Embedded finance platform Solaris has released a new report addressing the systemic challenges faced by women and underrepresented groups in the fintech industry.
Produced by Futura, Solaris’s network for women in fintech, the report highlights the significant gender gap in fintech, with only 28 per cent of the workforce being women and just 17 per cent in senior roles. It also sheds light on the difficulties women encounter when starting their own fintech startups, where they face a scarcity of opportunities and funding compared to their male counterparts.
Security, openness and inclusion are the most crucial factors that women look for when obtaining financial services in their daily lives, the Finance for Everyone study revealed.
Building financial security was the main factor noted by 77 per cent of respondents ahead of wanting to grow their money in the long term. Saving for retirement was third most popular at 68 per cent with protecting themselves from inflation and other crises being acknowledged by 47 per cent.
Only eight per cent of respondents said they’re motivated by increasing social status. According to the report, the low number of respondents who are interested in increasing their social status is especially significant because it demonstrates how, despite assurances that their products are gender neutral, financial services businesses often miss the mark completely, even when it comes to marketing.
Barriers for women
“There is at least $330billion annual global revenue waiting to be unlocked by giving women better access to finance,” said Alicia Close, senior manager, cards business at Solaris. “It’s time to ask the question, ‘Where are the products that serve them?’ This research reveals refreshingly simple yet powerful solutions that providers can start turning to in order to remove the barriers for women within current financial services products.”
When it comes to the barriers that women feel are holding them back from using financial products, lack of knowledge was the overwhelming primary factor for 71 per cent – a figure that would likely be hire among respondents that had lesser familiarity with financial services sector. Fear of making wrong decisions was noted by 55 per cent and too much complexity by 40 per cent.
The study also discovered that a lack of knowledge and a fear of discrimination are key factors in hindering trans women and non-binary individuals’ financial wellbeing.
Only 60 per centof trans respondents told Futura they use a bank account or a debit card, while even fewer used credit cards. Fear of discrimination proves to be a continual barrier, with the trans women we interviewed reporting they feel uncomfortable seeking financial advice because they worry they won’t be taken seriously, be misgendered, or be called by their dead name.