Innovate Finance, the UK trade association representing global FinTech, has released a list of the 21 female founders and CEOs that make up its membership base to mark International Women's Day. The announcement is a celebration of the female talent that is leading an increasing number of FinTech companies as well as a reminder of the need to do more to attract and retain more female business leaders in the sector.
Innovate Finance's list of member companies led by women include FinTech businesses such as MangoPay, remittance companies Azimo and World Remit, leading investment firm Anthemis and data analytics businesses Sybenetix and Essentia Analytics.
In addition to celebrating its female founders and CEOs, Innovate Finance has also launched the 2016 Women in FinTech Powerlist . Innovate Finance is accepting nominations from women who work in FinTech or nominations on behalf of female colleagues for a spot on the list, which will be published later this year. The initiative is an attempt to include all women who are driving FinTech global success from within the sector as well as outside Innovate Finance's membership association. Innovate Finance currently has 200 members including financial institutions, start-ups and SMEs.
"Whilst we aim to support more female FinTech founders and CEOs we should also spotlight the vital contributions that women are already making in our ecosystem," said Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO, Innovate Finance. "Many organisations that support FinTech companies such as financial and government institutions, professional services firms and marketing and media agencies are headed by or have women leaders. Together, they are transforming FinTech into one of the world's most successful business sectors. Our power list aims to celebrate all of these important women and to inspire a new generation."
Closing the gender gap and promoting diversity are priorities for Innovate Finance. The organisation has outlined five recommendations as part of its vision for UK FinTech 2020 to ensure female leaders play their part in building the future of financial services. They include:
- Mentoring at work and after school programmes to encourage women to become entrepreneurs and to enter the FinTech sector and to stay in their careers
- Enforcing STEM learning throughout the UK by making computer science, math and finance compulsory subjects at schools for all students until the age of 18
- Legislate flexible working for businesses for everyone to help manage work like balance
- Invest in women and support female entrepreneurs
- Praise diversity in the workplace until it becomes the norm
Sharon Lewis, Partner and Global Head of Finance at Hogan Lovells, said: "FinTech is about the future of finance, and that future should include more women. At Hogan Lovells we believe diversity of thought creates better teams, and better teams mean better solutions for our clients. The same applies to the FinTech community - diversity of thought stems from a diverse community, so we need to encourage this to ensure an innovation pipeline."