Here at BrickX, we think every day should be a celebration of powerful women.
With today being International Women’s Day, this is an opportunity to continue the dialogue on gender diversity in the Fintech industry, particularly in its leaders.
Gender diversity in Australia
Female representation in the Australian workforce has grown quickly over the last decade, however the same cannot be said as we look further up the leadership ladder. Gender balance is important at all levels of an organisation but is especially pertinent at the executive stage where the strategies of the business are driven. You may have heard this crowd-stirring stat quoted at discussion panels – more ‘Andrews’ lead ASX200 companies as CEOs than there are women1. Female underrepresentation is most apparent at C-suite level, with only one in six of CEOs being women. At this rate, female CEOs will have to wait another 80 years before reaching equal representation with their male counterparts2.
How about the Fintech industry?
Let’s take a look at diversity in the industry that BrickX operates in. Only 28% of the Australian Fintech workforce is made up of females (2018), growing slightly from 24% in 2017. With only one in five founders being women (2018), it’s no wonder that female workforce participation in this industry is so slow in its upward crawl3.
Why do we need gender diversity in leadership?
This may seem like a counter-intuitive question. Diversity is often described as just ‘the right thing to do’, but many companies don’t realise the business case. An organisation with 30% female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin4, studies showing that companies with highest gender diversity on their executive teams are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability5. This makes sense because managed well, diversity brings together varied perspectives that result in more holistic decision-making.
How can we make a change?
It all starts with conversations like this that are contributing to a louder movement to shift Australia’s Fintech industry towards a more diverse, productive future. We urge other Fintechs to take diversity seriously – innovate not only in your tech but also your commitment to inclusion and diversity. This starts with the leaders. Make an effort to weave a culture of inclusion into your recruitment process and shining a light on existing female role models. What was that one Pinterest quote again?
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Article references: 1. “Gender Quality at Work 2018” report by Conrad Liveris 2. 2017-18 dataset by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency- https://www.wgea.gov.au/topics/women-in-leadership 3. EY FinTech Australia Census 2017 and 2018 4. “Is Diversity Profitable” global survey by EY and Peterson Institute for International Economics 5. “Delivering through diversity” report by McKinsey & Company, 2018 Quote by Henry Ford. Infographic references: 1. “Is Diversity Profitable” global survey by EY and Peterson Institute for International Economics 2. 2017-18 dataset by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency- https://www.wgea.gov.au/topics/women-in-leadership 3. EY FinTech Australia Census 2017 and 2018