With gender inequality remaining a prominent issue at all levels of the fintech community, steps are being taken by various industry players to close the gap, but as with any worthwhile issue, there still remains much more to be done before fintech is truly representative of the society it seeks to serve.
In this article for The Fintech Times, Sujatha Rajesh and Rohini Lingambhotla, of Altimetrik, explore the measures that will ensure more women fill key leadership roles.
Altimetrik is a data and digital engineering services fintech focused on delivering business outcomes with an agile, product-oriented approach. Its digital business methodology provides a blueprint to develop, scale, and launch new products to market faster with a bite-sized chunks approach.
A team of 5,500+ practitioners with software, data and cloud engineering skills help create a culture of innovation and agility that optimises team performance, modernises technology, and builds new business models. As a strategic partner and catalyst, Altimetrik quickly delivers results without disruption to the business.
Rajesh and Lingambhotla discuss how the industry can ensure that more female figures are able to reach the top:
Despite signs of progress being made on equality and diversity in the fintech sector, barriers still exist when it comes to female equality.
A recent report by EY and Innovate Finance, Changing the face of UK FinTech: focusing on gender diversity and equality,’ revealed that 42 per cent of men surveyed claimed to have negotiated on their remuneration package, compared to just 32 per cent of women. And of those who negotiated on their compensation, 69 per cent of men received all or nearly all of what they asked for. This contrasted with just 51 per cent of women.
Increased representation of female leaders will create economic opportunity
Without female role models in positions of leadership, showing that women can be successful fintech leaders, it is hard for young women to know how to emulate that career trajectory.
Many male decision-makers have lived out their career in a male-dominated industry and so unconscious bias will have built up over time.
But without women in positions of leadership, there is a danger that the perspectives of women are lost. With a patriarchal system, there will be limited fintech offerings specifically targeted toward women.
And if men are designing those fintech products, how can they truly meet the needs of the female consumer? Women are known to have strong emotional intelligence, and to understand the intricacies of the communities in which they find themselves.
This presents an economic opportunity.
When we build business solutions for women, we enable wealth generation by women. And if you teach a woman, you find that knowledge is more transformative because women are more likely to pass on that knowledge to future generations.
As well as this, women are often community minded so are more likely to pass on that knowledge to those outside their family circle so that entire underprivileged communities can be transformed.
Women can succeed in their professional and personal lives
Women need to be enabled to see that their professional purpose and personal commitments are both vitally important and that it is possible to do both well. But this mindset change needs to take place among male leaders as well as female employees. The entire industry needs to recognise that women can successfully do both.
We also need to work within our organisations to understand our female workforce. What are the reasons that a female employee is wanting to take a career break? And what are the personal reasons preventing them from applying for a leadership role?
The needs of our female workforce are important and shouldn’t be brushed aside.
Women want to work for companies where they see senior female leaders
More women will naturally want to come and work for you if they can already see opportunities exist for women within your organisation. This includes at the very top of your organisation.
But to achieve this in the fintech industry, the right environment and culture that supports female employees must be in place.
At Altimetrik, we have pioneered our WINGS and Rebound programmes specifically aimed at building up women in our workplaces. Our Wings programme launched in 2021 and aims to help women grow in their careers, as well as help them find balance in their personal lives. We provide networking opportunities and support groups, as well as training to help hone their leadership skills.
As well as this, our Rebound scheme aims to help women living in India, who have taken a career break from the tech industry and would like to return and upskill in the latest technological developments.
We have also recently launched a mentorship programme specifically for women, where women are mentored by senior leaders (both male and female). Through mentorship, we hope women will build their business acumen, and learn how to carry out sharp analysis of trends and emerging markets while holding on to the emotional quotient and customer empathy.
As the future unfolds, and we see technology tools replace the need for developers and programmers, the STEM workforce will need to develop the human skills that machines cannot replace. These skills are often stronger for women than for men.
We truly believe that if women are provided with the right tools and circumstances they can grow in confidence and progress in the workplace.
But what we don’t need is lip service. The fintech industry needs to ensure that there is a level playing field for men and women, and part of this will be through specific initiatives targeted at the female workforce.
We truly believe that if women are provided with the right tools and support they can progress in their careers and the leadership potential of women across the workforce will flourish.