By Shruti Rai, Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder at Novus
A recent study cited by a leading Fintech publication* found that whilst 30% of the fintech workforce is female, only 17% of senior fintech roles are held by women and just over 5% of founders are women. These statistics are pretty shocking as Fintech is such a dynamic world of discovery and innovation.
The number of women in Fintech are slowly improving but there are systemic flaws, deep-rooted challenges and biases which persist that create barriers to gender diversity and hindering women’s rise to the top.
Having had extensive experience in mission-driven Fintech and experience, I know how it feels to be a female in such a male dominated environment. I am determined to help open doors for the next generation of women and hope to encourage, coach and mentor females who want to pursue a career in Fintech. I now have a platform from which to do this after recently co-founding a new banking app, Novus, so watch this space.
A common misconception is that the Fintech is ‘boring’ but it is so far from that. It’s such an exciting and dynamic industry to be a part of and here are my 5 reasons why Fintech is the hottest place to be for women in tech:
The UK economy need Fintech
The Fintech industry was initially born as a sub-set of financial services; however, it has continued to evolve and today, the UK owns a 10% global share of the growing sector. No longer a sub-industry, Fintech is a force on its own and a part of everyday life. In 2020 alone, $4.1bn was poured into the sector in the form of investments, with revenues totalling over £11bn. In addition to this, the UK government recently conducted a review to further bolster its support for the industry.
The variety of options are endless
Whether it’s payments, crypto, digital banking or sustainable finance, there are unlimited avenues to explore within Fintech. Market intelligence platform, CB Insights, recently unveiled the third annual ‘Fintech 250’ – a list of 250 of the top private Fintech companies that are using technology to transform financial services and is well worth looking up for further insight. In the UK alone, there are more than 1100 Fintech companies across these sub-categories, each employing thousands of people.
A fast-growing industry
Both the government and the investment industry are working hard to ensure Fintech is set up for success in the years to come. In 2021, the industry is expected to double its previous rate of growth at the very least, maybe more – and this is what makes Fintech a hot place to be right now. It also means that salaries in Fintech are one of the highest across different sectors! In a post-Brexit and post COVID world, the growth of the sector is almost certain to accelerate with the continued digitisation of consumer behaviour.
You can make a difference to individual lives
71% of UK citizens encounter at least one Fintech process in some way, every day. Simple tasks such as paying online for a product or service means a likely interaction with a Fintech company. No matter where you live in the world, you have to deal with financial systems to live your life. The ability to make an impact on the well-being of individuals and families around the world is inspiring and the opportunities to work on such projects are far greater than you might think and are hugely rewarding.
Females are the future of Fintech
Fintech needs women more than ever right now. The diversity numbers within all major Fintech companies, especially in senior leadership levels, are massively lacking. Traditionally, finance has been a highly male dominated environment and unfortunately, Fintech has inherited that flaw. Although many firms have recognised this and are actively trying to pull their male skewed gender ratio to the middle, this needs to be done on a much bigger scale for the sector to see any real change. There is so much room and scope for females in this industry.
Don’t be afraid to get involved – do your homework and dig out those companies who are keen to embrace new females in tech. Co-founding Novus is giving me the opportunity to just that and really start to redress the balance
Shruti Rai is the Chief Growth Officer and a Co-Founder at Novus, the new sustainable banking app making it easy to generate positive impact from everyday purchases. With extensive experience in mission-driven fintech, Shruti is a purveyor of enabling financial apps for doing good, improving lives and using her position to steward many more women into finance and tech.