This October at The Fintech Times is all about the incredible women working in the fintech industry. With women still forming only around 30 per cent of the workforce, it’s important to spotlight those who are working to make a change and blazing a path for those to follow.
Here, we speak to Milly Richardson, Yassamin Issapour, Bronwyn Boyle, Dr. Jasmin B. Gupta and Darcy Douglas, as they share how they are championing women in the fintech Industry.
Milly Richardson, VP of people at Vitesse
“Whilst we recognise there will always be plenty of room for improvement, we’re proud to have female colleagues in a variety of leadership and management roles here at Vitesse. We’ve worked hard to create an environment that is accessible and inclusive to ensure diverse talent feels like they truly belong.
Fully flexible working, ensuring the language we use on our job ads doesn’t deter certain groups of people from applying, and even reviewing our benefits offering to ensure they are more family-friendly – the leadership team fully recognises the fact that diversity of thought fuels higher performance at a company level.
“Something we’re really excited about is a project to launch transparent career paths via progression frameworks across the company; this will really open the potential for our female talent, giving them, for the first time, an opportunity to understand how they can develop their career with us. We hope this will lead to more female employees being promoted or moving into different roles as we break down the barriers with clarity and a properly defined process.”
Yassamin Issapour, CFO and co-founder at Agora
“Fintech is a forward-facing industry that embraces innovation and is committed to improving financial services and society. We can and must do more to champion women at all levels.
As the co-founder of a fintech, I am committed to hiring women and candidates of a diverse background. I know small things can add up to a big change. All our job descriptions are gender neutral, we foster alternative sources of recruitment and are conscious of the interview process to ensure we increase the number of women in senior management roles.
“It’s important that women make their voices heard. I take every opportunity I can to speak at industry events on panels about how we can reach a gender-neutral future for financial services. Evidence shows that firms with more women in senior roles outperform their peers, and we at agora are doing our part to make this more common.
“When we founded agora, we decided to lower the investment ticket minimum in an early investment round to give access to anyone, particularly women investors looking to build a portfolio of investments.”
Bronwyn Boyle, chief information security officer at Mambu
“I actively mentor a number of girls and women looking to break into the industry or further their careers. Alongside this, I’m also working on a number of educational initiatives to promote cybersecurity practices and ensure girls see tech and cybersecurity as an attractive career opportunity.
“Acknowledging the need to develop and build better pipelines to get more women in the fintech space is essential. Hiring managers in security often look for candidates with certain degrees or certifications; this can prove to be a barrier to entry for talent pools that could otherwise succeed and flourish in the industry.
“Seeking out female role models is vital in ensuring that others do not feel alone and their voices are being heard. The resilience and tenacity demonstrated over the years will give the next generation of women in fintech an equal footing to break through glass ceilings.”
Dr. Jasmin B. Gupta, co-founder & CEO, LXME
“In my TEDx Talk, “How Do You Live Your Legacy?” I will focus on how financial literacy and financial inclusion are very critical to uplifting women. As per the World Bank’s Global Findex Report 2021, the global gender gap in financial inclusion in some regions is as high as 12 to 13 per cent. At this rate, it will take 100 years to close the gender gap. We can’t wait so long.
“Digital financial solutions offered by fintechs are the best way to achieve faster, sustainable financial inclusion. Hence, we are building LXME to be India’s first neobank for women, of women, by women. It’s a one-stop-shop mobile-first platform integrating bankingtech, lendingtech, wealthtech and paytech, with innovative curated products and services exclusively for women. LXME has already impacted 1 lac+ women and we are aiming to impact 20 million women in the next three to five years.
“We have 80 per cent female employees at LXME, as we feel women are best suited to understand women’s needs. We have a women’s community where women feel safe to discuss their money problems. We run financial bootcamps on the app as well as offer gamified learning to enable and empower women to become financially savvy. Women, especially in the age-group of 20 to 45, are digitally savvy. Hence, LXME as a digital platform, aims to make them financially literate, fearless and independent.”
Darcy Douglas, vice president of global program management at Taulia
“While hiring women is important, it’s equally important to make sure those women stay and get promoted. I started a women’s mentoring program to support that goal. When I mentor a woman, I think of myself as not just her mentor but her champion. I put women forward for higher positions, give them opportunities to lead, and ensure they get visibility for that leadership.
“I also speak to women’s organisations, both internally and externally, on topics such as career advancement, delegation, and developing a personal brand.
“Whenever I speak to a women’s organisation, I always leave them with my favourite advice: to hire a housekeeper. Never spend one more minute on housekeeping. Instead, spend that time with family and friends doing things that bring you joy!”