Insights from FinTech is Femme: Empowering Women in Finance and Technology

By Maggie O'Toole, SVP, Product Strategy and Strategic Partnerships and Lucy Lavette, Product Manager

Coming together in New York City for the FinTech is Femme Leadership Summit alongside my colleague Lucy Lavette and over 200 other women was an unforgettable and energizing experience. As someone who has attended many financial industry events throughout my career, I was eager to attend FinTech is Femme as it united entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors in a celebration of female leadership. With a packed agenda of panel discussions, fireside chats, and some of the most compelling 10-minute pitches by founders I have ever witnessed, the event was both enlightening and inspiring. The overall event served as a platform to celebrate the achievements of women in traditionally male-dominated fields and to address the ongoing challenges and opportunities for female leadership in the FinTech industry.

After spending an entire afternoon and evening immersed in the wisdom of remarkable female leaders, Lucy and I began reflecting.

Below, we both share our thoughts on what resonated most with us throughout the event, as well as what left us feeling inspired.

Lucy: First and foremost, I believe that whenever women come together to share their stories and insights, they generate a powerful energy that uplifts and motivates others. Being surrounded by so many exceptional female role models reminded me that many of our challenges are not unique, and quite honestly allowed me to dream bigger!

Maggie: I agree, and what I really appreciated is our host Nicole Casperson paying a beautiful tribute to all the amazing women who came before us and paved the way. We still have so much work ahead of us, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without the bravery of those women. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. Lucy, was there a moment during this event when you thought: is this for real?

Lucy: Yes, many times! But I remember being struck by the industry numbers shared demonstrating how the significant gender gap in leadership roles still exists within the tech and payments industries.

Maggie: Nicole was not shy when reminding us about the reality. Women make up a staggering 85% of global consumer spending, translating into over $31 trillion annually. This astronomical figure represents a goldmine for FinTech, a sector that ironically remains significantly underrepresented by women.

Lucy: One other topic that really spoke to me, especially relevant to the product world, was about being inquisitive. One particular session reiterated the importance of women jumping in, giving feedback as often as possible, testing tools, and applying the technology they have at their fingertips. At the end of the day, men and women often speak and think differently, and having a woman’s perspective within a FinTech organization is extremely important and is beneficial to innovation. Willingness to keep your eyes and ears open and raise your hand is very important for women in the financial technology industry in order to keep ideas flowing in an equal fashion.

Globally, less than 30% of the fintech workforce comprises women, and a mere 8% hold leadership positions, according to Deloitte. Only 8%—let that sink in.

Events like FinTech is Femme not only celebrate the achievements of women in traditionally male-dominated fields, but also serve as catalysts for change, inspiring us to continue pushing boundaries and shatter glass ceilings. To fully realize the potential of this trillion-dollar market, FinTech must recalibrate its approach. Companies should ensure that their leadership teams reflect the unique experiences and needs of the female demographic they aspire to serve. Inclusivity is not just a buzzword; it’s a strategic imperative.

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In the end, we left the event reinvigorated and reassured that our contributions are valued and our voices are heard in a company that champions diversity and empowers all its employees to thrive. This event served as a poignant reminder of the importance of organizations, like Dash Solutions, that prioritize amplifying voices and actively support women in reaching their professional aspirations. At Dash Solutions, we proudly boast female leadership. 51% of our leaders are women, underscoring our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

And let’s remember what women before us said: “if there isn’t a trail, blaze one”. Now, let’s go, we have work to do to help future generations in FinTech.