Friday 17th November marked a fantastic night of firsts for Trinnovo Group – we launched our brand-new Representation in Fintech series, the inaugural panel event in the breakout space at our London office, and it was a night to remember.
With the help of our expert panellists, we were able to dissect the ever-present problem of underrepresentation in the fintech industry, including the operational risks of failing to diversify, the power of pay transparency, and the social stereotypes that prevent many women from enjoying a successful career in the industry.
To discuss this (and so much more), we were joined by the incredible:
Cara Myers – Director, Equiris Consulting
Roxanne Sanguinetti – Head of Strategy, GHCO
Felicia Hjertman – Founder and CEO, Tillit
Aubrey Stearn – CTO, Betta
After the talk, our networking portion of the evening enabled our community to continue building meaningful connections that keep the important conversations alive.
The superb turnout was a testament to the urgency of the topic, the insightful panellists, and the collective desire to actively solve the problems that hold the industry back in today’s world.
Without gender diversity, businesses risk damaging both their employer brand and their ability to successfully innovate. Even now, when the innate business value of diversity is widely recognised by many, women occupy less than 20% of executive roles in the industry.
We explored the ‘why’ behind the ‘what.’ A long history of social stereotyping, combined with the industry’s failure to break the mould has a part to play in this. Traditionally, men have often adopted the ‘breadwinner,’ role, and women the primary ‘caregiver,’ yet if a woman is the breadwinner, she will still be the primary breadwinner.
The historic lack of movement between these two roles is damaging the industry, and it’s a part of the parental leave conversation that must be addressed.
Moreover, fintech careers typically start to reach great heights when people reach their 30s and 40s, the time when many women start to think about having children – Due to a lack of equal parenting policy, this puts women at a natural disadvantage.
Allies have a large part to play in this area too. Men need to advocate for positive change, as does anyone in a position of power. This means including everyone in the conversation, not just those with the dual responsibility of being marginalised and fighting for their position.
The narrative for greater representation needs to start at the top. A gender imbalance is only solved when everyone affected has their say.
Plus, greater pay transparency is another prime contender for closing the gap, as seen in Felicia Hjertman’s home of Sweden, where anyone can look up what anyone else earns via a public database, a driving force behind breaking the pay taboo.
For many, getting trapped in the catch-22 of being continuously underpaid because they’re asked about their previous wage is an all-too-common occurrence.
Moving to a people-first system and placing the needs of the individual at the forefront of business decisions can open up the space for more opportunities.
For example, Roxane Sanguinetti has had great success in a diversity and inclusion model that enables ‘difficult time’ leave, a system that people can use to take time off if they’re having a rough experience that doesn’t necessarily fall into the traditionally sick day category.
Progress is being made, albeit slowly. For fintech to truly thrive and mitigate its representation problem, policies need to evolve, awareness needs to rise, and the pathway to positions of power for women must be made visible.
By hosting events like this, we’re able to bring together a community of like-minded individuals to network, share thoughts and ideas, and work together to make a real difference in fintech and the wider world.
If you want to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to find out more about our events and our organisation – at Trinnovo Group, inclusion is the norm, never the exception.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our insightful panellists, including Bree who kindly jumped in to offer her incredible insight at a moment’s notice. Thank you to everyone who intended, and our sign language interpreter for the evening, Peter Abraham.