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Diversity culture: how to build it in fintech


This guide outlines how to build a diversity culture in fintech, and great examples of where it is working.

Diversity and representation are essential in all sectors – but it seems fintech is lagging behind its counterparts even now.

Lack of inclusivity doesn’t just impact the culture of the modern workforce; it also reflects a deep-rooted miasma of apathy. A lack of agility and willingness to progress that hamstrings a business from producing better solutions.

The more perspectives and the more diverse the fintech market is from having a diversity culture, the more creative the innovations developed that benefit every consumer and business. This logic isn’t exclusive to fintech; it’s simply one of the sectors that’s missing it the most.

How to build a diversity culture

With this in mind, let’s look into how some market-leading lenders in the fintech industry are paving the way for a more diverse workforce and how their experiences with building aa diversity culture can help shape the future of the Fintech industry.

Wonga Online – Sulungeka Faltein

Thirty-three-year old Sulungeka is a software engineer at the South African credit provider WongaHer journey is an interesting look at the drive it takes to reach professional roles in the Fintech world, breaking down barriers to prove her knowledge and capability in an industry dominated by male leadership.

She now works in people management, supporting a team of developers and software engineers, adapting features to provide outstanding customer experiences.

PaySafe Group – Paulette Rowe

As CEO of the integrated and e-commerce solutions provider, Paula says that she would like to see more female representation in:

Senior management roles
Working at board level
Commercial leadership

US female founders reached a record in 2019, but there remains a disproportionate representation throughout. The firm has joined the British Women in Finance Charter to establish ways to support more women into senior roles within fintech.

Neufund – Zoe Adamovicz

Adamovicz has founded no less than six successful technology enterprises and co-founded Xyo, the app search engine sold to NASDAQ in 2014. She is now co-founder and CEO of Neufund, an investment platform making portfolio management inclusive, straightforward and secure.

UNest – Ksenia Yudina

Yudina is an inspiring founder, having launched UNest, a money app designed to increase access to simple savings structures to provide for children’s futures.

The platform has gone from strength to strength, now one of the leading financial planning apps used to help parents invest and build cohesive savings structures. UNest is the first native app that eliminates the complexity and showcases how creative thought and true accessibility can break down financial literacy barriers.

Yudina has been recognised as one of the ’40 Under 40′ in the 2020 Investment News report and was a shortlisted finalist in the 2019 Quesnay awards, Female Founders in Fintech.

Human Interest – Kristina Wallender

Formerly of Amazon, RealtyShares and Ticketfly, Wallender is the Chief Product Officer at Human Interest. Her role in the business focuses on enhancing 401(k) experiences for 61 million employees of 32 million small businesses through:

Protecting plan administrators from unanticipated costs.
Transforming conventional industry practices.
Enhancing fund-monitoring technology.
Eliminating pension transaction fees.

Wallender also works on projects to support independent living in older adults, with qualifications including an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Cornell.

Qapital – Katherine Salisbury

As Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Qapital, Salisbury founded the company with her husband, George Friedman, back in 2015.

Qapital is a financial planning tech firm changing how people interact with personal finances through an intuitive app designed for couples with dual accounts. The app allows users to customise spending rules, build savings, track expenditure and plan for their financial future.

Salisbury also owns Friedman & Salisbury Sports Management alongside her husband, with 20 years of corporate experience in law, banking and finance.

dLocal – Sumita Pandit

dLocal is a global payments platform, providing services to merchants in emerging markets, supporting over 600 local payment methods for 325 companies. The firm operates in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Pandit is Chief Operating Officer and joined dLocal in 2021 following multiple previous roles with several high-growth fintech firms, including Global Head of Fintech Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan and positions at Goldman Sachs.

Her responsibilities include overseeing client management, investor relations, and corporate development, achieving a hugely successful NASDAQ listing since joining the firm just six months ago, expanding on 18 years in investment banking.

nCino – Trisha Price

Price is Chief Product Officer for nCino, a cloud-based software provider for financial organisations with over 1,200 global clients. nCino works with institutions holding assets ranging from $30 million to $2 trillion, delivering digitalisation and automation processes through its Bank Operating System.

With over two decades of experience in fintech, Price leads the design and development team, streamlining complex processes using data analysis, AI and machine learning to create simplified procedures for clients.

Before joining nCino in 2015, Price worked at Primatics Financial with roles including Head of Global Sales. She also acted as part of the board of directors for the Audit Committee assembled in 2021 for Docebo Inc.

Why Fintech has a long way to go to reach diversity culture targets

Part of the problem is attracting talented individuals to the Fintech sector, to begin with.

Only 35% of STEM students at college level are female.
Women hold 23% of bank board roles, but only 14% in fintech.
Gender pay gaps stand at 17.3% in Britain between men and women performing the same roles.

Some inspiring women are running extremely successful Fintech businesses, supported by male colleagues, but they remain few and far between.


It’s high time that fintech joined the world of the 22st century, opened its doors and actively worked to build aa diversity culture and attract a more diverse pool of talented professionals across the spectrum of humanity – it will be all the better for it.

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