New study into harassment in the FinTech industry backed by Revolut, Innovate Finance and FinTech Alliance

Accusations of sexism and toxic workplace cultures have repeatedly been levied against the FinTech industry. Now, a new study will look into how big the problem really is.

InChorus, the data platform which enables companies to manage their culture of inclusion, has announced a project to study the workplace culture of the FinTech industry.

To do that, the company has opened up its app for people working in the industry to anonymously share their experiences on the InChorus app. The researchers are looking for experiences of both the past and the present.

The project will run for six weeks after which InChorus will release the findings. It hopes that sharing the results will enable FinTech industry leaders to create healthier and happier workplace cultures in their offices.

“We believe that to increase diversity and foster inclusive environments, harassment must be prevented and a ‘speak up’ culture needs to be fostered,” said Rosie Turner, co-CEO and co-founder of InChorus. “Ultimately, cultures are shaped by the inappropriate behaviours that are tolerated every day. We are serious about culture change and we believe bringing actionable data to this conversation is key as what is measured can be improved. This research project will focus on ‘microaggressions’ and what impact these behaviours can have on the overall culture of the FinTech industry.”

This research project is being undertaken in partnership with Innovate Finance, FinTech Alliance and Level39, and is sponsored by Revolut. “Diversity and inclusion are key priorities for us,” said Clare Black, director of corporate affairs and communications at Innovate Finance “I am delighted that we will be working with InChorus on this important initiative to help build a resilient and sustainable workforce in FinTech.”

Revolut is one of the FinTech firms that have faced critique for how it has treated its staff in the past. In 2019, Wired published a story that suggested that the UK challenger bank’s meteoric rise had been fuelled by a culture that had people work without pay, unachievable targets and high staff turnover.

As an example, one candidate stated that she and other jobseekers had been asked to recruit 200 clients within a week in order to be able to pass to the next stage of the recruitment process. Revolut stated that they had shut down the service.

The practise had been used in Greece as well, according to a copy of an email seen by Wired.

Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky later responded to the feature in an open letter, saying that the company had not “always gotten things right” and that the challenger bank was “not the same company that we were 12-18 months ago, when these mistakes were made.”

“Like everyone else at Revolut, I am constantly learning and growing with the company,” he said. “I now know that there is much more to running a successful business than simply hitting targets. Over the last 18 months, we’ve spent a lot of time working on our culture.

“We now conduct biannual surveys where we ask our employees what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. We’ve introduced new 360 performance reviews to make them more fair and transparent.”

Storonsky added that Revolut had completely overhauled its recruitment process.

“I’m not going to pretend that we’re perfect, but we absolutely want to be,” he said. “If you look at Revolut today, we’ve grown from 100 to over 800 people, and I’m proud of the fact that our turnover is now less than 3%, and that we were named as a top three tech company to work for by LinkedIn. I don’t mention these things to gloat, but instead to demonstrate how far we have come.”

Despite these efforts, the accusations is still something that still haunts Revolut. For instance, when the digital lender butted into its rival Monzo’s Twitter thread in February, links to the Wired story was one the responses Revolut received.

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

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