data

Newport-based W2 Global Data is supporting ‘People Don’t Have a ‘Best Before’ Date’, which is challenging age discrimination in recruitment, and equipping business owners with the tools they need to build an all age workforce.

W2 Global Data, based at Clarence House in Newport, provides identity verification services to help prevent fraud and money laundering, working with over 100 clients globally,from online retailers to payment providers.

With access to a wide range of data sources, the company can instantly find out if the data given by an individual is genuine; helping to spot if an online gamer is underage, discover the identity of the person sat behind an email address and even whether someone is on a criminal wanted list.

The number of staff there has doubled since the start of the year, with more than 40 people on the payroll, around 35 of whom live in South Wales.

Gary Pine, the company’s chief product officer, said it’s had an all-age approach to recruitment since launching in 2011. He said: “As we continue to look for people who want to grow with the company we remain a dynamic, perpetual start-up. We want people who will roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, and age has no bearing on that, whatsoever.

“Short, tall, old or young really doesn’t matter to us. 

“I’m interested in whether they’ll be a good cultural fit for the company. What empowers them? Can they build instant rapport with someone? None of that has anything to do with age.”

Nicky Vaksdal, 51, joined as a business development manager in March. The mum of two children (aged 31 and 16, and a five-year-old granddaughter) says she has never experienced ageism at work.

She said: “I’ve always worked with start-ups - I like the challenge of being part of a smaller business, watching it grow and adding value. I feel young. Age is an old-fashioned idea and the people I work with simply don’t consider it a factor.

“I might be old-school in some ways (I still print out the odd email) but I’m digitally engaged and full of ideas. Fintech is a diverse and exciting industry and every day I work alongside people in their 20s and people in their 60s.

“I have more confidence than I did when I was younger but there are no negatives to ageing, when it comes to work.”

Gary, who is 50 himself, said: “Nicky brings a wealth of experience and there’s no end to her imagination. She’s innovative and is always happy to shake up the status quo - which is what matters. Fresh, young minds are wonderful but it’s equally important to employ people with experiences as they’ll link those ideas.

“They know what works and what doesn’t - some of the most creative people I know weren’t born that way - it came from life experience.”