Less than 30% of the UK’s FinTech workforce is female.
While the number of women working in financial services globally has grown, there is still a lot to be done. Plus, if we look at the number of women in executive-level positions at FinTech companies, it is a tiny fraction (17%).
When I first started working in the financial services industry, there were no women working in front-of-house roles such as sales, business development and account management. As a woman working in that environment, it was difficult to envision the success I could achieve because there were no other female role models that I could look up to within the company. I was also told by male colleagues that women didn’t belong in this industry.
So, how can we get more women into executive-level positions within FinTech companies? Let’s look at five key ways.
Benefits of Women in Executive Roles
Before we dive in, it’s important to know the advantages of having women in high-level roles. These include:
- Increased success: It’s no surprise that when women are at the top, the companies they lead do better. According to The Pipeline, where one-third of the bosses are women, firms have a profit margin more than ten times greater than those without.
- Decision-making: Having women involved in decision-making at all levels can help improve business results. This is because diversity of thought leads to better problem solving, which prompts new ideas and means better company results.
- Different perspectives: Having women in executive roles will bring different, valuable perspectives to the table, which can help improve ideas & strategies. Additionally, they are more likely to have a holistic view of the company’s success rather than focusing on one part of the business.
So, what can we do to get more women into executive-level Fintech roles?
1. Acknowledge the gender-gap
The first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge that there is one. And this is a problem that needs a solution. It can be easy to ignore the gender gap in leadership positions, but if we don’t talk about it, nothing will change.
Take a step back and think about the number of women going into fintech roles compared to men. Take a look around your office, at the conferences you attend, and at the panels you appear on. Are they representative of society? Or do these spaces remain male-dominated? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to change.
2. Implement support networks
It is not just about gender diversity either, but also race and ethnicity. So, if you want to increase diversity in your business, think about how best to do this and implement support networks for underrepresented groups. These support networks could include mentoring, coaching, and shadowing opportunities to help underrepresented people level up.
At Capitalixe, we offer monthly coaching sessions for our female employees to help them develop their careers. And we have a number of different programs in place to support underrepresented groups within our company.
3. Educate and inspire young girls
If we want more women in executive-level roles, we need to help younger women understand the potential of fintech and encourage them to join.
One way we can do this is by educating and inspiring girls from a young age. We should be encouraging our daughters, nieces, and friends’ children to study STEM subjects and focus on careers in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). This is an excellent initiative and one that can help change the way we think about business.
As fintech leaders, consider going into schools to talk about your work and the opportunities available in this industry. This is a great way to engage with young people and show them that fintech is an exciting, viable option for their future.
4. Encourage flexible working hours
There are many reasons why women may not be able to work full-time, but this does not mean they do not want rewarding jobs with opportunities for advancement. So, instead of just offering full-time work, why not think about flexible working hours?
Flexible hours would benefit women with children and those who need to look after a family member. There are also benefits for the company as more women may be able to make it to executive-level positions within a career. This is because they will be able to gain valuable work experience, even if they are working fewer hours.
5. Champion female role models
Lastly, if we want to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles in Fintech (and beyond), then we need to be championing more female role models. As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenges I faced was a lack of female role models in my industry. This not only made it harder for me to progress in my career, but I also experienced a lot of imposter syndrome when I did eventually make it to an executive-level role.
There are plenty of fantastic women out there, so show them some love! Share their stories and find ways to promote them on social media. This is not only good for women but also for any organisation that wants to be a thought leader. It shows that they value diversity and promote inclusion for all employees.
It is our job, as fintech leaders, to create the best possible work environments to ensure our businesses are successful. If we can follow these steps, I have no doubt that more women will be able to thrive in fintech roles and help us innovate for tomorrow’s challenges. It is time to close the gender gap, so that Fintech can start reaping the benefits of female leadership
About the Author:
As Co-Founder at Capitalixe, Lissele Pratt helps companies in high-risk industries obtain the latest financial technology and banking solutions.
With 7+ years of experience in the financial services industry and her global perspective, the entrepreneurial-minded Lissele is a recognised expert in foreign exchange, payments and financial technology. Her entrepreneurial spirit took her from crafting her first business at the age of 16 to building a seven-figure fintech consultancy within the space of three years.
Lissele’s hard work and determination landed her a spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 finance list in 2021. You can also find her insights in popular publications like Entrepreneur, Business Leader, Fintech Futures, Fintech Times, and Thrive Global.