Lucy Slater addresses gender diversity in the fintech industry.
The Financial Technology industry (Fintech for short) is in a period of exponential growth. Providing expertise and digital solutions to two billion people, It is rapidly increasing its reach world-wide, and therefore it is in desperate need of diversification to help it benefit every user.
Fintech is comprised of what were previously two separate sectors – finance and technology, both of which happen to be the two sectors most notorious for their male-dominated workforces. Therefore, the birth of Fintech saw this patriarchal tradition flourish as the presence of women was scarce, and continued to be so through lack of encouragement and inspiration for women to want to join the industry. While the tide is indeed changing, it is important for those who are unconvinced to see the real benefits women present to tech companies. Below are 3 of the key reasons why women make sense in Fintech.
#1 Make use of the 50%
By excluding women from the industry, Fintech is depriving itself of 50% of the world’s population, and hence also 50% of the world’s talent. Diversity allows for more perspective and creative approaches to business plans. You’ll never develop a mass market, Fintech solution if your business only sees the world through the eyes of a man. A woman’s perspective is key.
#2 Proven Success
Cornell University conducted research into gender disparity and found that companies that have founding female partners have an increase in their long-term returns by up to 30%. The research also shows that women in executive positions are more likely to direct the company towards increased financial performance, as they show innovation and competitiveness.
As Jason Voss, CFA, rightly said: “We’re talking about laws of nature here. This shouldn’t be at all controversial. When we look at an ecosystem (such as the plant and animal life in wetlands, alpine, or desert) we consistently find that more diversity leads to a better ecosystem. More diversity creates a biological environment which is more responsive, adaptive, and handles shocks or changes better. Those are great things in a habitat like the desert…they are also great things in our workplaces.” Voss relates the workplace to nature, which is a point that rings very true, as an all-male workplace will not generate the best possible results as there is an imbalance in its structure and input.
#3 Break the Negative Cycle
The giant tech industry and more niche Fintech sub sector both suffer from a lack of female candidates due to a perverse catch 22 situation. Quite simply, the lack of young women learning to code at school and college means a lack of candidates for employers to choose from in the professional world.
Guste Sadaunykaite of TransferGo, provides more detail. She highlights that with only 17% of girls studying computer coding at school and with even fewer pursing the subject into higher education, it should therefore come as no surprise that only 1 in 20 tech job candidates are female. Even if every single female candidate was hired, this is only a drop in the ocean of talent that we know is out there.
However, with plenty of women already making huge inroads in the fintech sector, there is now a realistic chance to break this negative cycle and reach out to younger women and encourage them to code from an early age. Hopefully then we can change the perception that a professional career in the Tech and more niche Fintech industry is not solely reserved for young men.
Fintech is for everyone.
Lucy Slater is a young writer specializing in Fintech and investigating women’s roles and rights in industries. Passionate for equal opportunities, especially for our future generation of girls she pushes for industries to consider female candidates and how much they can offer to a business.