How can we attract more women into fintech?
March 8th represents International Women’s Day – dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women across the world.
Over the past year, we’ve seen some incredible women joining us and rising through the ranks into leadership roles. With this year’s theme around ‘Breaking the Bias’, we decided to speak to four members of our team about their careers and experiences of being a woman in the fintech sector. After all, less than 30% of employees across fintech are women.
What can the fintech sector do to become more accessible to women?
Our team didn’t (thankfully) recall any challenging experiences stemming from being a woman in the sector. However, there was an unequivocal agreement that in order to make the fintech sector more accessible to all, the industry must promote the opportunities it can offer women in a more effective way. This includes highlighting career opportunities to younger people.
“I think awareness [of fintech] should start younger in schools and colleges. A lot of younger girls don’t think they can get into the roles – they don’t think it’s for them as it is a male dominated profession and are potentially put off by this.”
Flora, Associate DevSecOps Engineer
Offering apprenticeships could be one way to tackle this challenge and would enable more young people to gain relevant experience before committing to fintech as a potential career. This could also be a gamechanger for helping candidates to build up their technical knowledge, as entering certain roles, such as coding, without previous experience may prove challenging.
So what could be done? Code First Girls is already making a big change in reducing the gender diversity gap in tech. By teaching more than 50,000 girls to learn new coding skills, the initiative enables women to expand their skillset as well as gaining the confidence to kick-start their career in tech. We agreed that programmes like this (and more of them) could serve as a catalyst for encouraging more women into a career in technology.
“Championing some of the roles in tech, whether coding or not, will highlight the vast amount of opportunities available in fintech.”
Emily, Senior Business Analyst
Perhaps fintech suffers a little by being such a new and emerging industry? Our own team of women highlighted that the career guidance they received in their school days tended to focus on more conventional, and perhaps more easily understood, roles such as teacher or estate agent. Quite often, opportunities to work in different sectors only become obvious after you’ve started working, and with it the realisation that your skills can be applied to lots of different industries.
Our advice for those interested in working in the fintech sector
The group discussed why men are perhaps more likely to apply for a position they may not have the skillset for when compared to women. Research suggests that men will apply for jobs where they only meet 60% of the qualifications, whereas women tend to only go for roles where they can confidently meet 100% of essential criteria.
“Give it a go! Working in a fintech company is open to anyone. There’s so many different roles and multiple ways to progress in such a growing and new industry.”
Gabby, Customer Success Manager
The group agreed that one of the exciting things about the fintech sector is that it is full of opportunity. There’s a wealth of roles, ranging from engineering to user experience to customer success management, with many companies preferring to promote people from within the business as they aim to create well-rounded, multi-skilled team members. The panel emphasised the importance of asking questions to help develop knowledge and different skills.
“Don’t restrict yourself as an individual; be open to all opportunities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s always the capacity to learn, expand and grow.”
Meera, Product Owner
The future for women in fintech
We truly hope women view a career in fintech as an exciting and achievable prospect, but we acknowledge there is more that we, and the sector as a whole, can do. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities emerging for women, which is why we signed the Fintech For All Charter in 2020 to build more inclusive workplaces using analytics and data-led interventions. This article from FinTech Times also provides more advice on a career in fintech from those who know – including our very own Chief Delivery Officer, Sarah.
We’re at an exciting stage in our growth journey having just announced our latest funding round of $8.3 million, so there’s never been a better time to join our team. Click on the link below to explore the opportunities we currently have on offer.