At Finovate, we believe that fintech has the potential to benefit people all around the world, helping with fundamental problems like access to capital, basic banking services, investment opportunities, and more. In order for fintech to make a difference on a global scale, though, it’s vital to get diverse opinions, experiences, and insights into the conversation. One group (though certainly not the only group) that’s consistently underrepresented in fintech is women, who face a slew of obstacles and challenges that their male counterparts don’t have to overcome.
This is a pain point which I’ve been aware of for my entire life. My mother spent her career working as a programmer for a variety of companies, and I grew up hearing about her experiences in a field dominated by males. Despite the obstacles she faced, she was able to rise through the ranks, and held management positions in some very large companies, including McKesson, Oracle, and Coors. Although I didn’t understand the full implications at the time, I remember hearing stories about interactions she had with male coworkers and employees that (justifiably) set her teeth on edge, and which are even more cringeworthy now that we’re 20 years further down the road.
While there has undeniably been progress made since she began her career in tech in 1985, it’s also undeniable that there’s a long way still to go. I still hear stories that echo her experiences 10, 20, or 30 years ago, and it amazes me that we’re not farther along than we are.
In honor of International Women’s Day today, we are going to be spending a week celebrating women in fintech with inspiring stories from female founders, influencers, and executives, who are helping to shape our industry. We’ll be posting daily updates on our Finovate.com blog, highlighting interviews with women on our Finovate Podcast and YouTube channels, and offering a week-long discount (see footer for details) for all of our 2020 events to help make our shows more accessible to women.
I hope you enjoy the programming coming up this week, and I hope to see the number of female speakers, founders, and attendees at our events continue to rise. In order for fintech to be for everyone, it needs to be from everyone, and we are committed to doing our part to create an inclusive, diverse ecosystem.
To promote the gender goal of 50/50 diversity in financial services, women who register by this Friday, March 13, can purchase a ticket to any 2020 Finovate event at a 50% discount. Just enter the code EQUALITY on the booking form.