With International Women’s Day falling on Sunday 8th March, businesses have used this past week to post the obligatory group photos of female staff and promotional videos advocating for women in the workplace. The fintech industry has been no exception, with companies proudly boasting their percentage of female staff and highlighting women in senior leadership roles. While these efforts might foster female empowerment in the office for the days leading up to International Women’s Day, there is significant work to be done across the fintech sphere in addressing the gender gap and its effect on the future of the industry.

Why are fintech businesses so lacking in female representation, specifically executive-level roles? And how can gender diversification encourage a shift in the thinking that underpins the industry as a whole?

One observation finds that the majority of products within the fintech sector have been created by men, and the corresponding businesses that support these products are made up of predominantly male leadership. If products that are developed by and for men become increasingly industry-prevalent, then the emergence of any female-centric products or services will seemingly cause an upset in the ecosystem. Further to this, products that are put forth with a female-oriented view in mind are more likely to lack endorsement or investment from leadership teams largely comprised of men.

A 2019 study brought about the shocking revelation that less than 30% of the UK’s fintech workforce was female. Out of this 30%, a mere 17% of these roles are executive-level positions held by women. Male leaders of fintech organisations have cited a disproportionate number of applications between male and female prospective candidates as the determining factor for this outcome. The conversation should not simply stop here, but should extend farther back to consider why less women feel encouraged to put forth applications for these positions. Diversity in leadership will only promote diversity in ideas; more gender-inclusive executive teams will only yield endorsement for innovation in a market that has long been under-leveraged. Concentrated efforts on bolstering women’s representation in senior-level positions will also shed light on the gender gap of unmet needs in the financial services industry, which can lead to product development that addresses female-centric concerns.

In an industry that has historically been shaped and maintained by men, Aryza are proud to employ a number of women in business-critical roles. Representation in our workforce spans across all departments with female members of staff holding senior-level positions in our development, customer success, project management, and sales & marketing teams. As our business continues to see significant growth throughout 2020, we remain committed to cultivating an environment that both allows our female members of staff to exercise initiative, and encourages new female talent to contribute to our team’s success.