The UK FinTech sector alone generates £20 billion revenues annually, and the growth opportunities are global. Last year, the UK generated £534m of FinTech investment, making it the third- largest region by capital investment.
Fintech comprises a wide range of activities, from mobile payments and crowd-funding platforms to virtual currencies. What makes Fintech so exciting is the idea that innovation can help create more sustainable financial services sector and deliver better services to customers.
Unfortunately, there is a gender imbalance in FinTech, with only one female CEO in the top 50 EU FinTech companies. The issue needs to be addressed to avoid following similar patterns to that of traditional finance and technology industries, two notoriously male-dominated industries.
Opportunities for women entering FinTech
Women control $20 trillion of global household spending and 70% of consumers are female. So without the input of women in the FinTech sector, the needs of all potential users will not be met.
Multiple studies, including the World Economic Forum’s, reinforce this reality. Gender balanced teams excel in comparison to male dominated teams with respect to experimentation, creativity, knowledge sharing and the completion of tasks.
This sort of diversity fuels creativity, which in turn sparks innovation, showing more women in FinTech can only benefit the sector.
Why aren’t there more women in FinTech?
Fintech is a fairly young sector so there is plenty of time for women to get into the sector and become involved with its evolution:
One of the key issues at the moment is a lack of mentoring. There needs to be an increase in women to the FinTech industry to encourage and inspire more young girls to do the same. With a lack of females in FinTech at the moment, there is simply not enough mentoring to go round.
In addition to the lack of mentoring, there is also a lack of IT skills. The recently updated IT curriculum should hopefully address this, making the subject more current and relevant. Therefore, this will encourage more girls to consider a career in IT in the future.
Flexible working hours also has a lot to do with it, and bringing women back into the industry after they have children is really important. Many women choose not to enter the technological sector for fear of having to choose between children and career, but this is a misconception and we need to encourage more women to return to their careers.
CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is a perfect role model for women who want to manage their balanced work life with being a mother. We need more women in every level of business to show that working hard and also having children can be accomplished.
By highlighting the challenges women face entering the FinTech industry we must initiate a cultural and social shift. Creating a more favourable government policy and celebrating women leadership in this sector can achieve this and can create a level playing field for women in technology.
If you’re thinking about making the move into the FinTech field, speaking to an expert in technology careers, such as Laudale to see if it’s the right career move for you.