In fintech, an industry that provides new, exciting and diverse opportunities, Australia is facing a problem with gender diversity. According to the EY Fintech Census in 2016, a mere 13 percent of fintech leaders are women.
But what is being done to bridge the gap and move towards a more gender diverse industry?
Celebrating women in Fintech
Progressively more women are being celebrated in the fintech world. With awards such as the Innovate Finance Women in FinTech Powerlist and FinTech Australia’s 2017 Awards Female Industry Leader of the Year, the industry is tackling issues about gender diversity in a male-dominated industry.
Ignition Wealth sponsored the Rising Star of the Year Award last year, for Money Management’s Women in Financial Services Awards. Open to all women in their first five years of working in financial services, the Rising Star Award was awarded to Claire Greenwell.
These awards provide an insight into some of the creative and innovative women who are working in fintech and provides them with recognition. It starts a conversation about what these women are working on, with more diverse conversation from a variety of different voices – male and female.
Fintech events are also garnering more female representation than in the past, with the Intersekt Festival last year aimed at a 50/50 female to male speaking ratio.
More women are being asked to speak at these events, more women are being recognised with Fintech awards, and groups and organisations such as Fintech Australia, are organising events that address some of the issues women face in the industry.
Funding women in Fintech
Female founders have greater trouble accessing funding and fundraising than a male-founded startup would face.
In one study, even the questions asked to male and female founders was different – focusing on questions of safety, responsibility, and security, where men were mostly asked about their hopes and aspirations for their business. This difference, the study says, had led to changes in the outcome of such funding meetings. In the same study, female founders were awarded just 25 percent of funding requests, where their male counterparts gained over 50 percent.
This difference highlights an issue, but one that is slowly being addressed. Projects and organisations such as the Female Founders Fund and a portion of 37 Angels’ work, provides a door in for women, on their way to accessing much needing funding for their startup. They are providing venture capital to female entrepreneurs who have great business ideas and who have plans to execute them. It is providing women with more equal opportunity and with an incentive to join fintech.
Having real conversations about women in Fintech
The gap in gender diversity in fintechs is improving. More women are gaining top jobs, the pay gap is slowly closing and more and more women are moving away from traditional financial services towards the opportunities fintech can provide.
By having real conversations about the problems that women are facing everyday and facing these head on, we can move closer to having real gender diversity.