“London calling to the faraway towns”…and it is, but not in the way The Clash sang back in 1979.
This time, the siren call of the city is being echoed by Finovate, and FinTech adventurers from around the globe who are docking in London this second week of February to listen to the sounds of tech and banking harmonizing over innovation in financial services.
FemTech Leaders is part of that crew rowing ashore. Our port of call: Lloyds Banking Group’s Digital Hub. Our sailor’s creed: bridge the gender gap in the financial services sector. So we are convening, some 80 of us, to chart a course to create a global community intent on making the industry more inclusive of diverse thought, talent, people, experiences, and inspiration.
London is the capital of FinTech, and one of the most vibrantly diverse cities in the world. It has the potential to be the shining example of what inclusion can create; the positive effect of embracing diversity and what it can do to change financial services for the greater good. FemTech Leaders is planting a flag in London, and heading out to explore the vast yonder – what collective contribution the talented women and men of London can bring to our industry.
I myself am no pirate, let alone a proper ship’s captain, but I yield to the temptation of being part of a community where everyone is up for a challenge, and willing to pitch in to include new, creative, different voices that haven’t yet had their chance to sing.
There’s no way to survive a challenging journey without a tightly knit, trustworthy crew each doing what they do best. The FinTech waters can be rough at times, and, let’s face it, waves of change are washing away once-firm moorings. I want to work alongside people who readily swab the deck, hoist the sail, and man the galley – who are dedicated to getting this vessel safely into a distant port. So I posted a notice, sent out the word, and asked the amazing group of women profiled as part of the FemTech community to sign onto this manifest.
And they did. Immediately offers to help came pouring in. Claire Calmejane offered LBG offices as our port. The whole Lloyds Innovation team stepped up to support our soiree. Low and behold, the crew roster grew – and what a diverse crew it is.
From one shout on a lonely pier to Wednesday’s event: it’s proof that the women and men in this FinTech world recognise the importance of pitching in, having personal relationships, and knowing their fellow FinTechers. They are looking for the chance to connect outside of business meetings in a meaningful way, that taking time to honour and respect the unique contribution each one brings to this industry matters. It’s proof that a truly inclusive crew gets safely to the other shore, come hell or high water, when they work together.
So on Wednesday February 10th our FemTech London maiden voyage sets sail, with a hearty crew, and a happy shanty in our throats, as we splice the mainbrace and raise a toast to becoming an inclusive, creative, supportive community sailing upon the FinTech tides.
Ghela Boskovich is the Global Strategic Business Development & Marketing Director at Zafin that provides relationship banking software solutions built for financial services. Her education has encompassed political science and ultimately a Masters in Economics and she has worked in Geneva, Salt Lake City and now London.
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