Women's Economic Empowerment

TechSprint & Conference

March 22-25, 2021


AIR partnered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to host a global TechSprint & Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The weeklong virtual event sought new ways to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID pandemic on women. Women’s economic empowerment is essential for the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and nations.

The Conference

The Conference featured female talent drawn from the financial services, regulatory, and technology sectors and leaders who assist and champion vulnerable women every day. Speakers explored challenges facing women, tech tools for helping, and career insights and stories. We heard keynotes FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, Baroness Hale of Richmond, GCAP CEO Greta Bull, Kenya Central Bank Deputy Governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe, Assistant Sub-governor of Fintech & Innovation at Central Bank of Egypt Dr. Rasha Negm, and Counselor to the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury Elizabeth Rosenberg.

The TechSprint

We convened parallel TechSprints in the UK and the US and plan to explore a second sprint later this year with hubs in emerging markets in Africa and Asia. The teams focused on use cases and consumer personas designed for each hub, and the prototype solutions will be aggregated and published as a global toolkit. Women represented 89% of our participants, surpassing our goal to have women represent 75% of participants.

The Conference and concurrent TechSprint culminated with Demo Day on Thursday, March 25. Six teams presented solutions to an all-female panel of distinguished judges, who selecting three winning teams for awards for most practical, most novel, and most transformative concepts.

Going Forward

AIR is helping share and develop the sprint solutions. We and the FCA are exploring a second Women’s Empowerment TechSprint focused on emerging markets, with hubs in Africa and Asia.

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