Our take: VentureOut – Canada’s 1st LGBTQA+ Conference on Tech and Entrepreneurship

On March 27, 2017, Fundserv joined hundreds of students, leaders and disruptors in the Mars Discovery District for Canada’s first LGBTQA+ inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship conference. Fundserv first got involved with the Start Proud team at 2016’s Out on Bay Street conference, and we were honoured to continue our partnership this year as gold level sponsors.

As part of the VentureOut Conference, Fundserv hosted the morning keynote, speaking on the intersection of tech and diversity. We discussed the importance of fostering change and innovation through diversity, and share our perspective on how to enable an inclusive and open culture. We also touched on the fact that diversity is an integral component of innovation and that it doesn’t just happen, companies must foster diversity and change with it.

In the afternoon, attendees joined a variety of workshops about tech and entrepreneurship to discuss topics such as: artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital marketing and careers in tech. Fundserv hosted a workshop entitled What is FinTech? Innovation in Financial Services Today and Tomorrow, where Our Director of Product Management, Russ White, and Director of Application Architecture, Leithland Thomas, presented their insights about FinTech, its future implications and what it means for the financial services industry. They touched on a variety of topics including: financial institutions’ move towards non-physical channels to serve customers, the digitization of cash-management functions, and the emergence of self-service financial tools. Participants of the workshop were then able to put their new found knowledge to the test by collaborating on a real-world case study.

Overall, the conference provided  insights into the importance of diversity for businesses and how it can foster innovation. The speakers at the event also shared their experiences and strategies for encouraging diversity with high growth, creating a culture open to inclusion and how to be yourself at work.

These conferences have created a space for companies, students and professionals to come together to discuss key LGBTQA+ issues, the workplace and careers and the power of innovative and diverse thinkers. Fundserv is committed to supporting the LGBTQA+ community and to working with Start Proud and to help bridge the gap for inclusion and diversity in the workplace.