Technical fields have a long tradition of male dominance. In fintech, this is no different. According to a survey by Lend Academy, only 37% of the employees at fintech companies, and just 19% of C-suite members, are women. This gender gap speaks not only to the exclusion of women from fintech companies, but also the limitations those companies place on themselves. For your organization to grow, learn to more effectively hire and develop women into leadership.
The Value of Gender Diversity
For many companies, having mostly male employment does not come from an intentional path. Boys have long been steered toward math and science fields more than women, and this created a cycle that leads to more of your employees being men.
Unfortunately, this cycle brings you employees who are too similar to each other to find new ways to improve what you do. Bringing in women, with their different life experiences and perspectives, gives you more people who can look critically at what you do, and why. Instead of maintaining the status quo, you can develop leaders who help you truly grow.
Start in the Middle
The problem comes from more than just needing to hire more women. If you have policies that hurt them, your female employees will not want to stay. This does not have to be explicit discrimination; your family leave policies, or your expectations for time at the office, can impact the women in your office more directly than the men. You should not create a feeling of women being singled out for special treatment, but rather develop policies that allow women to thrive.
Creating Employee Growth
For women to grow in your organization, you need to give them a sense that there is a long-term place for them. If any of your employees believe he or she does not have a future with you, that person will be looking for a work opportunity where that future does exist. This is all the more true for your best people. If a woman looks around and sees that no women have leadership roles, even if she is much better than her peers, she will be hard-pressed to believe she will be the exception.
Your mentorship programs should include a focus on pairing women with either other women or with men who can show them a path to growth within your organization. In no way should you pander or show lighter treatment for women than men; everyone will see this and push back against it.
If you focus on specific needs and help women find a path forward, though, they will be more likely to take that path. Ultimately, promoting the best people—men or women—will make your entire organization stronger.