Research from Big Four accountancy company EY and industry body Innovate Finance has highlighted “barriers” in the FinTech sector with female leaders being overlooked for senior positions within the industry.

The report, formed from the 120 finalists on the Women in Fintech Powerlist, highlighted that over one in four female leaders believed that unclear progression opportunities for promotions and a lack of recognition were holding back progress for the sector.  

EY’s analysis indicated that the gender pay gap in the FinTech industry is as high as 22%, with 17% of respondents from the Powerlist calling for regulation of the gender pay gap to help close the difference. 

Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group, says the key to addressing the issue is to broaden career and training programmes as well as working harder to retain female talent.

“The FinTech industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy, creating jobs and driving innovation,” she added. “With such a bright future ahead, tackling the gender pay gap and improving access to career opportunities should be a top priority for business leaders.

“By building a stronger, more diverse workforce, the FinTech industry will be better placed to represent the customers it serves for the long term.”

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Joanna Kori, head of people for Encompass Corporation, said the FinTech industry has evolved significantly and must be open and accessible to all. 

“Ensuring parity across the board requires work from all parties, with support from executive level personnel particularly important when it comes to implementing progressive workplace policies, such as flexible working initiatives, which benefit everyone, including parents and women returning to work,” she said. 

“Having that support can empower women in their life and wellbeing choices, as well as their work choices, enabling them to reach their professional goals while maintaining a good work-life balance. There is so much untapped potential and, if we are to continually see positive change, flexibility is key.”

Women themselves should also be proactive about making the FinTech and technology sectors work for them and their lives, says Kori. 

“Technology is so broad and far-reaching now compared to 25 years ago and should be an important factor behind not only day-to-day business activity but also in helping women to access and excel in the industry,” she added.

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