‘Changes will not happen overnight’: With speakers at conferences and new hiring opportunities, efforts for equality continue within fintech
- The financial technology industry is getting more serious about increasing diversity and opportunities.
- Over 50 fintech companies have joined the Fintech Equality Coalition.
While looking for speakers for Tearsheet’s Challenger Conference September, we reached out to Stash, a challenger bank with over 1 million banking customers. The company responded that they have a new policy in place: Stash will only provide speakers to conferences that feature people of color and cover topics specific to the Black community.
“We’ve not only committed to hosting and participating in forums and events that highlight Black speakers,” said Gloria Basem, Stash’s chief people officer. “But also to only participate in these events if there is a diverse lineup of speakers.”
Stash’s commitment to diversity extends beyond its participation in conferences. It’s taking steps to improve diversity within its culture. The company recently hired its first Diversity and Talent Acquisition Manager. It also holds workshops and offers anti-bias training for its employees. The company is already seeing progress.
“(T)hrough concerted efforts to attract more diverse talent, 20% of our new hires this year identify as Black and/or Latinx.” said Basem.
Stash also participates in The Fintech Equality Coalition, an organization that vows to foster inclusivity and equality within the fintech community. In its mission statement, the Coalition vows to increase recruitment of Black employees, support Black-owned businesses, and increase capital for Black entrepreneurs. By joining the alliance, companies promise to only take part in events that have a diverse speaker line-up
The Coalition was kickstarted by Betterment, a fintech focused on investing, banking, and cash management. Even before this initiative, Betterment had prioritized the ideal of equality. Its platform includes an option to donate funds to nonprofits like the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and The Trevor Project, organizations fighting racism in the criminal legal system and preventing suicide in the LGBTQ community, respectively. The company has been open about its goals to hire more people of color. Betterment has partnered with Jopwell, a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American candidates. Other financial companies have also partnered with the platform, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Visa, and American Express. Its co-founders previously worked at Goldman Sachs.
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