If you can’t celebrate yourself, how in the hell you gonna celebrate somebody else? So last month, to mark LGBT History Month in the UK and Black History Month in the US, we put together an event to celebrate diverse voices in the FinTech industry.
You might be wondering what FinTech is and why you should even bother? Well, it is short for the financial technology sector (e.g. DueDil, Monzo, Paypal, Transferwise etc.) and its importance to the UK cannot be understated. FinTech employs more than 61,000 individuals in the UK and generated £6.6bn in revenue in 2015. With all that coin, UK FinTech attracts some of the brightest minds from around the world. However, diversity within the sector could be improved.
Our speakers, Gary, Simon, Alun, Izzy, and Tom shared personal stories that left us feeling inspired. Intersectionality. Reverse mentoring. From corporates sponsoring Pride to what it takes to build inclusive cultures beyond checkboxes; it was a very stimulating evening with varied discussions and viewpoints. Their individual roles in enabling diversity in the FinTech industry underscored the maxim, if you want to predict the future, you’d better build it!
DueDil, our event host and sponsor, did an awesome job creating a safe and inclusive space for us to celebrate diverse and inclusive voices in the community. Intertech, was also a massive support; it was great to see InterTech members networking away after the event. A writer from Diversity Matters was also there, and she worked with one of my event co-organisers on an article about the event here.
The icing on the cake was raising £486 through ticket sales, donations and matched funding from Duedil, for a worthwhile cause; the Albert Kennedy Trust, because no young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are. We’re glad we got the chance to think about what diversity in the workplace really means to us; a black gay man and two black cis het men working together to create space to celebrate us within our industry.
Personally, it was a privilege to have supported a young man that I mentor, who came up with the idea for the event in the first place. Him and my event co-organisers are true allies who actually get it.
We’re continuing the conversation online #DiversityinFintech – join us.
Nzube is a corporate finance professional, with a background in technology and entrepreneurship, from operations to strategy, and business analysis/development to equity investments