CHICAGO — (BUSINESS WIRE) — PEAK6, a financial technology business, announced today that Michelle Williams will serve as Executive Director of its Fintech in Action initiative to encourage the hiring, promotion and retention of Black employees in the fintech industry. Williams will help build new partnerships and increase awareness as Fintech in Action expands its outreach in the coming year.
“From an economic equity perspective, there is catching up to do,” Williams said. “I’m always looking for productive and strategic ways to bridge that wealth gap. There are stark disparities that exist in the finance and technology industries that need to change, and Fintech in Action is here to inspire that transformation.”
Throughout her career, Williams has passionately advocated for inclusivity in the workplace, consulting with corporations and non-profits to find opportunities and develop solutions to enhance their social impact. She currently serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board at Northwestern University, and has previously held leadership positions at Voice of Hope, Leadership ISD and The DEC Network in Dallas, Texas, where she built city-wide entrepreneurship initiatives focused on economic empowerment and inclusion.
In 2013, she participated in a summer fellowship at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans for the U.S. Department of Education. In 2018, she was named one of the Top 15 Innovators Reshaping Texas by Texas Monthly.
“Michelle’s background and dedication to diversity initiatives makes her a perfect fit as we build Fintech in Action,” said Apex Clearing CEO Bill Capuzzi. “The program could not be in better hands, and I think our partners and the many Black students and professionals who will benefit from Fintech in Action will agree.”
“The more diverse voices and thoughts that an organization has, the more diverse solutions that they have,” Williams said. “Creating pathways for Black professionals is not only imperative, but it makes for a stronger and more competitive workplace.”
Fintech in Action was launched by PEAK6 and Apex Clearing & CustodyTM, a PEAK6 operating company, in 2020 to create and support programs that advance growth for Black finance and technology students and professionals. At 26 members and counting, the coalition works to fight systemic racism and initiate tangible progress across the industry. Fintech in Action partners with universities, community stakeholders and professional advocacy groups such as Greenwood Project in order to inspire change. Since its inception, Fintech in Action has helped Greenwood Project boost its internship program capacity by 25%, with plans to see a 100% increase in 2021.
Fintech in Action is committed to working with organizations that go beyond talking about change and take concrete steps to enact it. Visit fintechinaction.com to learn how your firm can make an impact in the fintech industry.
PEAK6 uses technology to find a better way of doing things. The company’s first tech-based solution was developed in 1997 to optimize options trading and, over the past two decades, the same formula has been used across a range of industries, asset classes and business stages to consistently deliver superior results. Today, PEAK6 seeks transformational opportunities to provide capital and strategic support to entrepreneurs and forward-thinking businesses, helping to unlock potential and activate what is into what ought to be.
About Fintech in Action
Fintech in Action is a coalition of action-oriented companies seeking to increase the pipeline of Black professionals for careers in finance and fintech. Founded in 2020 in response to the industry’s need to prioritize racial equity and inclusion, Fintech in Action invested over $1 million in strategic support and paid internship opportunities to further its mission and cause in its first year alone. Together with its partners, Fintech in Action seeks to accelerate progress, innovation and opportunity for Black talent across the industry. Learn more at fintechinaction.com.
Helen Grove, Vice President of Corporate Communications, PEAK6