The first nationwide meeting of “Fintech Ladies” takes place during Fintech Week underway in Hamburg from Monday (November 6-12, 2017) under the theme “One Week. One City”. The traditional banking and financial sector will come together with innovative fintech companies keen on driving the digital revolution ahead. More and more women have established themselves in the sector in recent years. The Fem Fintech Community offers women an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and raise their visibility. Hamburg News spoke to Christine Kiefer, founder of the network, and Anna Friedrich, who organises the community in Hamburg, in the run-up to Fintech week.
Hamburg News: Who are the “Fintech Ladies” targeting?
Kiefer: The “Fintech Ladies” have gained renown in the fintech scene thanks to their commitment to networking, career promotion and efforts to raise the visibility of female professional and managerial staff. The network, which I founded in May 2016, has since conquered Germany’s fintech metropoles city by city. We organise regional network meetings for women in fintechs, banks, insurance companies and institutions that deal with digitalisation in the financial sector.
Hamburg News: What are the network’s objectives?
Friedrich: We have three objectives: networking, raising visibility and professional exchange. On the one hand, we wish to link up women in the sector as collaborations between banks and fintechs and among each other are key to success! On the other hand, we have found that women are seldom on juries, panels and other fintech event platforms. We wish to change that and create opportunities for women to present themselves and their companies. Apart from that, it is also important that we discuss career issues in-depth during our meetings and forge close contacts. There is no room for small talk.
Hamburg News: Where are the “Fintech Ladies” active?
Kiefer: Our community consists of around 300 women in six cities across the German-language region. Regular meetings are already being held in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. We have just set up a group in Frankfurt am Main and the first events will soon get underway in Vienna and Zurich.
Hamburg News: What does your network thrive on?
Friedrich & Kiefer: Clearly from the commitment shown by participants. We always say: “It’s a network by you for you.” During our meetings, we discuss potential topics for later meetings and the desired content and format. The team gathers these wishes and organises future meetings along those lines.
Hamburg News: Can you describe regional meetings?
Friedrich: Our meetings are held at least once every three months and more frequently in some cities. The meetings are held along certain guidelines to ease professional exchange, intense networking and to allow the women to get to know each other. Usually, we meet in a company that is presenting itself and gives a keynote speech. That is followed by a discussion about any obstacles that have been overcome and how. We place great emphasis on the company’s business model and exchanging our experiences.
Hamburg News: What is the focus of the two events to be held by “Fintech Ladies” next week?
Kiefer: As part of the “Fintech Stories”, four women will describe their career paths and their work. We will be presenting very different profiles and fields of work – from PR, marketing and products to artificial intelligence. The event targets not only women. The annual “Fintech Ladies Dinner” will also be taking place and brings together founders, managers and decision makers in the sector.
Hamburg News: How can people take part in “Fintech Ladies”?
Friedrich: To begin with, people can subscribe to our newsletter for an overview of our events. Then simply come to our meetings and get to know the “Fintech Ladies”!
Hamburg News: How do you envisage the future of “Fintech Ladies”?
Kiefer: I would like to gain strong co-operating partners to hold joint, high-calibre events. More collaboration with banks would be great, as we have focused mainly on start-ups so far. Apart from that, I want to bring more strong women up onto the stage and to make the fintech sector more feminine. We are planning our first conference for 2018.
Interview by Sarah Bischoff