As the UK’s fintech companies continue to attract more investors to fund British technology firms, it is becoming clear that most of these companies have a shared weakness – their lack of boardroom diversity.
According to Astbury Marsden, an international recruitment company, fintech companies lack gender diversity in relation to top leadership positions. From the leading 50 fintech companies that were analyzed (of which 70 percent were UK-based), women made up only 9 percent of board members.
Adam Jackson, Managing Director of Astbury Marsden, said that the sector could benefit in many ways if more emphasis was placed on ensuring gender diversity at top positions in fintech companies. He added that diversification would definitely broaden the spectrum of perspectives, thus this is an issue that should not be ignored.
In 2015, 18 percent of directors at Silicon Roundabout were women. This shows the dire need of some sectors to implement the 25 percent target of women representation on FTSE 100 boards by government-backed tech firms.
The firm’s analysis showed that, on the one hand, there was no FTSE 100 company that had an all-male board. Yet on the other hand, 69 percent of board members of the companies they studied were exclusively men. It is also worth mentioning that FTSE 100 companies are not a great model of boardroom diversity either, since in the last count, women represented not more than 10 percent of executive members.
Tech sector normally lags behind in matters of diversity perceptions. Nevertheless, top firms such as Apple and Google have made initiatives to improve gender diversity, and to make it a point to demonstrate the contribution of each employee, irrespective of their gender. It is important to bear in mind that it will take time for any significant effect to be felt. This includes investments aimed at increasing the number of women and minorities in the tech sector.
The results obtained may not be equal among startups and established companies. However, a thriving sector like fintech should be making great strides in achieving boardroom diversity in the 21st century.