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Mediant Aug 13, 2020 3 min read

A Turning Point for Gender Diversity in Finance and Fintech

Solving a health emergency like Covid-19 demands the best minds across traditional disciplines like medicine and pharmaceutical but also manufacturing, technology and finance. Teams with a greater involvement of women result in a broader perspective on the crisis, more innovation, and paves the way for the deployment of richer and more complete solutions than neglecting half the talent pool.

In the recent virtual event, "Women In the Workplace: How We Work," hosted by The Wall Street Journal as part of its Women In series, two technology founder CEOs discussed how to lead teams in times of crisis. Goodr’s Jasmine Crowe and Girls Who Code’s Reshma Saujani shared their own experiences navigating this new reality and provided practical ways women can thrive both at home and while tackling the responsibilities that come with leading a company.

Both women offered advice on how to position themselves to succeed in the unpredictable months ahead—from building a daily schedule that makes sense for each woman to placing parameters around career and family.

Finovate, a research and events firm focused on innovation in financial and banking technology, has always advocated for gender diversity at its events around the world to support the overall industry change and market shift happening within the fintech sector. According to its content and strategy director, the organization made a commitment to only run events with mixed-gender panels. Focusing on an equal female-to-male ratio during the speaker acquisition phase and proactively supporting gender equality at its events has the goal of empowering women in financial services and technology.

Companies with diverse staff, including a high percentage of women, are a critical part of the Covid-19 recovery phase. Research shows that resilience, pragmatism, benevolence, trust in collective common sense, mutual aid and humility are common attributes of successful women leaders. These attributes can be particularly valuable during times of uncertainty when gaining consensus toward implementing a recovery plan. Globally, the best responses to the pandemic have come from countries with women leaders – Germany, New Zealand, Denmark and Norway, to name a few. What’s more, “Delivering through Diversity,” a study from consulting firm McKinsey, suggests that businesses with a more equitable gender balance perform better financially.

Addressing gender-gap challenges in the finance industry is ongoing, and a key part of this is having female role models and even mentors. When less experienced women are exposed to women in prestigious leadership roles that endorses the notion that women are well suited for these roles.

For example, Barron’s published its first list of “100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance," noting that all these women have helped shape the modern financial services industry and are leading it confidently into the future. The list includes CFOs at major U.S. companies, executives at some of the nation’s largest banks and brokerages, investment managers and securities analysts, financial advisors and wealth managers, and public servants and policy makers.

Investment Advisor magazine published its “Top Women In WealthTech for 2020.” This is the second year of the publication’s recognition program and features the careers of 15 female leaders, as well as their news and views on working in wealth management technology and innovation in financial services.

Preparing future women leaders

At Mediant, we also believe in empowering women and supporting our future leaders. For example, last year, Mediant partnered with Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTSWS), a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing girls to be financially successful and inspiring them to pursue careers in finance, to host a half-day educational and career development event. Mediant connected RTSWS with resources to support a year-long financial program to change the lives of high school girls in Cary, North Carolina. It was the second year of our collaboration with RTSWS.

We’ve also collaborated with our partner Donnelley Financial Services (DFIN) on joint initiatives to support women in the financial services industry. As a strong advocate of advancing women in financial services, Mediant continues to look for opportunities to prepare our next generation of female leaders.

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