This year’s Bristol Technology Festival (BTF) arrows in on the issue of diversity in our tech sector.
We want to go beyond simply talking about it. Yes, raising awareness of diversity challenges is critical to action being taken, but taking action itself generates awareness and can inspire others to follow suit.
Bristol Technology Festival is all about bringing together organisations ready to inspire change. And inspiring change starts with encouraging more people to pursue a career in tech.
At BTF 2021, we will showcase the diversity of careers available to a huge catchment of professionals with specialisms in different disciplines, as well as share motivational career stories.
A role model for female fintech entrepreneurs
Graduating with a degree in Information Systems from Curtin University in Western Australia in 1989, Sam spent more than 15 years building up digital capabilities at global advisory and broking firm Willis Towers Watson.
A few years later, in 2016, she took the reins at open banking fintech Moneyhub.
In Sam’s eyes, open banking is a huge opportunity to help customers make better financial decisions and increase their ability to save and optimise spending.
Earlier this year, she raised $18 million in investment to further Moneyhub’s growing European operations. It is a raise that represents one of the largest fintech funding rounds led by a British woman to date and took the company’s valuation to over $100 million.
The CEO is determined to use her success as a means of inspiring a sea change in the fintech space.
A sector well documented for its lack of diversity in leadership positions (as with many tech professions), Sam is one of the first female bosses heading up a company in the open banking arena.
Her accomplishments have not gone unrecognised within her industry. In 2020 Sam was awarded at the Professional Adviser Women in Finance Advice awards. Sam went on the receive further recognition this year with a trifecta of accolades including:
- Open Banking Expo Awards 2021 – Open Banking Pioneer Award – Individual
- UK FinTech Awards 2021 – Director of the Year
- PensionsAge Awards 2021 – Personality of the Year
Moneyhub’s latest raise offers hope to other female-led fintech enterprises which continue to face a funding disadvantage – this is despite positive movements in 2020 which saw 17% of total investment go into women-founded companies (up from 11% in 2019).
Supporting charities with QR code innovation powered by Open Banking
At BTF 2021, Moneyhub’s QR code technology will help to raise funds for local charity DigiLocal.
The organisation aims to support under-represented groups in their bid to develop digital skills, especially those from younger generations.
The QR code solution in use at the festival is designed to make donations easier for the public and more-cost effective for charities, with features such as automated Gift Aid built into the system. With donations falling in recent years for several reasons, not least due to COVID-19, innovations such as this will help charities to stay afloat.
As well as leading Moneyhub, Sam is a founding member of Open51, an organisation that promotes the role of women developing open finance and the new data economy.
She is also a non-executive director at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Bank and holds advisory positions at Newbury Building Society and The Big Exchange.
With such an inspirational backstory and ongoing story to share, we hope that Sam’s presence at BTF 2021 will encourage more women to pursue what can be extremely fulfilling careers in fintech.