Tuesday 8 September 2020 12:01 am

Exclusive: UK fintech sector launches initiative to end harassment

Leading figures from the fintech industry have today launched an initiative aimed at tackling harassment and promoting diversity within the sector.

The “Fintech for all charter” focuses on increasing diversity and inclusion across the industry. It is being led by data platform Inchorus and supported by Innovate Finance, the Fintech Alliance and Level39. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will also support the steering committee.

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It comes after a survey conducted by Inchorus, which revealed high levels of workplace harassment, of which 85 per cent is gender based. The survey also found that 84 per cent of victims were harassed more than once.

The fintech industry has come under immense scrutiny over claims of gender pay disparity and toxic workplace culture in recent years, particulalry in the wake of the #MeToo scandal.

The call for action reflects the growing influence of the industry, with the FCA mandating for a focus on non-financial misconduct and encouraging “speak-up cultures”.

The survey by Inchorus highlighted that two-thirds of participants wanted their organisation to introduce training to prevent harassment. Additionally 51 per cent said a set of employment standards for the industry could help to tackle the issue.

Initial signatories of the charter include fintechs – Currencycloud and Checkout.com among others – as well as investors Augmentum VC, Outward VC and Anthemis. Consultancy PwC and industry bodies Fintech Circle and UKBAA have also signed up to the charter.

They will commit to ensuring at least one member of the senior team is accountable for diversity and inclusion, as well as creating an harassment and bullying policy.

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Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance, said:  “FinTech is the crown jewel of UK tech and we need to ensure that  diversity and inclusion are an integral part of the sector’s culture from the start.”

“We are delighted to support the FinTech For All Charter and would encourage all FinTech organisations to sign up in order to create an environment which normalises inclusion and eradicates harassment.”