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FinTech's DEI Discussions

The ground-breaking podcast series, FinTech's DEI Discussions, is hosted by Nadia Edwards-Dashti, Chief Customer Officer here at Harrington Starr.

With an unwavering commitment to embedding Diversity and Inclusion into the foundations of financial technology, Nadia created The DEI Discussions to provide inspiration to people also looking to better DE&I in our industry.

FinTech's DEI Discussions features four series: Humans of FinTech, Talent of FinTech, Families of FinTech and the longest-running series, Women of FinTech.

Each episode, no matter the series, demonstrates the work we can be doing to #walkthetalk for change across the entire industry.

We are always looking for people from across the industry to join us on The DEI Discussions? Keen to get involved? Or know someone ideal for the show?

Get in touch:

  • Anyela Grant Blog Thumbnail
    FinTech's DEI Discussions #WomenOfFinTech | Anelya Grant, Co-Founder of JustPaid

    ​​​On today's episode of DEI Discussions #WomenOfFinTech, Nadia is joined by Anelya Grant, Co-Founder of JustPaid.In this episode, Anelya shares her journey in the Fintech industry, the mission of JustPaid, their experience with gaining funding, and their predictions for the future of technology and industry inclusion. Anelya discusses the challenges she faced in the industry, the importance of AI and automation, and the need for cybersecurity. She also emphasises the need for individuals and companies to take proactive steps towards building a more inclusive industry.

  • Sarah Blog
    FinTech's DEI Discussion #WomenofFinTech | Sarah Clark, Head of People and Culture at NorthRow

    ​SpotifyAppleBuzzsproutOn this latest episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia is joined by Sarah Clark, Head of People and Culture at NorthRow.Sarah discusses her role in fostering inclusivity in the industry, emphasising open communication and addressing past experiences of gender discrimination. She highlights NorthRow's commitment to diversity, citing a 50/50 gender balance on the board and diverse representation across the company. Sarah advocates for genuine workplace inclusion, stressing the importance of deliberate steps and diverse leadership to drive meaningful change in the industry.

  • Nuapay Blog
    FinTech's DEI Discussions #WomenofFinTech | Ruwani Hewa, Product & Propositions Director and Dawn Beeby, Sales Director of Nuapay

    ​SpotifyAppleBuzzsproutOn this latest episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia is joined by Ruwani Hewa, Product & Propositions Director and Dawn Beeby, Sales Director of Nuapay.In this episode, Dawn and Ruwani discuss the importance of role models, support, and women uplifting each other in the industry.The group highlight highlights the importance of mentoring, role models and seizing opportunities for career growth. Dawn shares her journey of working her way up without a degree, emphasising the support of leaders in stepping out of one's comfort zone. Ruwani discusses the need for grassroots efforts to encourage women in STEM and rejects the idea of reducing entry requirements. Both guests stress the significance of making time, fostering flexibility, and becoming role models for true workplace inclusion.

  • Brenda Blog Thumbnail
    Embrace Cultural Differences and Promote Open Discussions about Race

    In today's diverse work environments, embracing cultural differences and promoting an atmosphere of open discussions about race is not just beneficial but crucial in supporting and empowering Black talent. Open dialogue serves as a catalyst for focusing, understanding and ultimately addressing the challenges faced by Black professionals within an organisation. It allows companies and individuals to be in the unique position to look through a different lens and be open to the environment around them. In industries where Black professionals are scarce, those who are standing in those spaces see companies who accept their cultural differences and are open to discussions about race as fundamental. It dictates what they give of themselves to the company and their longevity in their roles.Having open discussions should serve as a platform for individuals to share their experiences, voice concerns, and offer their perspectives. When you are the only one in the room it can be a lonely place, but even when there is a vast amount of Black talent at the table, that Black talent needs a voice, needs to be heard and needs to be seen. ​​If companies engage and have a policy of open discussions it can uncover systemic issues, biases and barriers that hinder the progress and growth of Black talent within an organisation. It also plays a pivotal role in breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions that often hinder the advancement of Black professionals. Through dialogue, misconceptions can be clarified, and biases can be challenged, creating employees who are culturally aware and more informed.Ideally, companies' aspirations should be to enable individuals to learn from each other's experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of the unique challenges faced by Black talent, including micro-aggressions, implicit biases, as well as lack of opportunities for advancement. However, this open and transparent approach really promotes an environment of trust, respect, and empathy, promoting a culture of inclusivity that is essential for the development and retention of Black professionals.  Additionally, an open discussion will promote a sense of belonging, which is vital for the overall morale and productivity of all black professionals. When Black talent feel heard, supported, and included, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the organisation, resulting in increased retention.Furthermore, open discussions within the organisation opens the door for Black professionals to share their knowledge, expertise and innovative ideas. It allows for the recognition and celebration of diverse viewpoints, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected for their contributions.  ​​Innovation thrives in a culture of idea-sharing and open communication, with different viewpoints challenging the status quo and driving creativity. Black professionals elevated in the right environment simply contribute significantly to the growth and success of the organisation.Bloomberg[1] states ‘Inclusion is a necessary tool for growth and competitiveness… ‘When employees of any background don’t feel that their perspectives are welcomed and included, the company bottom line can suffer, too’. Academics have documented the benefits and advantages of embracing diversity, equity and inclusion over the years, and organisations are well aware of the positive results associated with the principles. However, the key is having a genuine commitment to change. The effort is attached to an ethical obligation, to treat all individuals fairly, regardless of their background, ethnicity or social status. Engaging in open discussion just serves as a crucial catalyst in the journey.If an organisation can continually demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through embracing other cultures and open discussion it sends a powerful message to employees, customers, and stakeholders that these values are not just a temporary effort but deeply embedded in the company’s DNA.Ideas of areas for consideration when embracing cultural differences and supporting Black professionals through open discussion;Senior Leadership Commitment: Senior leadership introduce the initiative, showing commitment to developing a culture of inclusivity. Training: Training programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion, covering topics such as unconscious bias, cultural sensitivity, as well as establishing ground rules for participation to support constructive discussions. Forums/Networks/Workshops: Develop training programs and resources to help employees, especially leaders, discuss race-related issues more comfortably. Provide designated spaces for open discussions. Wellbeing: Support in tackling trauma, which is a common feature amongst Black professionals. Understand what is needed in the organisation to build psychological safety.Policy changes: Understand what is being learned— and how is this being translated into positive change?Feedback: Use feedback to adapt the program and address evolving needs. This should never be static. [1]Understanding the emotional tax on Black professionals in the workplace, 01/11/23​​This year, nine co-authors built a 12-step program and with Harrington Starr have launched, 'The Fintech Guide to Advancing, Cultivating and Elevating Your Black Talent'. This is a year-round initiative, creating this space for those who want to (and really should strongly consider) getting involved by adding their name to the manifesto to commit to treating diversity as a business issue.Fintech started as a way to create more inclusive products and services for everyone. You can’t build inclusive products if you do not have representation across the board. We all know that the fintech community is capable of so much good. It’s now time to commit to supporting diversity and start treating it as a serious, legitimate business issue.You can find out more here.

  • Lisa Blog
    FinTech's DEI Discussions: FinTech Connect Special | Lisa Frazier, Chief Operating Officer at Judo Bank

    ​SpotifyAppleBuzzsproutOn this FinTech Connect special episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia is joined by Lisa Frazier, Chief Operating Officer at Judo Bank.In this episode, Lisa discusses her journey and role in the financial technology industry.She highlights Judo Bank's growth and success, emphasising the importance of purpose, clear strategy, and effective execution.The pair discuss FinTech Connect, we gain a sneak peek into what to anticipate from Lisa's involvement in the event, where she will be sharing insights on innovation.Secure your tickets and explore more about FinTech Connect here.

  • Mark Blog
    FinTech's DEI Discussions: FinTech Connect Special | Mark Hipperson, Founder & Executive Chairman of Ziglu

    ​SpotifyAppleBuzzsproutOn this FinTech Connect special episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia is joined by Mark Hipperson, Founder & Executive Chairman of Ziglu.Mark shares his career journey, emphasising his passion for fairness and diversity in the industry. The pair touch on the importance of diverse perspectives in decision-making and the challenges and innovations in building a bank from scratch. Mark discusses his upcoming talk at FinTech Connect which gives insights from industry players and learn about advancements in AI and other technologies.Secure your tickets and explore more about FinTech Connect here.

  • Stefanie Coleman Blog Thumbnail
    FinTech's DEI Discussions #WomenofFinTech | Stefanie Coleman, Partner & Principal, People Advisory Services at EY

    ​On today's episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia is joined by Stefanie Coleman, Partner & Principal, People Advisory Services at EY.Stefanie sheds light on integrating Gen Z into the financial services industry, advocating for significant strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She discusses EY's insights on creating a workplace that resonates with the values of the younger generation, emphasizing the importance of innovative roles, empathetic leadership and a culture that balances flexibility with a sense of community.This episode is a must-listen for those looking to understand and act on the evolving dynamics of workplace inclusion in the financial sector.

  • Nadia Solo Blog Nov 20
    Walk the Talk: Unpacking the Meaning of Inclusive Leadership | FinTech's DEI Discussions with Nadia Edwards-Dashti

    ​​​In this episode of FinTech's DEI Discussions, host Nadia explores the meaning and origins behind "Walk the Talk" in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in financial technology. She shares her journey, from her early career observing gender inequalities to her role in addressing these issues. Nadia discusses pivotal experiences, like attending a 30 Percent Club meeting, which catalysed her work in promoting gender equality. She reflects on her speaking engagements, including a significant moment at the European Women's Payment Network conference, which challenged her to assess her contributions to the cause. This led to her launching the podcast series to inspire actionable change towards inclusivity in fintech. "Walk the Talk" represents her commitment to turning discussions into tangible actions for improvement in the industry.​