It’s Pride Month, and you know what that means. Every ginormous corporation is changing its logo to a rainbow and selling “Pride Collection” products. But unfortunately, these companies often profit off these sales without even lifting a finger to take note of the marginalized communities worldwide who don’t receive the same benefits some of us do.
I know I sound bitter, and maybe I am a little, but as a lesbian myself, I’ve grown used to the “LET’S SCREAM GAY FROM THE ROOFTOPS ALL JUNE LONG BUT NOT ADVOCATE TO HELP EVER” narrative. Don’t get me wrong. I love the floods of rainbows in every store I visit. I love the faces of the bigots who think it’s wrong to be this way when they see that almost every company they frequent is on board with the movement. Moments like these make me wonder what can be done for ALL underprivileged communities?
It might seem like a loaded question simply because there is genuinely so much to consider doing to help, but while working as an intern in fintech, I’ve seen what companies such as the one I work for are doing and CAN do to even the playing field.
Selling products for pride and contributing 1-3% of the proceeds to a generic LGBTQ foundation is great, but teaching the LGBTQ youth how to stand financially tall in times of great adversity is priceless. You can’t put a value on that sort of help.
I am one of the lucky ones. When I came out of the closet, my traditional Italian mother said, “as long as you’re happy, so am I,” but we all know one or two horror stories. We’ve even seen videos of LGBTQ youth being disowned and told to leave without any place to go. So am I saying that financial literacy is the end-all-be-all solution? Absolutely not. It’s all so much more nuanced, but I do know that when there are technologies that exist solely to educate the underprivileged communities on their financial wellness, even just one life can be changed.
Did you know that up to 40% of the homeless youth population identifies as LGBT, according to the True Colors Fund? Almost half of the homeless youth in the USA are not straight, and I genuinely think that fintech has a huge opportunity to aid in helping that disparity. Technologies that don’t just target people who are already financially healthy but seek to inform and guide humans such as those in the LGBTQ community toward financial health and wellness are crucial right now.
Fintech is progressive. The best companies seek to move the needle forward, even just a tiny bit. Still, when we consider marginalized communities whose financial wellness is sometimes purposely targeted, fintech can be the heroes we need to, at the very least, lessen these statistics.
In our podcast, Once Upon a Startup, we recently talked about putting more content out that expresses our “why” as a company. It’s one thing to have a great product that will help people tremendously; it’s another to understand and portray WHY we created, work toward, and push that product. At Finotta, we believe in equalizing the financial playing field so that no man, woman, or member of any marginalized community is left behind. Our mission is to create tech that empowers banking customers of all shapes and sizes. The LGBTQ community is just ONE of those communities we hope to empower with our products.
When we think of financially leveling up an entire community and being a guide toward true financial literacy and independence, it is literally what keeps us going every day. For example, 44% of LGBTQ people say they feel insecure about their savings for the future. Pay gaps exist within these communities simply because they love people society thinks they shouldn’t. Who would Finotta be if our mission wasn’t to help people like that? We understand wholeheartedly that financial equality must be accessible to all humans, regardless of any characteristic. THAT is precisely why our products exist, and the beauty is that they help all year long, not just one month out of the year.
When we think about our products, we think of helping others. We are truly in service to financial institutions’ customers. We seek to impact everyone and anyone’s financial lives, but in the middle of Pride Month, we rest our heads easy at night, knowing that we can help life out there.