26 July 2023 |

From AI to DEI: Fintech Is Femme’s Summer


Traveling to Asia and Europe this summer, I experienced a drastic change in temperature – from an intense 105-degree heat in India to the mild Spring weather of Amsterdam.

But, the journey was worth it as I gained invaluable insights into the ever-evolving fintech space and chronicled all the knowledge I’ve gathered during the summer months through this newsletter. (I had some fun exploring the world, too). 

From AI trends to an update on the state of SVB to climate change and fintech’s role, there has been no shortage of trends to cover. 

I’ve also been ensuring we, as an industry, are staying culturally informed. This summer has seen the Supreme Court rollback of Affirmative Action, more billionaire drama from Twitter (I mean, X?), and the rollout of Meta’s Threads. I also covered the impact these moments, including Barbie’s revival, have had on our industry. 

So, without further ado, here are the stories to keep you fully informed, updated, and heated until I drop my next big story next week. 

#1 Ex-Twitter Exec Rumman Chowdhury talks algorithmic bias

Elon Musk made it clear he’s not prioritizing tech for good, by laying off ex-Twitter exec Rumman Chowdhury and her team of AI ethical researchers. Since then, Rumman has dedicated her time to responsible use of tech, envisioning a future with AI aligned with human values.

#2 Interview With Julia Boorstin, CNBC correspondent and author of “When Women Lead”

Interviewing CNBC Senior Correspondent Julia Boorstin about her book on female leadership, I learned about the inspiring stories of over 120 female CEOs, founders, and VC investors. Her work reveals the common traits of successful women and the advantages of female-led businesses. From Sallie Krawcheck to Shivani Siroya, these powerful women show us why we all benefit when women lead.

#3 A Fintech Approach To Advance Gender Parity & Reverse Climate Change

I toured the world, attending fintech events to witness the connection between money, tech, gender parity & climate change. Reversing climate change begins with advancing gender parity. Fintech cos, leaders & tools have a critical role in helping to reverse climate change. 

#4 6 Lessons On How To Scale Behavioral Finance With ‘BeFi Guy’ Dr. Daniel Crosby

Dr. Daniel Crosby, the industry’s leading ‘BeFi Guy’, is stoked about the growing popularity of behavioral finance. Read his story to find out more about the man, the myth, the legend. Plus, how we can unlock additional growth opportunities through behavioral finance. *Bonus content: Daniel had me on his podcast, Standard Deviations – tune in here*

#5 3 Steps to Crafting a Powerful DEIB Strategy 

Array, a fintech company, implemented its DEIB Strategy three years after its establishment. Their Head of DEIB, Leena Kulkarni, is now sharing their tactics after six months of implementation. They have three primary objectives that you can either follow or use as inspiration to create your own DEIB strategy.

The first step: Focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, then work backward to build out your action plan.

#6 From Surviving to Thriving: 5 Pathways to Profitability

As a fintech founder right now, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the difficult economic environment provides an ideal opportunity to build something that will outlast it. On the other hand, there is a need to be more focused on profitability and sustainability than ever before. To assist founders in navigating these choppy waters, I’m breaking down five key themes that emerge in conversations with founders and outlining action items to help them not just get by, but reach new heights. 

#7 HSBC UK CEO’s Vision for SVB and 2023 Outlook

SVB’s crash in Europe saw HSBC & First Citizens Bank jump in, and now Ian Stuart, HSBC UK CEO, spoke on the future of SVB UK, relationship to US fintech, global expansion plan & trends such as AI & sustainability at Money 20/20 Europe.

#8 Learn About Capchase’s $100M Initiative to Fund Women and Minority-Led Startups

In a world that often feels like it’s stuck on repeat, where traditional venture capital funding remains heavily skewed towards a select few, fintech company Capchase is turning the tide. They’ve just hit a major milestone, deploying over $100 million in funding over the past two years to women- and minority-led startups.

#9 From Military to Fintech: Nasdaq Exec Brandis DeSimone’s Unconventional Journey

Brandis DeSimone, Head of Data Sales at Nasdaq, understands the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life. In a special episode of my podcast Humans of Fintech, recorded live at the iconic Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, Brandis shares her inspiring experience of pursuing her dream of making a mark in the fintech industry after leaving the armed forces. Plus, her story highlights the importance of women supporting each other.

#10 How Can We Maintain Diversity in Fintech Despite the Supreme Court’s Decision? Here’s What You Need to Know

ICYMI, the Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to diversity in higher education when they struck down affirmative action in college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Experts are warning that this decision could have repercussions for DEI in the workplace.  The sliver of hope that I do have around this decision is it brought to light a need for further progress. We have been making headway with the current system, but it hasn’t been enough. 

#11 Twitter, Threads, and Fintech

The emergence of Threads, which has become the fastest-downloaded app ever, got me wondering: Could this be the true competitor to Twitter that the industry needs? We need to take a step back and evaluate the bigger picture, too. What platform will be the first to embrace fintech and become an all-encompassing “everything app?” As an industry, can we even accept such an app, especially if it’s tied to social media? 

#12 B2C Fintech, Media Literacy, & Representation with Public’s Katie Perry

Chatting w/ Katie, I learned her journey in marketing: from the recession-induced job market to an ad agency specializing in social media. Her experience gave her a unique perspective on making finance more accessible and engaging for all. Her goal: to educate and empower users about investing through content that breaks down barriers. Our convo highlights the power of diverse perspectives, need for trusted content, media literacy in digital age, and the value of customer experience.

#13 Reasons for Optimism

​​In conversation with President Tracey Davies, model, actor, and filmmaker Lily Cole leverages the insights from her book, “Who Cares Wins,” to dive into the crucial intersection between technology, finance, and social impact.

#14 Barbie’s Revival: Unboxed Lessons For Fintech Leaders

At first glance, the upcoming Barbie movie may seem disconnected from the world of fintech. But, upon further inspection, I discovered valuable lessons that fintech innovators could learn from the revival of the iconic and sometimes controversial doll.

#15 Money 20/20’s Tracey Davies & Scarlett Sieber On Pushing Fintech Forward

The powerhouse ladies of Money20/20 break down their stories, experiences hosting the big fintech event, and how they’re pushing to flip the narratives in fintech.