Finance Monthly - April 2023

balance in senior management. The charter now has over 400 signatories with 950,000 employees across the sector. 97% of these signatories have also said their agenda to improve representation has improved since the inception of the charter. In their five-year report, the charter documented that there has been a rise from 14% to 22% on average for women in executive committees since 2016. And women board members have also risen from 23% to 31% . While there is still work to do, these are encouragingfiguresandshowwhat can be done when government and industry take action. We must continue to track data, hire, promote and train women to drive future improvements and provide positive environments that allow both women and men to thrive in their careers. FinTech is a disruptive force across the financial services and banking industryas it continues tochallenge the status quo by incorporating new problem-solving technology, ultimately making life easier for those interacting with it. Often, as is the case with challenger banks, disruption takes the form of going against the traditional banking model and paving the way for adaptation. I’ve found this refreshing since joining Kroo because building a bank from scratch allows you to start with a blank canvas and strips back the traditional processes and bureaucracy associated with legacy banking. Due to its disruptive nature, the FinTech industry has an opportunity to lead the way in providing opportunities to women and other minority groups ignored by the sector. It is well-positioned to bring equality to the financial services sector by providing opportunities todevelopa stronger team that better represents and serves its customer base. However, old banking values are infiltrating this new and exciting space as only 1.5% of global FinTech firms are founded solely by women and receive just 1% of total FinTech funding. As well as this, just 5.6% of global FinTech CEOs are women, and less than 4% hold the title . Overcoming barriers and producing real change Highlighting and raising awareness of the stigma that persists against women in financial services and leaders in other corporate environments plays a crucial role in driving change. All organisations should keep this in mind if they want to help address the gender inequality problem moving forward. At Kroo, I am proud to say that we are very focused on creating initiatives to help more women progress into leadership roles. I mentor several women on our team, having known the benefits of this for my career progression. We are also partnering with organisations to help drive progression for women in technology and product roles. We are very focused on initiatives such as the gender pay gap, which for neo-banks is better than some of the more traditional organisations but still has improvements to make. We all know that change will not happen overnight, and it will take time and effort to address the inequality throughout the financial services sector. Still, the current wave of challenger banks and a generation that wants to do banking differently has a golden opportunity to produce change. Within my role at Kroo, I am committed to championing diversity and ensuring equal opportunities within my team and for women within the sector. Equal representation of women within the financial services sector might still not be a reality, but together we can make it happen. “In 2021, the proportion of women in leadership roles within financial services organisations was 24%. “ Finance Monthly. F i nanc i a l Innov a t i on & F i nTech 39

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