Boss Lady

The impact and necessity for women in tech and fintech

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Everyone talks about the gender gap in industries such as finance and tech, but very little has changed in the last 25 years. In fact, the number of women receiving a computer science degree has actually declined since 1997. In the financial services sector, women make up 50% of middle management, but only 13% of its CEOs. Fintech, which emerged in the 21st century, has an even greater disparity. Of fintech startups, only 7% are female-owned. In this day and age, we hope to see a change in this gender gap and hopefully see more equality.

McKinsey’s 2020 report on diversity and inclusion found that gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. Based on their analysis, McKinsey found that the difference in performance from the most to the least diverse organizations was 48%. If gender diversity has such a profound impact on financial success, why are fintechsstruggling to be gender inclusive?

Funding

Even in an industry that is known for its disruption, women still struggle. Less than 30% of the fintech workforce is female, and only 5% of the companies have a female CEO. When it comes to funding, nearly 90% of women find it extremely challenging to secure investment dollars. This is in an industry that experienced a 50% growth in just under five years.

To change this dynamic, the investment community needs to:

Open networking access to women
Encourage women to join venture capitalist firms
Share female success stories

Adding gender diversity to investment firms not only helps female entrepreneurs but it also helps investment firms improve their performance and show the willingness to change the dynamic and change the gender gap, creating more equality in the business and showing that there is no discrimination.

Education

The percentage of women receiving computer science degrees has declined since 1997, despite the overall increase in women with STEM degrees. In 1997, women earned 27% of undergraduate degrees in computer science. In 2016 that percentage dropped to 19%. There was a slight increase (5%) in the number of women receiving master’s degrees over the same period.

The numbers are even more troubling once women enter the workforce. Over 50% of men with computer science degrees are working in computer science fields, while only 38% of women are. This is despite the global shortage of technology candidates. While more women with finance degrees tend to stay in the field, they rarely make it to C-level positions. Only 13% of CEOs in financial firms are women, which is very unfortunate, but there is something that can help to close the gap.

Fintech provides an opportunity for women to close the gender gap.

The shortage of technically qualified candidates provides opportunities for women who may have left the field, or are looking to change jobs, the chance to shape the industry.
Operational knowledge of the financial services sector comes from experience. Women can leverage their experience — usually from the ground up — to land positions that can change the industry’s trajectory.

A quick course for a fintech certificate is all it takes for women to catapult into a growing industry that recognizes the need for diversity.

Culture

Researchers repeatedly state that corporate culture has a significant impact on a company’s success. Without the right culture and the right people, companies becomestagnate because they lack the diversity needed for innovation. In male-dominated workplaces, women find it harder to succeed, with over 35% citing sexual harassment as a problem, which is extremely unfortunate for them. About 50% of male-dominated workplaces pay little attention to gender diversity. In those environments, 80% of women felt they had to prove themselves continuously, while about 50% felt the same in more gender-diverse organizations. Given that fintech is in its infancy, women have an opportunity to contribute to a positive culture for a gender-diverse workforce and make a change for the betterment of their lives and the company, because being gender-diverse should be something every company out there, strives for. One gender isn’t better than the other and we need to get away from the stigma.

Building a Gender-Diverse Fintech

Changes in the workplace since the start of 2020 have made it harder for women to achieve a work-life balance. Many were forced to cut back on work hours. Some struggled to maintain their workload while juggling more childcare and home responsibilities. The year brought the gender gap into sharp perspective. It raised awareness of how much of the traditional workplace was structured on the 1950s ideal of men going to work and women staying home.

That doesn’t have to continue.

Fintechs, although coming from male-dominated industries, do not have to perpetuate that culture, and women have an opportunity to make change happen. Most women in the financial and tech industries already have the education. With a few fintech courses, women can quickly move into the rapidly growing market sector.

As a new industry, fintechs have to establish themselves as trustworthy partners for businesses and consumers. Nothing generates trust more than knowledgeable employees. With prior experience, women provide fintechs with the knowledge and skills to build trust and deliver customer-centric products.

Why not consider a career in fintech? It’s an opportunity for women to change the work environment, for the better! The course is designed to help business decision makers better understand the financial services industry.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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