Fintech execs race towards workplace diversity
Despite decades of progress towards more workplace diversity across the financial services industry, the fintech sector is lagging behind but its senior leaders are coming together to change that.
To find a new way to raise awareness, inspire action and create accountability, for more workplace diversity in the fintech industry, the CEO and co-founder of the application programming interface (API) platform for retail finance Divido, Christer Holloman, decided to challenge his peers to complete endurance races together as a symbolic manifestation of the work still left to do.
He named the initiative Fintech Finishers and senior execs from over 50 fintechs such as Revolt, TransferWise and ClearScore have already signed up.
Diversity is about inclusion and equality regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, race, age, religion or culture. Holloman explains, “as an industry, we now employ 75,000 people across the UK and no single initiative will fix the lack of diversity overnight but doing something to raise awareness, inspire action and create accountability is better than doing nothing.” Research shows that less than a third of employees within fintech businesses are women and only 17% of senior roles are in female hands. For this inaugural year, Fintech Finishers decided to shine its spotlight on gender diversity and specifically discuss ways to address that.
A recent survey by PwC, among 2,000 A-level and university students, found that the gender gap in technology starts at school. Only a third of women can see themselves working in the technology sector (half as many as among men) and the sector was only the first choice for three per cent of females.
Fintech Finishers will, therefore, this year also raise money for a charity called Coder Dojo, part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and their initiative to inspire school-age girls to learn to code and discover the fun side of technology. Since 2011 they have already trained over 60,000 young women.
Fintech Finishers is free to join for those that work for a fintech and to qualify for membership you just have to be signed up for at least one live event organised by Ironman or any of the individual disciplines (Ironman distances); swim (min. 3.8k), bike (min. 180k) or run (min. 42k) within the next twelve months. In return, members will get access to a unique industry network for support and motivation as well as best practices advice. Fintech Finishers is currently looking for corporate supporters to finance its programme to help those looking to secure their first job in the industry as well as offer grants to those on low incomes to cover entry fees.
About the Author:
Christer Holloman created Fintech Finishers to raise awareness, inspire action and introduce accountability for more diversity and inclusion in the fintech industry and regularly shares his thinking via FinTech Futures’ upcoming “Diversity & Inclusion” hub.