This year feels like a landmark year - 2018 marks the centenary of women gaining the right to vote, and we've seen seismic events like the #MeToo campaign, which have sought to address the place of women in society.
This International Women's Day feels like a good time to stop and take stock of how much progress has been made, and how much there is still to do. The Fintech community are louder than ever, as the Paris Fintech Forum demonstrated. The event was overshadowed by the barrage of protests across social media, challenging the stark lack of diversity across the speakers.
So how can Fintech continue this momentum? One way you can contribute is to join the Fintech Parity Pledge and make the commitment to no longer stand for events that aren’t committed to diversity.
In the words of some inspirational female figures in Fintech:
I’m grateful that I can feel a change in the air and I remain optimistic for us all for 2018.
So let us continue to stand up, speak out and support our sisters.
FinTech has a diversity problem. There are still far more men employed in it than there are women, and few people of colour among our ranks. That’s particularly evident at the events and conferences where we talk to one another, and tell our story to the wider world. All too often speaker line-ups and panels at FinTech events are predominantly – and often entirely – male. We see the same or similar people on stage over and over again. That’s not good enough. If we want the finest talent – regardless of their background – to join our mission, it helps if they see people like them on stage. If we want to change the face of finance, we need a good cross-section of humanity to get involved in making products and influencing and shaking things up. And if we want to learn something new, we need to hear stories and experiences from a wide range of people. We know that it takes more effort to increase diversity at events and we will show our commitment to making that happen by signing this pledge. This is not tokenism. This is about doing your bit and being the change you want to see. It matters. And it starts with you. The FinTech Parity Pledge is for event organisers, speakers, individuals, employers, sponsors and venues. By signing the pledge, and sticking to it, you are committing to highlighting where there is a lack of diversity at events and doing what you can to make things better.