Fintech might be shaking up the financial industry with disruptive innovation, but new research suggests it hasn’t been so ahead of the crowd on diversity in the workplace.
In fact fintech employees place the lowest value on diversity in the workplace of all financial services workers, according to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.
The survey of 900 people working in the City of London, found that 43 per cent of fintech employees felt gender balance at work impacts positively on an employer's performance.
In comparison, 53 per cent of those working in investment banking said they felt balanced numbers of men and women at work boosted an employer's performance, and that rose to 71 per cent among private banking workers.
As a sector, fintech is currently male-dominated. Astbury Marsden said 69 per cent of fintech firms' boards were made up of men only.
The FTSE 350 has made some significant progress in this respect. All-male boards are at an all-time low: there were 152 in February 2011 and now just 11.
Bardia Sohi, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said: "When a fintech company needs to fill a position – and this often needs to happen quickly – the overwhelming majority of candidates will be men. Certainly, some fintech companies recognise that as they are asking us for an increasingly diverse slate when it comes to recruitment."
Overall, 65 per cent of City workers felt gender balanced workforces were either "important" or "very important" to a firm's appeal as an employer and 60 per cent when it comes to driving innovation specifically.
The rise of fintech has been noted by government – industry leaders went to Westminster earlier this month to discuss developing a roadmap for the industry and support from the government after the Brexit vote.
Meanwhile the Bank of England has been working with several startups, including BMLL Technologies and Enforcd after launching a fintech accelerator back in June.