The FinTech gender gap: how clear gender disparities in the industry still remain

A study by Findexable and has found that only 1.5% of over a 1000 FinTech companies are founded solely by women and receive just 1% of total venture funding.

The Diversity for Growth Report is one of the first worldwide big data initiatives that aims to track diversity in the industry. The report was conducted in partnership with Chargebacks911 and Global Processing Services with insights drawn from a survey of 250 employees working across financial services.

The report found that currently, women only make up 11% of all board members globally and a slightly higher 19% are company executives.

In Europe, 2% of companies were discovered to have been founded solely by women while 19% of them were executives and 8% of them were CEOs. Specifically, Berlin, Paris and Valencia lead the rankings for the newest companies founded by women between 2019 and 2020.

London was identified as the top spot globally for the biggest companies with female CEOs as well as having the most companies including a female executive.

Elsewhere, Asia was found to have the highest proportion of female founders at 7.7%, followed by Africa at 7.4%. This was higher compared to Europe and North America, which came in at 6.5% and 4.8% respectively. Africa was also discovered to have the highest number of female board members, coming in at 15%.

Africa and the Middle East were the leading regions for the highest number of female CEOs, while North America had the highest proportion of executive team members. The report also found that female CEOs were likely to be based out of Dubai, Sao Paulo, London, Lagos or Buenos Aries. Only eight female-founded companies had over 1,000 employees, with five of them based in Asia, two in Europe and one in Latin America.

While men still snare a majority of the funding in FinTech, women in some geographical regions are managing to level the playing field a bit more. In Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, the companies that secured the highest median funding were those with female founders. Female founders in North America, meanwhile, got the highest median funding, while in both Latin and North America the biggest average funding went to companies with at least one woman founder, and women-only founded companies got the biggest average in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Findexable CEO and co-founder Simon Hardie said, “Global prosperity is more evenly distributed than at any point in history, yet our data shows the massive imbalance between men and women in innovative financial services firms. Fintech is a key enabler in the digital economy and the sector playing an outsize role in reducing economic exclusion and powering digital transformation.”

Findexable co-founder Denise Gee added, “While the research paints a disappointing picture of fintech’s performance at building an industry that reflects the real world, this research should be viewed as a line in the sand. From today all of us – from government to regulators, ecosystems and financial services firms of all sizes – need to ‘dig in’ (not lean in) to make the case and accelerate the progress of women and diverse teams.”

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