I had the pleasure of joining the judging panel for a recent Stemettes hackathon run with Schroders. It was the most fun I’ve had at an event in ages (bearing in mind that FinTECHTalents hasn’t run yet…) and if you are thinking that the challenge of creating a mobile app to encourage Savings and Investing might be boring for young people, think again.
Watching an amazing group of young ladies (and a few boys) putting their creativity and tech tools into action really was inspiring. As my fellow judges and I watched group after group make a presentation in front of a full room, we were truly impressed. The thought that had gone into each app demonstrated that children as young as 5 could grasp the link between savings and incentives and, dare I say, the importance of the customer journey. From kittens to unicorns, to one group even including a revenue model, each team demonstrated of designing with your customers in mind.
Looking across both the technology and financial services industries, the lack of women that I’ve noted over the years hasn’t changed significantly. Programmes like those run by the Stemettes point to a brighter future and highlight the importance of engaging young girls and women with the industry through challenge-based events. This isn’t tech for tech’s sake but purpose-driven tasks that really demonstrate the intersection between tech and design and the creativity that is part of that process
The challenge of meeting the future demand for tech talent will require that we tap into the potential of all groups across society. Inclusion is a crucial part of that mission, both in terms of the supply of labour, creating products that really reflect the needs of end-users and broader goals around social justice. Learning by doing is a fantastic way to engage future innovators and showcase what can be a great career choice.
Lisa Moyle, Director of Strategy / Director of Partnerships