This October at The Fintech Times is all about shining a spotlight on the incredible women working in the fintech industry, sharing their greatest achievements, their biggest challenges and how they can make a difference fostering women’s careers.
Though progress has been made to reduce the gender gap in fintech, the industry still has far to go until it hits true representation and champions full equality.
To help highlight the influential and significant contributions of women to the industry, we asked influential fintech leaders (who just so happen to be women) to discuss the importance of diversity beyond gender for ‘women in fintech’ month.
Diversity is vital
Emma Kisby, CEO, EMEA, of Cogo, a business carbon manager platform, said:
“When we think about diversity we should consider ethnicity, education, language, culture, neurodiversity, as well as gender. I think businesses are increasingly waking up to the fact that diversity is vital for business success and that conformity can stifle growth. Businesses with successful gender diversity are reported to be over 20 per cent more profitable, and for those that are ethnically and culturally diverse that figure is over 30 per cent. The collective perspectives and experiences that diversity brings will help businesses find different and new ways to address problems and identify opportunities.”
The diversity conversation
Danielle Pepin, head of product, portfolio monitoring and valuation, ESG, and Mobile at alternate asset management, Dynamo Software, said:
“Diversity has already moved well beyond gender. Discussion about intersectionality began in the 90s when Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term to describe how social categories such as gender, race, and class are interconnected. It’s an important point that supporting women is inextricable from supporting other marginalised people. Including other people in the diversity conversation implies the conversation is something that is owned by us. I’d suggest flipping that idea on its head and instead, paying attention to the conversations that are already happening all around us. Saying we want to bring the diversity conversation to marginalised communities is like saying Columbus discovered America.
Aja Heise, Senior Compliance Officer at XBTO, a digital asset platform, said:
“Yes, diversity initiatives should absolutely move beyond gender and encompass a broader range of marginalised communities. While gender diversity is crucial, it’s just one aspect of creating an inclusive workplace. It’s essential to consider diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, and other factors. People often belong to multiple marginalised groups simultaneously, so focusing on gender alone may not address the unique challenges faced by individuals with intersecting identities.
“It is evident that diverse teams bring a broader range of perspectives and experiences to the table, fostering creativity and innovation. True diversity means creating an environment where everyone feels valued and included, regardless of their background.
“In summary, expanding diversity initiatives to include all marginalised communities is not only ethically sound but also crucial for the success and sustainability of organisations as well as industries in today’s diverse world.”
Preetha Pulusani, CEO at financial institution digital marketing platform, DeepTarget
“Talent and potential can be found in various forms. I am a strong believer in spotting and nurturing such talent and potential – for the benefit of the individuals and for the organisation. In my case, I am a minority in fintech because I am a woman, and because of my ethnic background Yes, I believe that diversity initiatives should move beyond just gender. Diversity is a broad concept that encompasses many different aspects of identity, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical abilities, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and other ideologies.
“Inclusion of people across marginalised communities is crucial for a truly diverse environment. Not only can this lead to a more inclusive and equitable society, but this diverse community can also bring broader, more assorted perspectives and experiences. This, in turn, fosters creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. You also have the advantage of better understanding customer needs through the lens of workplace diversity. Some research has shown that a diverse workplace is simply better for a company’s bottom line.
“”It’s hard to fathom what the disadvantages of diversity initiatives are!”
Knowledge and opportunities
Jeannie Assimos, head of content/communications at Way.com, an auto super app. said:
“We need to include communities at all levels of society. If we become a blocker of excluding anyone from any walk of life, we are not only doing a disservice to them, but we are directly prohibiting this industry from thriving. We have so much yet to learn from other countries and communities, their various business models, successful or not, but if we as an industry resist exposure to these, we limit our knowledge and opportunities to grow.”