FinTech startups lag behind when it comes to diversity

FinTech business may well aim to push the traditional finance world forward with new technology but it lags behind the industry when it comes to diversity.

The news comes according to a report by recruitment agency Astbury Marsden, which found fewer than 9% of the board seats in the UK’s top 50 fintech businesses are held by women.

Astbury Marsden managing director Adam Jackson said, “fintech companies are among the most innovative, modern and forward-looking in the world, so it’s important that this is reflected in their leadership and governance structures through greater diversity.”

“Placing more emphasis on creating a broader spectrum of viewpoints at the top could benefit the industry in many ways, but there are also potential risks in failing to address diversity. It’s not an issue fintech firms should ignore.”

The research reveals women are under-represented in fintech companies compared to other UK tech companies where boards are comprised of 18% women on average.

These sectors both trail the FTSE100 companies many of them aim to disrupt in terms of diversity with FTSE100 companies recently achieving a targeted 25% female representation on boards.

FTSE100 companies now also have no all-male board while 69% of fintech boards are entirely male.

Jackson highlights the importance for fintech companies to be seen to do something saying, “a well-balanced Board is now widely seen as essential, with stakeholders increasingly expecting to see companies focussing on diversity.”

He suggests, “Setting recruitment goals to boost the numbers of female Board members could be one way of doing this, giving firms something to work towards and demonstrating their commitment to this issue.”

“Having a target to aim at has effected significant boardroom diversity improvements at FTSE100 companies, spurred on by intense public scrutiny and political pressure. A similar – but proactive, industry led – approach could also yield positive results for Fintech firms.”

Copyright © 2016 FINTECH GLOBAL

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