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Female Fintech Founders Aim Higher Than Ever Before on International Women’s Day

Growing investment leads female-founded fintechs to diversify the workforce. 

Increasing amounts of investments are empowering female fintech founders to diversify their workforce as the industry comes together to back International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Leading this force for change is the not-for-profit members’ organisation FinTech Wales, which has partnered with the women’s rights campaigner and charity Chwarae Teg to support training and employment opportunities for women.

As per the focus of this arrangement, the industry critically lacks female representation and specifically women in tech-facing roles. PwC‘s Women in Tech research report predicts that in the UK, just 23 per cent of people working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles are women.

Elsewhere along the forefront of the industry, recent data relating to the evolution of the web3 industry found that just 13 per cent of working companies include a female team member.

To combat this, the duo have come together with the social enterprise Code First Girls which offers coding courses to women across the UK. FinTech Wales will distribute the programme to its members, which also provides employment opportunities, and expects 10 female members to enrol in a 14-week fully-funded course of their choice.

“Collaboration is critical, and FinTech Wales is delighted to be able to make that significant link between individuals and leading FinTechs in Wales providing employment opportunities for this newly-created and much-needed talent,” comments Gemma Hallett, head of skills at FinTech Wales.

“Earlier this week we were thrilled to host an event with the CEO of Code First Girls, Anna Brailsford, Chwarae Teg’s newly appointed CEO, Lucy Reynolds and our members to share insights and further plans for attracting more women in tech.”

Female funding activity

In parallel with FinTech Wales’ announcement, the latest Dealroom analysis indicates increased venture capital funding for tech startups and scaleups with at least one woman co-founder.

According to the findings, female tech founders in the UK raised £3.6billion in 2022, increasing from £2.9billion the previous year.

In 2022, eight companies with women founders and co-founders raised over $100million, demonstrating how the UK tech sector is maturing.

The majority of investments into women-led businesses took place at the pre-seed and seed stage with 158 startups raising early-stage funding.

Yet despite this encouraging activity, Dealroom also points out how only 13 of the UK’s 144 tech unicorns have at least one woman founder, which amounts to nine per cent of the total unicorns created in the UK.

Tech Talent Charter

To ensure UK tech attracts the best talent and represents the whole of the country, the government has undertaken extensive work to improve diversity across the sector.

Since 2016, the government has supported the Tech Talent Charter, an industry-led group of 700 organisations which together seek to improve diversity and inclusion in tech.

The government is continuing to invest in opportunities to diversify the digital skills pipeline. This includes a £30million investment in its artificial intelligence and data science conversion course programme; including scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds and targeted cyber training programmes.

The Digital Skills Council, launched as part of the Digital Strategy last year, also brings together industry leaders and training experts to drive business-led action and widen the pipeline of talent into digital and tech.

Last year the Government Equality Hub launched an industry-led taskforce to increase the number of women-led high-growth businesses, with a particular focus on regions outside of London.

Chaired by Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, the taskforce is supporting women entrepreneurs, influencing high-growth investors, and working with organisations across the UK to help deliver the government’s target of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030.

Yoram Wijngaarde, founder of Dealroom, said: “Attention has been repeatedly drawn to the dearth of funding for female-founded businesses so it is good to see a significant number of UK companies raising mega rounds and the progress that has been made by female-founded companies across the board.

“However, there is still a huge gap to be made up since the vast majority of startups and funding continues to go to all-male teams. By focusing on this metric and on upskilling talent across the digital tech sector we should be able to make a difference.”

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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