Regulators should step in to help narrow a gender pay gap in the fintech sector or female leaders will continue to be shut out from top jobs, some of the UK’s top female fintech chiefs have warned.
In a joint report shared exclusively with City A.M., big four firm EY and industry body Innovate Finance said “barriers still exist within the sector” and action from the City watchdogs could be a route to helping boost female progression.
EY’s fintech policy partner Anita Kimber told City A.M. it remained “frustrating that with a skills shortage we continue to see obstacles in the way of female progression in fintech”.
“We urge firms and their leaders to do more now to increase the presence and visibility of current and future female leaders,” she added.
A survey of the industry’s 120-strong Women in Fintech Powerlist, convened by Innovate Finance, found that over a quarter of female leaders blamed a lack of recognition and non-transparent promotion access for a lack of progress in the sector.
Some 17 per cent said regulation of the pay gap could be a route to boosting female progress, the top method cited by respondents to the survey.
ONS data shows that the UK’s gender pay gap stands at around 14.9 per cent for all types of employees. However, EY analysis suggests the gap swells to around 22 per cent in the fintech sector.
“We believe more extensive and transparent reporting will be a critical part of the solution,” Kimber said. “Getting compensation right is important at all levels, particularly for mid-level and junior workers who represent the future of the industry.”
The findings come as tech and fintech industries grapple with diversity and gender issues as data consistently shows male founders bag the majority of investment into the space.
A peer reviewed study from the Vienna University of Economics and Business earlier this year found that tech investors still do not trust female entrepreneurs due to the prevalence of male founders and the popular perception that top tech tycoons are all young white men.