Gender diversity is talked about more and more, but the walk is still lagging. Despite the spotlight increase this year, presence at C-suite level and in IT is dismal.
Earlier this month Deloitte reported in Smashing IT’s glass ceiling: Perspectives from leading women CIOs that “the majority of participants in a recent survey saw no significant gender differences in the essential leadership traits of intelligence, innovation, ambition, honesty, and decisiveness, and gave women the advantage in compassion and organization”.
And at the same time, during the last days of February, anyone on social media saw the NY times article “Women in Cryptocurrencies Push Back Against ‘Blockchain Bros” that highlighted the marketing approach of called DateCoin, the dating industry’s first blockchain transparent venture (aren’t they all first?), that posted a Facebook ad with a reclining woman in a swimsuit with text over her body that read, “Touch my I.C.O.” And called out the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami in January for having 86 men speakers and 1 woman, and for holding the conference party at a Miami strip club.
Now lets look beyond these facts that show that we still need to advocate for women and we most definitely, need to boycott the humiliating realities of advertising. While all this is happening, there are great men and women out there taking real actions towards better business that has to include women.
Omar Selim is at the heart and soul of Arabesque, a Fintech launched in 2013 from an independent buyout from Barclays bank. The mission is to be a platform for those seeking to change the world through sustainable finance. Their S-Ray tool is monitoring sustainability and rating public companies on all ESG principles. They were able for example, to alert their clients about a falling governance score for Volkswagen well before the scandal hit the markets.
Earlier this month, Think Yellow already mentioned in the January playlist of 10, announced two concrete actions. Through Baloise bank, Think Yellow has designed the first pension plan product called “Yellow Equities”. Through Julius Bear, investors can choose from 3 JB certificates that are listed on the SIX exchange: JB Tracker Certificate on the Think Yellow Gender Equality Nordic Stars Basket, JB Tracker Certificate on the Think Yellow Gender Equality Global Basket, JB Tracker Certificate on the Think Yellow Gender Equality Benchmark Basket.
Ealrier this month Pefin already mentioned in the Feb playlist, won the People’s Choice award at SXSW Innovation Awards for the “New Economy”! This category honors companies that are redefining the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems and beyond. SXSW, was established in 1987 in Austin, Texas, is a highly regarded festival that presents and celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries.
Amy Clarke, Lizzie Scott, James Lawson are the two women and the man, have cofounded the first UK discretionary wealth manager with dedicated exclusively to social, impact, and responsible investment. Tribe Impact Capital that aligns non-financial values with financial values. Their motto is “redefining wealth” and they are shortlisted this year for the Wealth Briefing Awards for : 1) Corporate Social Responsibility / Diversity 2) Specialist Investment Manager and 3) Outstanding Contribution to Wealth Management Thought Leadership. The winners will be announced on April 26.
Deborah Fuhr, is the managing partner at the research firm ETFGI, an independent research and consultancy firm launched in 2012 in London offering research subscription services covering trends in the global ETFs and ETP industry and ecosystem. She is also the co-founder of Women in ETFs in 2014. During these 4 years, WE “Rings the Bell for Gender Equality,” at 43 stock exchanges around the world on International Women’s Day. This is the first women’s group for the ETF industry, a non-profit organization that brings together over 3,200 members, including women and men, in chapters in major financial centers across the United States, Canada, EMEA and Asia Pacific to empower the careers of women, by organizing events that support education, networking, philanthropy.
Dr. Linda Zhang, is the other co-founder of WE and founder of Purview investments in 2017. Her company focuses on global and impact investing through Separately managed accounts. Their first product is a global multi-asset product built using primarily environmental, social and governance (ESG) exchange traded funds (ETFs) as the underlying holdings.
Dr. Ella Rabener, cofounder and CMO of Scalable Capital is a woman that walks the talk in terms of gender diversity. Scalable Capital has signed the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. Their commitment is to report on their measurable commitments and even aim for more. I spoke extensively to Ella during the January Robo investing event in London about the recognized female deficit in investing enough for retirement. She is committed to finding new ways to reach to women and raise awareness despite gatekeeping obstacles from existing media channels to our everyday lives.
So, here is an innovative way from NY: The Financial Gym. Shannon McLay, is the founder and CEO and offers a one on one trainer service with a Certified Financial Trainer to help people “whip their assets into shape”. They organize free #WineAndLearnWednesdays, Retreats focused on holistic wellness, bootcamps etc.
Customers and especially women are whispering:
“Keep winning me.
Pay attention to my values.
Lets show the world that ESG and SRI investing, is good business”
Efi Pylarinou is a Fintech thought-leader, advisor and investor.