Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality, in addition to other positive development outcomes.

United Nations
Welcome to the FCA’s 2021 Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint. Find out more information or ‘Register now’ to take part.

Event Details

22nd March - 25th March 2021
Four day virtual TechSprint with a final day of solution demonstration
Held virtually with opportunities forteams to join from across the globe
Three-day conference
Speakers from across the globe
Expert panels and discussions
Networking opportunities
Digital Content

What is a Techsprint?

More commonly known as hackathons, these are events in which technologists and subject matter experts collaborate intensively to solve specified problems through building prototype technology solutions.

In our events, we also host non-technical leads from the financial services industry. We seek to provide greater visibility of the challenges being addressed and provide an opportunity to see potential solutions developed through collaboration.

The events also increase our understanding of emerging technologies and of any regulatory impediments requiring further consideration. The FCA does not endorse or invest in any of the solution.

For more information on our previous TechSprints visit www.fca.org.uk/firms/regtech/techsprints

Use cases

Prior experience shows that pandemics have far reaching gendered implications which exploit and entrench pre-existing norms and inequalities. These range from violence against women to proportionately impacting women’s finances and restricting women’s engagement in the workplace.

This pandemic is no different as it continues to create economic uncertainty and harm to those already in vulnerable circumstances. It has:

Exacerbated pre-existing norms and inequality.
Led to an increase in physical and economic abuse, with the majority of victims being female.
Created a disproportionate burden of caring responsibilities due to school closures and limitations on childcare, with increasing evidence that women are leaving the workforce as a result.
Increased exclusion and access for vulnerable women, particularly those working in highly impacted and over-represented sectors such as leisure and travel, health and personal care and childcare.
The long-term impacts this has is far-reaching and include but are not limited to:

More women being disenfranchised and locked out of mainstream finance.
A longevity impact to retirement savings, employment opportunities and social mobility and growth.
The amplification of the inequalities existing within certain sectors and a halt, and in some cases reversal, to any progress made in closing the gender gap.
A weaker national and global economy.

Through the lens of women who have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, we’d like TechSprint participants to consider four use cases. Teams can choose to focus on one use case or combine them where appropriate.

How can innovation support the secure identification and sharing of traditional and non-traditional data in order to form a holistic view of a woman who has been locked out or disenfranchised?

How can we create a reliable and secure attestation of identity and/or creditworthiness for women who are underbanked or locked out?

How can market participants access the secure attestation without compromising privacy and security?

How can technology help women understand and manage their finances during periods of uncertainty or change to support their future financial resilience and security?

Get involved

There remains significant and in places worsening under representation of women in tech, data and financial services. This matters because of the importance of designing products and tools which do not exclude the needs of women. We believe there is a role for us and the wider regulatory, financial services and technology communities to play.

At our last TechSprint, less than 25% of the participants across the teams were women. We want to use this opportunity to encourage and inspire women to careers in these areas.

Our aim is for the TechSprint to have 75% female participation.


What role could you play?
To develop prototype solutions, early team formation is critical. We will be working closely wit the teams in the lead up to theTechSprint to ensure we can deliver maximum impact during the event. We have outlined a number of broad roles that we think will be applicable across the teams. For those interested in participating directly in theTechSprint, we ask that you consider which roles you could perform and the relevant expertise you could bring to a team.

To join the TechSprint platform, ‘Register now’ at the top of this page to sign-up. 


As a team participant
If you want to take part directly in the TechSprint we are looking for the following roles: 

The Visionary
You are the big ideas person who understands the problem and has a vision for the solution.
You’re responsible for leading the team and making sure everyone is working towards the same goal. 

The hackers (developers and data scientists)
You can build applications and understand how to glue stuff together to operate seamlessly.
Or you can manipulate data, and use AI & machine learning to make data work for good. 

The Expert
You have in-depth knowledge about vulnerable consumers and the challenges faced by women in the UK.
This knowledge shapes the product design to ensure that the solution is customer centric and solves real problems. 

The Doctor
You understand how business operates and what makes a compelling PoC.
You understand the value proposition and the path for the solution to be deployed in the real world. 

The face (front end developer)
You make buttons do stuff. You understand great UX. You take the designs and make them functional and accessible. 

The jugglers
Responsible for the smooth running of the TechSprint as a whole. They will work with the teams, unblock the blockers and provide feedback on the solutions being built.


As an observer
To support the TechSprint, we will be hosting a simultaneous conference, bringing together speakers and participants to discuss and identify the opportunities of technology and innovation. The event will run from 22nd March with three days of events and speakers and a final day to include keynotes speakers, demos and awards on the 25th March.

To see the calendar and access the observer events, create an account above.

Register & Apply now

Complete the registration form and verify your email to create an account.

Once you have created an account you will able to access the application system, view the eligibility criteria and submit an application.

Questions? Read our FAQs here
Read the FCA press release here

We can be contacted at digital.sandbox@fca.org.uk 

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More information & Contact us

Do you have a question?

Download the Participation Pack

FCA Press Release

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