Technology Leading the Change – Minutes from 13th October 2021
Remember, everyone in FinTech is learning – all technology is a continuation of human experience. Every new technology was learnt once by those who use it, they were all beginners at one point. The majority of jobs in future technology do not even exist yet.
Feedback and discussion are necessary. It was raised that the industry seems to be changing and conversations are becoming more open. All agreed that it is necessary to “put your hand up and ask for help”, despite noting that it is not a common natural trait for many females.
90% of startups are male – women face many challenges, and many are leaving the space as they are hidden in roles that are often not as prolific as deserved. It was suggested that startups are the space to move to once you “know your stuff”. This was contested, with a COO raising that you women tend to hold back too much and we should be entering roles whilst working towards reaching 100%, then at this point you will be ready to move onto the next.
With the white male rule meaning subconscious bias leans towards those who are not of the same race or gender may not be good decision-makers, women have to fight harder to make it to the same levels as their male counterparts.
Transferrable skills are essential to assess when considering stepping into a new role. With technology being a constantly evolving space, many people lean on skills learnt elsewhere and adapt these in order to better themselves in the fintech sector. It was suggested that you should have a skill-based resume, to talk about what you have learned, what you did and what you saw.
The need to pick yourself back up and make yourself better each time that you are thrown down – patience, persistence and not giving up are key to success.
A number of firms are working with young women, around the age of 16 who have potential but limited access to further education. This seems to be working, with one firm being at around 43% female representation at senior levels.
When recruiting, if you are bringing poor diversity levels it is likely that the way the role is being advertised is a contributor to this. At this point headhunters, job descriptions and due diligence need to be challenged and altered. Employee inclusion networks seem to be working well to draw in diversity within teams.
Mentoring was raised, its importance was evident to all – both the mentor and then mentee gain. The advantage for women being mentored by strong women was also discussed, and the lack of female role models out there, especially in Fintech.
It was elaborated that the reason males are not helping women go into tech is that our brains look for the “path of least resistance” and everyone looking the same, liking the same things and thinking the same way creates an easy ride for those in the positions.
Managing Partner, Armstrong Wolfe Advisory and WCOOC Ambassador