London's calling

London’s Calling

“London calling to the far away towns”…and it is, but not in the way Joe Strummer and Mick Jones sang back in ’79.

This time, the siren call of the city is being echoed by Finovate, and FinTech adventurers from around the globe are docking in London this
second week of February to listen to the dulcet sounds of tech and banking harmonizing over innovation in financial services.Ghela

FemTech Leaders is part of that crew rowing ashore. Our port of call: Lloyds Banking Group’s Atrium and 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 the course of how we 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 embracing diversity 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 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 bank moorings. I want to work along side 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 on to sign onto this manifest.

And they did. Immediately offers to help came pouring in. Claire Calmejane offered The Atrium as our port. The whole Lloyds Innovation team stepped up to sponsor our soiree.  Low and behold, the crew roster grew, and what a diverse crew it is.

From one shout on a lonely pier to tonight’s event: it’s proof that the women and men in this FinTech world recognize the importance of pitching in, of having personal relationships, of 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 tonight, 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.

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