- Innovate Finance has published its annual Women in Fintech Powerlist.
- The list is meant to encourage women in the sector by providing positive role models.
But Innovate Finance CEO says: “We’ve still got work to be done,” with women representing just 23% of staff in the sector.
LONDON — Trade body Innovate Finance has published its annual list of women in fintech, aiming to give role models to young women thinking of entering the sector.
Over 300 women in the global fintech industry are featured on the list, including TAINA Technology CEO Maria Scott, the cofounder of WorldRemit Catherine Wines, and Sophie Bialaszewski, head of innovation culture and events at Lloyds Banking Group. The list was compiled in partnership with Lloyds and law firm Hogan Lovells.
Innovate Finance CEO Charlotte Crosswell told Business Insider the list is meant to “show that there are actually significant amounts of women in fintech and create the network for people to learn from their experience and understand it.”
However, Crosswell admitted: “We’ve still got work to be done. When you look at statistics of women in fintech — it’s not there yet. What we have to do is a shine a light on it, work out why we’re not quite there yet, and how do we therefore influence that going forward.”
A “fintech census” carried out by EY and Innovate Finance in September found women represent just 29% of staff in the sector.
Caroline Plumb, the CEO and founder of cash management startup Fluid.ly, told Business Insider: “It definitely feels like a less diverse environment to industries I’d previously been in, which were a bit more marketing/services oriented.”
Anne Boden, the CEO and founder of digital challenger bank Starling, told BI: “There are not many women in finance, there are not many women in technology, and there are not many women entrepreneurs.”
Just 26 of Innovate Finance’s more than 275 member companies are led by women.
“It’s very disappointing because it’s not getting any better,” Boden said. “I think we all have to try harder. It’s not because there is a lack of female talent and it’s not because women have other responsibilities at home. We as organisations have to work together to find the talented women out there and make sure they are visible in organisations and they get promoted.”
Part of the problem is a shortage of women graduating from STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and maths.
Crosswell said: “You look at the entrepreneurial side and take it all the way back to education, we are seeing less women coming through schools with STEM skills. How do we make it attractive? How do we promote those skills for girls at school so that they come through as the next phase? We haven’t got the funnel.”
Boden said: “I was a computer scientist coming out of university in 1981. There were very few women in computer science when I was studying. I was very much expecting that, as my career progressed, there’d be more women. But there never were.”
Boden and Plumb both said that companies should address gender diversity not because of any sense of moral duty but in order to improve organisations.
“Stop trying to think of this as a women’s issue,” Boden said. “Stop trying to think of this as something we must do for women. This is a question of fixing organisations.
“I think it is harder for women to get promoted, harder for women to climb the ladder. We have to be aware of that and do our best to give everyone a fair and equal opportunity to get to the top of organisations.”
Plumb said: “It’s not a matter of opinion. There’s a tonne of evidence from McKinsey and Harvard Business School that diverse teams make better decisions.”
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