FinTech needs more men!


Yes, you read this right: the FinTech sector needs more men, but before you reach for the pickax, it’s worth noting that I’m a huge supporter of gender diversity and equality, and this article by no means conflicts with my commitment to driving diversity across the FinTech sector.  In fact, quite to the contrary. 

The vast majority of FinTech and Payments companies globally are founded, run and financed by men – there’s no way to dress this up; it’s simply the status quo. 

I’m actively involved in both the EWPN and AFWP networks. I can tell you something for nothing – the women involved in these groups are exceptional human beings. Many juggle families with high-profile positions with the leading global FinTechs. Every time I’ve attended meet-ups, I’m in awe of the focus, commitment and ingenuity these women show. One thing’s for sure – there’s no BS and no bravado – wish I could say the same for the majority of other male-dominated events that I’ve attended.

My view is that my fellow male leaders need to do more in actually making a difference. Many plug gender diversity; they see it as good PR and a way to get their brand noticed – some go a little further and try to hire the odd woman to balance the numbers but that’s just not going far enough.

And i’m not alone in my thinking…..

Industry commentator Chris Skinner adds further to this, “In 2017, McKinsey came out with a stat that 73 percent of banks are run by white men*, and just 17 percent of women make the C-suite and a mere 8 percent of non-white people. This is 2020. Surely it’s time we changed this and had a real breakthrough of the glass ceiling for true diversity in the financial industry. After all, if banks were run by a more balanced team, we would have far more balance in decision making, execution and strategic foresight. Isn’t that worth striving for?”

Simon Hardie, CEO of Findexable, comments: “As much as many of us want to work in progressive, representative companies – or build companies with those values front and centre – it’s not just about the soft stuff. Diversity is good for business – and is proven to build more resilient businesses. Research on 4 years of IFC data [part of the World Bank] shows that loans to women-owned businesses in emerging countries are less likely to default than male-owned counterparts. Add to that the often-quoted statistic that stock market-traded companies that focus on sustainable goals outperform businesses for which sustainability is not a primary objective and it’s clear that diversity should be as much of a priority as digitisation and data”

So what can you do? Well, there’s a variety of actionable things my fellow business leaders can do – here are  a few ideas:

  1. Insist that whenever you’re hiring, you receive a diverse shortlist – take a look at what we at strive for
  2. Join the likes of the European Women in Payments or the African Women in FinTech & Payments (we’re always looking for male allies)
  3. If you’re invited to speak on a webinar (or in the future, at an event), insist that there is a balance of genders on the panels / attending the event
  4. Ensure your board or advisory team consists of women!

If you want to find out more about how you get involved in driving gender diversity, please do get in touch with me, look up EWPN or AWFP and have a listen to some of the most tremendous women who have appeared on our podcast series, Talking Success.

*Are you looking for FinTech Talent? Learn the secrets of how we’ve helped FinTechs across EMEA recruit business-transforming talent – Book a 30-minute Strategy Session

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