A recent study shows that Europe is lagging behind when it comes to women in FinTech. Several companies have subsequently pledged to implement changes in an attempt to bring Europe closer to the global average.
A Lack of Diversity for Women in FinTech
In spite of being one of the most progressive emerging sectors, a report from May 4, 2020 shows that women are underrepresented in the fintech industry. The report cites a study indicating women hold only 20% of the executive roles in fintech startups.
The data in question focused primarily on Europe and was conducted by Sifted. According to the results, Spain is the only country that meets the global average for female representation. In fintech c-suites, Spain has women in 25% of the roles.
The final conclusion of the Sifted study is that Europe is still behind in the global average for female roles. The data used was collected using multiple methods over a three year period. It is also used in conjunction with data regarding the investment gender gap, the board gender gap, and the pay gap in Europe.
A further study was also conducted on the managerial distribution in the six most highly-valued fintech firms in Europe. This was in a bid to understand the state of leadership at the top of the industry. The study revealed that only one out of the six fell below the global average for female representation, and none had all-male teams.
In light of this new information, a number of top firms have made pledges to reverse the trends and increase female representation. This includes pledges to increase the number of women in higher positions of authority.
Examples of these are TransferWise, who has pledged that 40% of senior leadership roles will be female by 2021. Monzo has hired Sheree Atcheson as a diversity chief and has also signed the Women in Finance Charter. The charter pledges that women will make up at least 40% of their executive committee and board by 2020.
Progress on the Way for Women in FinTech?
While the report indicates a lack of diversity, some statistics show that progress is being made. For example, more women appear to be joining fintech firms across Europe. In 2019, it was reported that the number of women working in fintech in Spain had doubled to 57%.
Lithuania also has a sizable female workforce in fintech with 60% of the sector’s firms having at least a third of their employees as women. Over half of the fintech firms from the country, also have female executives, which shows significant growth compared to 2015, when the figure was around 7%.
There are not many female-led companies when it comes to finance in general. When looking to Ellevest however, one can see a company with an entire business model based around pushing back against the largely male-dominated world of finance.
As FinTech continues to pick up steam in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, it will be interesting to see if Latin American countries develop similar patterns to that of Spain.
Do you think Europe truly has a problem with the inclusion of women in fintech? Do you think initiatives like the Women in Finance Charter properly address the problem? Let us know in the comments.