I’ve written quite often about Sexism in the City and am intrigued by discussions of diversity, or the lack thereof, in both banking and technology. Google and more have been told they’re not hiring enough women, and Amazon’s AI engine recently trained itself to ignore women’s applications based on historical hiring.
So, I thought I would have a look at the rise of diversity in FinTech … or is there? For quite a long time, we’ve talked about FemTech for example. No, it’s not a hygiene tool for women, but the idea of Females in Technology and, with international women’s day taking place on March 8, I thought I’d research a few women in technology stats and facts.
For example, engadget report that gender inequality in technology firms in general is clear:
Google's overall workforce, for example, is currently 30.9 percent women, who make up 21.9 percent of tech positions and 25.5 percent of company leadership. At Facebook, women comprise 36 percent of global personnel, 22 percent of technical roles and 30 percent of leadership. Twitter's numbers are similar, with 38 percent women overall, 17 percent in technical jobs and 33 percent in leadership. Most tech companies have reported comparable statistics in recent years.
Every study I read shows that women are under-represented in senior roles in banking, even though they may represent the majority of employees … as tellers. The Financial Times published an interesting summary of such stats back in 2017 …
The share of women plunges dramatically as employees move up through the ranks at their institutions … women made up 25.5 per cent of senior roles in 2016, compared with 23.7 per cent in 2014. The number of women in mid-level jobs stayed flat at just over 39 per cent for the same period [even though] just over half the companies’ total staff are female — including 58 per cent at a junior level.
… and this chart is fairly telling:
A study by Northeastern University in the USA found that women generally don’t want to work in finance because of “a masculine culture and long working hours”.
Combine the gender bias of technology with the gender bias of finance and is it any wonder that FinTech gives us the leanest area of diversity.
Innovate Finance produce an annual power list of women in FinTech, including many friends of mine, but note that less than 30% of the UK’s FinTech workforce are female. A quick run through of the founders of companies selected for the FinTech 50 reveals 118 men, and just six women. That’s just over 5%.
Some put this down to the notion that men are more likely to be into finance and technology, which may have some depth, but it is interesting that the gender balance or imbalance is so wide.
Will this change? Do you care? Just wondering …
... and if you are aware of any initiatives to create positive change in this area, let me know.
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...