Technology is currently in a booming phase and it is set to revolutionize and disrupt the financial industry. Goldman Sachs1 predicted that this growing financial technology (fintech) industry will threaten to grab $4.7 trillion in revenue and $470 billion in profits from traditional banks. However, the disruption only seems to be restricted to the business models and technology, and have yet to tackle the issue of gender diversification.
According to the World Economic Forum’s report – The Industry Gender Gap: Women and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in January 2016, only 9% of women are CEOs, and 19% are board members in the Financial Services and Investor’s industry. Thus, Women in FinTech (FemTech) has been a topic which has been put in the spotlight.
Despite women accounting for almost half of the world population in 2016, senior-level and leadership roles are still mainly being held by men. Nonetheless, it is necessary for companies to have a gender balance so that they can cater to the needs of all types of users, regardless of their gender.
Gender diversity may not be a bad thing and could help businesses to be more successful. According to a report by McKinsey, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to financially outperform the national industry median.
Fortunately, the female representation is increasing on financial services Boards and Executive Committees, according to a report by Oliver Wyman – Women in Financial Services. Though the growth is slow, there are signs of positive growth.
There have been initiatives to recognize and celebrate women’s contribution to FinTech. For example, FinTech Australia has created an award to celebrate the contribution of women to Australia’s FinTech Industry. Another example would be The Rising Star Awards which was introduced to recognize the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to form a list of 100 female role models across different industries and professions.
Gender diversity is one of the bigger issues in the financial sector. It is also important for women to be part of the FinTech revolution and contribute to the FinTech landscape. As studies show, companies which are more gender diverse tend to perform better, eventually turn out being more successful. To support and encourage more women in the FinTech scene, there also been initiatives launched to celebrate their contributions.
So, with all this background in mind, we take a look at some of the women making a difference in fintech below:
1. Sallie Krawcheck
Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women
2. Gina Heng
Miss Kaya, a lifestyle digital bank for women
3. Jessica Alba
Honest Company, an e-commerce company
4. Mouna Aouri
Woomentum, ideas and advice crowdsourcing platform
5. Ghela Boskovich
Startupbootcamp Fintech, Head of Fintech/Regtech Partnerships | Founder of FemTechGlobal
While the focus of this article was intended to be women in fintech, we felt it wouldn’t be complete without including some of fintech’s manbassadors for good measure:
1. Jack Ma,
Alibaba, China’s most famous e-commerce company
2. Joe Seunghyun Cho
Marvelstone Group, a private investment firm investing in fintech
3. Sam Maule
11FS, helping banks become digital | Creator, FemTechLeaders
4. Muhammad Yunus
Grameen Bank, microfinance and community development bank