This week is Good Money Week – the annual, national campaign to raise awareness of sustainable and ethical finance and support people to do good with their money. This year’s focus is women – so what better excuse to celebrate the women leading change in the Lab’s community?
This year, the Lab has been working to support women in financial innovation. Most recently, on 30 August, we convened a group of female leaders in the space to share what we’ve learnt so far about the barriers women face, as well as the enablers that have helped them to overcome them. We also invited the attendees to share their efforts to ensure women are represented in finance – and we were inspired!
We were joined by Nonhlanhla Makuyana from Positive Money, who has been campaigning to increase staff diversity within the Bank of England – one of the most important and powerful institutions within our financial system. Nonhlanhla and I shared our plans to work together to encourage and support greater diversity among people working to change finance, acknowledging the many other serious barriers people face based on their race, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, class and other factors, and how for many these barriers combine and intersect. We’re delighted to be partnering to explore how we can introduce an intersectional approach to the women in financial innovation community and best serve other underrepresented groups. We had a really enthusiastic response to these proposals – and are keen to hear from other people who would like to get involved.
We also learnt about some of the exciting initiatives others in the Lab community are leading:
- Helen White from the Chartered Insurance Institute spoke about the Insuring Women’s Futures programme, which aims to improve women’s financial resilience by tackling the way women think about and manage money. She shared the insights from CII’s research on securing the financial future of the next generation of women, particularly on the 12 perils and pitfalls that young women face, and the 6 #momentsthatmatter through women’s lives.
- Olivia Sibony explained how she is encouraging more women into impact investing through her crowdfunding platform SeedTribe, which raises capital for profit-driven businesses that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Madeleine Evans gave us an insider insight into her start-up Levell, a new platform integrating wellbeing into work culture and performance that could help women in finance overcome some of the challenges faced.
And there’s many, many more. All the women who participated in this event and the other brilliant female leaders in our community have shown us the vital role women are playing in building a financial system that serves people and planet.
We are particularly proud of the female alumni of our Fellowship. They include Freda Owusu, tackling financial exclusion through her bottom-up credit referencing agency CredScope, Laura McCullagh, innovating frontline financial health support, and Ashley Lewis, investing in fintech for the underserved with Accion Venture Lab in sub-Saharan Africa. We hope to increase the proportion of female Fellows on the Lab Fellowship 2018-19 – which is now open for applications! If you’re a woman harnessing data to transform finance to be more responsible, democratic and fair, then we’d love to hear from you!
As Anna Laycock, our Executive Director, said at a dinner for WISE100 last week, celebrating women in social enterprise, we want to raise the visibility of more amazing women creating change in finance who are yet to be shouted about. We are committed to growing this group and supporting more women to have an even greater impact. Please get in touch with email@example.com if you’d like to be part of this community.