In an ideal world, we would see an employee purely for their merits and accomplishments. However the truth is that we are often biased by many factors such as gender, race, religion, language and many more when judging an employee’s suitability for a role.
Gender diversity in the workplace has long been a controversial topic. This is particularly the case in a traditionally male dominated industry such as the FinTech space. Over the years we have spoken to numerous senior management and human resource contacts regarding this subject and gained some interesting insights.
Why is gender diversity important and what value does it bring?
Benefits of Gender Diversity
“Research shows that more diverse teams have more successful outcomes…Gender balanced teams excel in comparison to male dominated teams with respect to experimentation, creativity, knowledge sharing and task accomplishment.”
McKinsey & Company’s 2015 report “Why Diversity Matters," revealed “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” With this in mind, there are many reasons why gender diversity should be promoted throughout the FinTech industry.
Fostering Gender Diversity
Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, states “at current progress it will take a further 30 years (by 2048) for Executive Committees in the financial services industry globally to reach 30 percent female representation; the level at which research suggests a minority’s voice comes to be heard in its own right.” Unfortunately the statistics within the technology industry don’t fair any better. The criticality of this matter is glaringly obvious and its impact must be considered both at a company level and among the broader FinTech community.
The following methods have been identified as having the greatest impact on the female population within the FinTech industry:
1. Talent Management Initiatives
Employees with responsibility for talent management practices within any FinTech business must be educated to recognize and remove gender bias during recruitment processes. Continuous training must be provided on how to identify gender bias within the workplace, as well as during the interview process.
Recognizing preferred leadership traits in alignment with the company’s strategic goals must be established rather than traditional gender based bias. Continuous training needs to occur with managers during the hiring, retaining and promotion phases, in order to ensure bias is successfully eradicated.
Many successful female FinTech leaders have nominated the need for strong mentoring to take place within the industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean females need to be mentored by other females, however women need to be supported in the industry to succeed. Partnering with a powerful mentor can create additional pathways for success. Fostering the success of females within the industry will ultimately contribute towards bridging the gender gap.
3. Development of a Women’s Advisory Council
Depending on the size of your business, it can be beneficial to form a women’s advisory council where female professionals can ensure their voice is heard within your organization. Such a council should be involved with strategic planning across the business, as well as ensuring the inclusion and diversity of women continues to remain a strategic priority.
4. Implement Family Friendly Practices
Balancing the responsibilities of looking after a family is not essentially a gender related issue. Making flexible work practices more accessible to both genders is equally as important and will go a long way to empowering women to break perceived barriers of traditional family care responsibility. “An ‘agile’ working environment should be the goal of every organization; one that flexes to support the needs and realities of employees in the digital age.”
5. Celebrate Success
It’s important to celebrate success in the industry as well as contributors within your own workplace. This doesn’t need to be restricted to females but is highly beneficial to both genders to celebrate the success and female contribution within your organization.
Women who are driving change within your firm, who are overcoming the odds in a male dominated community and who are smashing goals when it comes to exciting developments within the FinTech industry need to be openly and publicly celebrated. As a manager, educate others about how this is happening in your company. Who are these women? How have they achieved success? How can they inspire other women to do the same?
Implementing these strategies demonstrates the value of women in your workplace to existing staff but also serves to strengthen your marketing strategy by increasing your ability to attract successful FinTech female players to your business. Bridging the gender diversity gap in the FinTech industry desperately needs to remain a priority throughout 2018 and beyond.
Anchal Murawala is an Senior Associate at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.
You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent - 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here. Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a more detailed discussion.
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