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NatWest and the Heard shine a spotlight on women in fintech with media training

The organisations have partnered with With to improve gender representation in the media.

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NatWest and The Heard, a spokesperson index for women and non-binary people in fintech, are taking the next step to help close the gender news gap this year with free media training for their members.

The organisations are partnering with business communications agency With to offer three entrepreneurs from the bank’s accelerator programme and three members of the Heard free training from With’s all-female senior leadership team.

With’s pilot programme with NatWest will help women on its accelerator entrepreneur programmes in Cambridge and Birmingham, giving three female business founders training – supporting them to speak on panels and give interviews.

With men still outnumbering women in the fintech industry two to one – and the majority of men not realising there is a diversity issue – it is vital that women are given the tools, the confidence and the platform to speak.

“Our hubs turbocharge companies and this pilot is our latest initiative to help these entrepreneurs step up to media and panel opportunities,” NatWest regional ecosystem manager Debbie Lewis said.

“We’re tackling the current underrepresentation of women by adding to the pipeline of confident voices ready to take their places.”

Lewis noted that NatWest is committed to supporting female founders, and said it aims for 60 per cent of spaces on its free accelerator hub programmes to go to women.

The goal of With’s initiative is to “improve the gender representation of voices in the media to progress to parity” and it will be working with three leading women and non-binary members of the Heard to help them tell their unique stories, tackle specialist topics and build their personal brand.

Founded by Wise senior PR manager Chantal Swainston, the Heard has now added more than 50 members since launching last August.

The free initiative brings together fintech experts with knowledge ranging across the industry, working with events organisers and producers to boost spokesperson opportunities for women and non-binary people in fintech.

“While our index is one step in shining a light on underrepresented talent in the industry, delivering meaningful benefits to our members is the next goal,” Swainston said.

“With is committed to helping close the gender news gap, and I can't wait to offer this to our members, and help equip them with everything they need to tackle speaking with media.”

According to With, it is hoping to encourage all businesses to improve the diversity of spokespeople in the media and has seen success so far.

“We have already seen that this kind of media training can help participants see their value as an expert commentator and feel confident in front of the media,” With managing director Elizabeth Jones said.

“Our end goal is to encourage more organisations to appoint a diverse set of spokespeople for their businesses.”

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