If you look at the FinTech world today through the gender lens, you may be surprised about the diversity challenges that female professionals face. Or maybe not.
According to an industry report published by the Digital Finance Institute, only 4% of global banking CEOs constitute women; only 2 out of the top 50 U.S. bank CEOs are women and one-third of the banking executive committees are all male. Gender imbalance is just as ubiquitous in the technology space. It is no surprise that FinTech, the hybrid industry in which finance meets technology, faces the same if not more alarming issue of diversity – only 7% of FinTech companies employ female executives.
New industry and innovation are meant to stimulate change and foster inspiration. While one would argue that gender imbalance will plague the FinTech industry in just the same way it has traditional finance, females should feel optimistic that they have a competitive advantage in bringing fresh thinking and challenging the status quo. Business leaders of FinTech companies should also know why bringing more females on board will help them go a long way to building successful companies.
Women are better calculated risk takers
According to the Centre of Entrepreneurship, 87% of women see themselves as financial risk takers as compared to 73% of men, while 80% of women say they are likely to see opportunities where others see risk, compared to 67% of men.
Women are more likely to help in the workplace
Outside of their core responsibilities, women are more likely to volunteer their time to help others; and research suggests that teams with greater helping behavior achieve measurably higher profitability and effectiveness.
Women are more competent leaders
Studies have also shown that women are more competent leaders while men are more confident. While confidence does affect team perception, women however, lead more effectively when given the right opportunities and support.
Women bring higher profitability
Female representation in top management brings informational and social diversity benefits to the team, enriching the performance of managers and female employees. For companies with a strategy focused on innovation, benefits from gender diversity and profitability are observably higher. According to a New York Times article, an increase in the proportion of women from zero to 30 percent would be associated with a 15 percent rise in profitability.
Women take a long-term view
Last but not least, women have the propensity to think long term while men are more likely to focus on the present. It is essential to have a team that helps you see business issues from a long-term perspective.
Building a successful FinTech company requires great people who can offer a variety of technical skill sets, experience and insight to enable better problem solving and bring superior business performance. It is as much men’s responsibility to promote change as it is women’s to take part in it. While change may take time to happen, the good thing is that when it happens it is faster than you think.
Written by Marta Ra,
Business Development Director Switzerland,
and Ann Wong,
Director of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations,
at Opportunity Network.