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 share their thoughts on how the gender diversity in the industry has evolved since they first started their careers.
How has the industry evolved in your own experiences from when you first joined to now in terms of diversity and inclusion.
Lucinda Davis, director of employee experience + DEIB lead at workflow solution providers, Symphony, said:
“A lot of progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go, and I don’t believe it’s evolving as rapidly as other industry sectors. According to EY, UK fintech’s are less gender-diverse than the broader financial services sector, with women making up 28 per cent of the fintech workforce compared to 44 per cent in financial services at large. The statistics are even more disappointing at the leadership and board level and it’s evident work still needs to be done.
“I do, however, believe the office environment has definitely advanced, and for me, the biggest difference is how I am able to show up in the physical workplace. There was once a time I felt the pressure to tactically curate an appropriate outfit, whereas now, I’m often in jeans and trainers and it’s no coincidence that I feel able to do my best work. Without doubt, I’m able to be my authentic self, and I place a high value on that.
“While it’s true that there are still fewer women than men pursuing STEM subjects, there is a noticeable upward trend in these figures. This signifies a gradual influx of women into the sector, marking a positive and encouraging development.
“To answer the overall question, I would say that a career in fintech has become significantly more attainable for women than it has ever been before, as working practices in many companies (including ours) are continuously evolving to ensure work environments are inclusive for all. It’s on us as employers to be deliberate, and intentional with our actions, and hold ourselves to account.”
Sheri Chin, chief marketing officer at Galileo Financial Technologies, a payment processing solutions platform, said:
“In my experience, financial services and fintech marketing has generally been a welcoming and inclusive community for creative and innovative thinkers. However, at many companies, the most senior levels and boardrooms remain homogenous and male-dominated despite the pivotal role women and minorities have played in advancing the financial ecosystem.
“As the fintech landscape has expanded to meet the needs of underserved and underrepresented segments, there has been a heightened focus on diversity and inclusion. Although fintech companies offer fertile ground for change agents to flourish, many of the same challenges remain, and in some respects are more multifaceted than when I began. For companies to thrive, we must bring voices from all backgrounds to lead companies and the boardroom.”
Starting to change
Emma Kisby, CEO, EMEA, at ethical fintech business, Cogo
“Unfortunately, the numbers speak for themselves and there are still not enough women making up the fintech workforce. However, I am hopeful that things are starting to change and I am pleased to say that sustainable fintechs are leading this charge, with much more balanced gender representation. In fact, at Cogo, we have a negative gender pay gap which is particularly rare.”
Aja Heise, senior compliance officer at XBTO, a comprehensive platform for digital assets and tailored investment solutions
“The fintech industry has seen notable changes in terms of diversity and inclusion over the years, but the degree of change can drastically vary depending on the specific organization and subsector. There has been a growing awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in fintech, and efforts have been made to promote gender diversity in particular.
“More organisations are actively working to create diverse and inclusive workplaces. There has also been progress in increasing the representation of women in fintech, with more women entering leadership roles and participating in technical roles. There are multiple fintech companies that have even implemented diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as mentorship programs, employee resource groups, and diversity training.
“In my opinion, despite progress, challenges still persist in achieving full gender diversity, especially at higher levels of leadership and at larger organizations. The industry still faces issues related to unconscious bias, work-life balance, and gender pay gaps.
“With increasing representation and available opportunities for women in the industry, there are more women pursuing a career in fintech than when I started out, particularly in leadership roles. More opportunities, resources and support exist for women in fintech today compared to the past.”