Encouraging women in Fintech
Life at Delio

Encouraging women in Fintech

8th March 2020

As a sector that emerged from two industries known to have traditionally been lacking in gender diversity, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the representation of women in fintech remains low.

But how can we support more women to enter fintech – an industry that is seen as forward-thinking and modern in almost all other respects? Following International Women’s Day, some of our team got together to discuss the importance of supporting women as they decide to take up careers within the fintech sector and how Delio are playing a part in that. Read more about our meet-up below…

Showcasing women in fintech

While the lack of female representation in the industry certainly shouldn’t be underestimated, we can celebrate the women who are already playing fundamental roles within the sector. As showcased in our recent series of blogs celebrating National Careers Week, at Delio women are represented across almost all of our departments, but we’re all agreed that more can be done to increase those numbers.

Now is the time in which fintech companies, regardless of size, can set examples through appointing more females in roles such as Developers, Coders, Testers, Product Owners and Analysts in order to show young girls that they are not restricted to ‘gender-stereotyped’ job titles. The highly talented women already working in fintech are setting a precedent that if you want to work in this industry, you can. This is something we can be proud of and need to showcase more.

Diversity is more than just stats and figures

For a woman working in fintech, it may be daunting at first as the lack of gender diversity in technology is often one of the first things that they notice. However, women who enter the fintech sector are sadly already used to being part of a disproportionately small pool, having often experienced similar challenges through their university studies. It’s so important to focus on the positive impact that diverse teams can have on a business and the vital role that both male and female members of staff have to play.

What can we do as businesses to inspire more women into fintech?

As the sector is still relatively new, it is crucial to encourage girls from a young age to develop skills such as coding. During our discussion, we all agreed that it is crucial to encourage girls from a young age to get into STEM-related roles in order to normalise that journey from the start. While educators and organisations like Girls Who Code are already taking significant steps towards breaking down these stereotypes related to STEM subjects and careers, businesses can help with this too; having female Developers or Test Analysts at career days or as guest speakers can tackle common misconceptions and attitudes.

Why having female mentors matters

It is always encouraging to see women in leadership positions and have female mentors to look up to as part of your career. Seeing women like Starling Bank’s Chief Executive, Anne Boden, Louise O’Shea, CEO at Confused.com or Meri Williams, CTO at Monzo are helping to pave the way for young women. But these are just a small number of cases. The lack of women in senior roles continues to be a blocker – not only within fintech but in most sectors. And the perception of a ‘glass ceiling’ can discourage women from aiming high.

During our discussion around this, one member of the team highlighted the benefits of having a female Head of Delivery at Delio:

“It’s encouraging to see a woman in a senior position in your team – especially when you are just starting out. I think too often there is this feeling that in order to work in a male-dominated field you have to toughen up. So seeing women in senior roles, who are strong and well-respected without changing what they stand for, gives you the confidence that you do not need to change yourself when taking a senior role.”