Redefining Banking For Women: Trends & Takeaways From FinTank Chicago

by Miriam Ballesteros on Mar 16, 2018

Earlier this week, I was invited to speak at an event called Women In FinTech Initiative (WIFI), a conference held at FinTank - Chicago’s FinTech Hub - to provide visibility, community, and resources for women in the financial technology industry.

As you can imagine, with a room full of female attendees, there was much debate with many engaging conversations on how to be successful when designing solutions with them in mind and how to better drive inclusion for the 51% of the planet; women.


3. Women In FinTech - FinTank Chicago.jpg


Here I have put together the 3 key takeaways from the event:


Creating Opportunity: Fintech’s Potential To Better Drive Inclusion For Women


1. Kim's presentation - Women in FinTech Initiative WIFI- FinTank.jpgAnyone who has worked in the financial ecosystem has come to accept these statistics:

- Women represent just 29% of staff in the sector, according to a study done by EY in London.

Research by The International Monetary Fund points out that only 2% of bank CEOs are women.

- A recent analysis of global patents suggests that only 15% of patents involve a woman inventor, and significantly less in IT.

So, what can we do to change this bleak picture?

Kimberly H. Wolfson, Chairwoman of FinTank's WIFI, opened a discussion that covered both better provision of financial services to women and better representation of women in industries that provide financial services—with the clear understanding that the topics are linked.

To Kimberly, that’s what FinTech is all about: using tech to solve particular problems caused by the underperformance of the finance sector.


Investing In Women Is Not Charity: It’s Smart Business


2. Miriam's presentation - Women in FinTech - SheBanking.jpgWhat would happen if a bank received the following proposal:

Take all the potential customers in your industry, with all the estimated ROI, and cut those numbers in half. Then, leave all profits on the table for your competitors to grab. Sound enticing?

This is what many banks are missing out on by failing to connect with women: all this despite making 80% of all purchasing decisions and holding 52% of current bank accounts.


In the #SheBanking White Paper, a study created by Gemma Cernuda (Ellas Deciden) and STRANDS, we confirmed that “the vast majority of women feel detached from the world of finance, its culture and jargon, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to taking control of their financial futures, and making daily decisions with a sense of security.”

While it’s no secret that women are increasingly occupying leadership positions, the banking industry has yet to pay them the attention they deserve. The good news is that there’s an amazing opportunity to do just that, and do it right - by shifting the question from: “How can we target women” to “How can we serve women better”.

See my full presentation here: One Size Does Not Fit All: Redefining Banking For Women

 Redefining Banking For Women Presentation.jpg


Own it: The Power Of Your Actions At Work


3. Nicole's presentation - Women in FinTech - Know Yourself.jpgNicole M. Kalajian, attorney at Stradley Ronon, represents securities and commodities professionals in a variety of complex regulatory, compliance and corporate matters, and she knows a thing or two about crafting a fulfilling career in the investment landscape.

“As I see it, success for professional women in male-dominated industries such as banking, investing, or technology, will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game”, she points out.


“Instead, it’s about prioritizing our most genuine goals, embracing our innate strengths as women - and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work.”

Nicole believes there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. The business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology - and is changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever.

FinTech still hasn't gone through a real revolution. It's coming now - and it’s time to own it.



Miriam Ballesteros — Head of Communications STRANDS-1MIRIAM BALLESTEROS

Head of Communications with focus on the FinTech and Personal Finance industries. Named on the "Women in FinTech Powerlist", Miriam Ballesteros is committed to promoting financial technologies that make managing money a lot easier so people can get more out of life.


Miriam Ballesteros
Miriam Ballesteros

Marketing Director with focus on the FinTech and Personal Finance industries. Named on the "Women in FinTech Powerlist", Miriam Ballesteros is committed to raising awareness about financial technologies that make managing money a lot easier so people can get more out of life.

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