Fintech

A future of men ruling the financial planet?

A future of men ruling the financial planet. Where are the women? Image: Olu Eletu, StockSnap
Written by Chris Skinner

There’s still a lot of sexism in the city, says Chris Skinner, who recounts the story of Charlotte Proudman, and women in fintech.

Through the years, I’ve seen a few changes in finance and technology. We’ve seen dress-down Friday move to dress-down everyday (if you’re a fintech firm), we’ve seen borders and barriers breaking down between ethnicity and sexual preferences, and we’ve seen globalization of activities. Yet, the one thing we haven’t seen enough of is diversity of gender. There’s still a lot of sexism in the city.

Charlotte ProudmanI first made that blog entry eight years ago (have I really been blogging that long?) and we still see storms in a teacup like the one this week of a barrister who got upset about being objectified through LinkedIn. This row started after Charlotte Proudman sent an invitation to a senior partner at a law firm who responded: ‘I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect, but that is a stunning picture!! You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.’

She didn’t like that and wrote back: ‘Alex, I find your message offensive. I am on LinkedIn for business purposes, not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men.’ She then posted his comments on Twitter, along with her outraged response, that focusing on women’s looks ‘silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject’.

The storm hit the national media, with headlines like LinkedIn sexism row: Charlotte Proudman says lawyer used site ‘like Tinder’The Daily Wail then discovered that she comments on male profiles (admittedly on Facebook), things like ‘hot stuff’ and ‘oooo lalala’.

Whatever. I guess we’re all just males and females who feel attraction to each other or not (unless you’re at the University of Tennessee, in which case we’re ze and xe). So why am I bothering to write about this today? Because my friend Sam Maule has been working diligently on a compendium of Women in Fintech for months now. This is a list of the 100 most notable females making a success in this male-dominated industry.

Sam’s first report, which came out in June as part of the Innotribe program for Sibos in Singapore next month, clearly shows what the key trends are taking place in our fintech universe. The good news is that banks are hiring and promoting women to the board, particularly in America and Europe. The chart below, for example, shows the percentage of women who are members of the Executive Committee of the Top 10 Banks by asset size in each region of the world:

Top 10 Banks by asset size in each region of the world

The bad news is that tech firms aren’t following this trend:

Women in finance – a small trends chart sourced by Chris Skinner.

But then, how many women want to become an engineer?

Women in finance – a small trends chart sourced by Chris Skinner.

So, is the future is one of male technologists ruling the financial planet? Read the report and attend the Innotribe session to find out. You can also see more interviews with the power women of fintech on Sam’s beta site.

– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. You can read the original article here. Image: Olu Eletu, StockSnap

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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