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The importance of network

Humans perform best in groups.  We may have evolved beyond our hunter gatherer selves to the point of building individualistic societies, but our desire to belong and work together is hardwired into our brains. Research shows that connections help us to survive, while social rejection triggers pain receptors. Times have changed since men gathered for a hunt and women grouped together to craft, but we still see the benefits of networking; in team sports and their fans, in high school cliques and across social media. Finding where you belong isn’t only useful in social settings; it makes sense in the workplace too.

Networking is a crucial part of driving diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. A network is a group or system of interconnected people or things, and although we may associate it with making small talk and handing out business cards at tech events, it has a much deeper purpose.

Usually, networks are formed according to shared lived experiences, whether that’s what company we work for, where we live or the markers of our identity. Its’ crucial, however, that networks don’t become homogenous cliques. As diversity expert Rebekah Bastian wrote in Forbes, networks influence the way we think and the opportunities we give and receive. Therefore, a “lack of diversity within these networks can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.”

In other words, networks are powerful because we are motivated by likeminded people striving for a shared goal, but if these networks abide by the status quo (of middle class white men), then they won’t realise their true potential. That’s why Findexable facilitates diverse networks; through our champions, partners and ambassadors.

Ambassadors act as role models, promoting an inclusive culture in the industry. They listen to the people they are representing, amplify their voices and concerns and call out poor behaviour. They pave the way for the next generation of innovators, inspiring them to build a fairer and more diverse technological landscape.

We are delighted to announce that two of the most influential changemakers in fintech are joining the Fintech Diversity Radar as ambassadors. Jane and James are making waves in ethical finance, and are going to be invaluable in our initiative, to develop the first dataset and benchmark for diversity in global fintech.

Dr Thomason is an award-winning social impact champion and co-founder of the British Blockchain Frontier Technology Association in Australia. She’s multi-award winning, and has published over 40 peer reviewed articles, 3 books and multiple book chapters including ‘Blockchain for Universal Health Coverage.’ Her book, ‘Blockchainging the World’ details her unexpected launch into the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain and explores how these emerging technologies can be used to revolutionise business, healthcare, education and government. Her passion for improving the representation of women in fintech is evident in all of her work. “Fintech has the power to remove barriers, increase access to financial services among poor and marginal communities, and link the digital economy together,” Dr Thomason said of her ambassador appointment. Meanwhile, she states, women must play their part in fintech innovation, as they control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending, and represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined.

Both men and women can act as ambassadors for women in fintech. In fact, we are strongest when people from all walks of life work towards a common goal. We see this in the great Kenyan thought leader Dr James Mwangi, the Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, one of Africa’s biggest banks which commits $445m to social impact. Dr Mwangi won the Oslo Business for Peace Award in 2020 and is credited with democratizing financial access.

Talking about his participation in the Fintech Diversity Radar initiative, Dr Mwangi says: “If we dare to dream about a life of impact, the journey starts today. Women with their nascent instinct for caring should be part of this journey. It is time for the financial services industry to move beyond the talk. We should drive business for purpose, embrace people’s centricity and equity, and enable entrepreneurship so that we shape a world where everyone can prosper.”

Right now, Findexable is collating data on women in global fintech, to build a comprehensive overview of gender diversity. Following this, will be the development of a digital scorecard and roadmap for the advancement of opportunities for women in the sector. These top tier ambassadors will fly the flag for the FDR, acting as role models and providing others with a glimpse into a fairer future for fintech, where everybody has an equal voice.

Fintechs, get involved! – take the Fintech Diversity Radar survey now

To find out more about findexable’s Fintech Diversity Radar, visit:

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