BDA’s Women’s Group, our company’s first employee resource group, began in January 2023, over cocktails (where most great ideas start!) at our annual company meeting. Several of us, having just met in person, chatted about the perks and struggles of fully remote work in a male-dominated industry1. The discussion quickly revealed a common theme among our female colleagues: in some fashion, all of us missed having peers. Some were looking to learn, some for camaraderie and others to ‘be part of something’ bigger than themselves.
By the end of that month, with the guidance of our Managing Partner, Sherri Schaffroth, we got the green light to pilot the group companywide. Within that week, 22 of our then ~35 female employees had signed up. In addition, numerous male employees expressed interest and asked how they could help. For what? Honestly, we weren’t quite sure, but with this level of enthusiasm, we knew we had something.
Truly a grass roots effort and with no budget, the group set a goal to ‘go live’ (defined as meeting “regularly” and hosting our first quarterly event) by Q3 2023, which we accomplished – more on that in upcoming blogs. Since January, our mission has evolved to strengthening women’s equity both at BDA and within the FinTech industry.
For those still wondering why this initiative is so important, one key statistic: “…The UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report revealed that the exclusion of women from the digital world has caused the staggering loss of $1 trillion from the GDP of low-and middle-income countries in the last decade. The report warns that without proactive intervention, the shortfall will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025.”2
Put simply, we ALL benefit from women’s equity. Strengthening women’s opportunities at BDA means strengthening BDA as a firm and in time, strengthening the FinTech industry as a whole.
Stay tuned for upcoming blogs over the next few weeks that will feature insights from our members and delve into our aspirations for the rest of 2023 and our goals for the BDA Women’s Group in 2024.
1 Most sources note a female presence in FinTech as less than 30% women. BDA’s workforce ratio is slightly higher than this as the time of writing.