Turning women into investors in the finance and fintech industry – Interview with Karen Wendt
Last Monday, the Future Finance and Investment magazine was published together with the Tagesanzeiger and, as always when it comes to the future, the SwissFinTechLadies are there.
Here is our exciting interview:
Turning women into investors in the finance and fintech industry.
Investing is a man’s business. Is it really? In this interview, Karen Wendt shows how she wants to change that with the “SwissFinTechLadies” platform.
Karen Wendt, what was the deciding factor in founding the “SwissFinTechLadies” platform?
It was a personal experience. My background is in investment banking and I gave a talk on sustainable finance. And when I looked into the room, I saw about 1000 men and only about twenty women sitting there. That was something like the key moment for me to do something. Of course, I asked myself whether there were any women at all who were interested in finance, tech, fintech and blockchain. So the first thing we did was to look for these women. To do this, we founded an association with the aim of networking them. The platform “SwissFinTech Ladies” makes women in the fintech sector visible and connects them from different industries.
After this first step, the aim was to make the tech industry palatable to women – to do away with reservations such as “it’s all too difficult, too complicated or too mathematical for me”. By the way, this year we are developing a programme that makes it easy to create your own game. This helps to create a sense of achievement because it shows that there are simple programming languages and that the tech industry doesn’t always have to be so technical.
Why are such platforms necessary at all, especially for women, why do they – unlike men – need to be motivated to found a start-up in the tech industry or to invest in the industry?
The question is: where did women get their financial knowledge? Growing up, they were not influenced by their fathers, but by their mothers. And from their mothers they learned how to budget and save, how to manage their household assets well. As a result, they have become savers, but not investors. And yet, as the French economist Thomas Piketty describes in his book “A Brief History of Equality”: You can only get rich if you invest – especially today, when practically zero interest rates are the rule. Conversely, this means that women must dare to become investors – and we want to help them do that.
And how do you concretely help women to enter the investment world and take away their fear of it – also of losses?
By creating visibility and also showing the possibilities of investing with a small risk of loss. If one invests in a FINMA-regulated Venturcapital fund – and initially only 5000 or 10,000 francs – experience can be gained with relatively little risk. Normally, such small tickets don’t go, but we have agreed with the funds that this has to be the case so that women also become shareholders. And we also have an academy and a female business angel network.