A top fintech body has warned today that “significant barriers still exist” to female progression in the sector despite an improvement in gender representation in recent years.
Over three quarters of women working in fintech said they now believe their firm is inclusive while 56 per cent feel it is diverse, according a to a new report from EY and fintech industry body innovate finance. But the report found said there was still significant work to be done to drive gender parity, with female founders still lagging on areas including access to equity and debt fundraising.
“There are some good foundations in place, and it is encouraging that progress is being made and that many women are being supported to achieve incredible things,” said Anita Kimber, EMEIA Business Transformation Leader at EY.
“But we are at a pivotal point in time where the industry now needs to accelerate progress and further support women – at every level – so they feel able to make that next step; whether it be negotiating around salary or accessing the funding they need in order to grow their business.
Fewer than half of those surveyed by EY and Innovate Finance said they feel able to raise equity capital, compared to 62 per cent of men, and just 31 per cent of women feel able to access debt funding, compared to 44 per cent of men.
Separate research from investment analysis firm Beauhurst found earlier this year that just 24 per cent of equity funding rounds went to a firm with one female founder on the team, with all-male founders taking the lion share of investment.
Innovate Finance boss Janine Hirt said it was “vital” championed gender parity to ensure the UK retained its status as a a global fintech hub.
“It’s clear there is still a long way to go in ensuring everyone can succeed within the sector, including supporting underrepresented founders in accessing increased capital and investment,” she said.