Latest news & insights

March 2021

Do women-led fintech firms perform better?

Fintech Diversity Radar will let data do the talking

Companies whose boards are in the top quartile of gender diversity are 28 percent more likely than their peers to outperform financially. – McKinsey & Company Diversity Wins Report, 2020

Introducing the Fintech Diversity Radar, a global initiative that aims to accelerate the fintech sector by benchmarking the role of women in scaling fintech firms and the performance of large financial institutions and service providers.

What is the aim of this research?

“The aim is to create a common framework for benchmarking gender inclusion in female employment and leadership, financing of female entrepreneurs and business leaders, as well as how companies and communities cater for the financial needs of all genders,” says Denise Gee, co-founder and MD of findexable, the company behind the Fintech Diversity Radar.

Who should take part?

All fintech role players and businesses are invited to take part in this research initiative that is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

How will it work?

The Fintech Diversity Radar will:

  • Map the global fintech landscape to identify how and where women are employed and assess their progress;
  • Advance the employment of women in fintech by identifying practical actions to improve gender balance;
  • Build a roadmap for the advancement of female entrepreneurship in advanced and high-growth markets;
  • Identify the cause and effect of success in serving female customers, and
  • Highlight which countries, regions and firms are out-performing and analyse the reasons for their success.

What happens after the survey?

The initiative will be implemented through a series of cycles, starting with a real-time global market map and report in August 2021, and culminating in the launch of a real-time digital index.

“What gets measured, gets done. It is about ensuring women in tech is not just an ongoing call to action, but a reality,” says Audrey Mothupi, Fintech Diversity Radar board member and CEO of SystemicLogic.

For fintechs

To take part in this ground-breaking research initiative, click here and complete the survey. Your feedback will help to shape this vital new data set and you’ll be among the first to receive the results of the research.

Do you work in a bank or large tech firm?

The research also targets financial institutions and large incumbent financial service providers, through both quantitative and qualitative data gathering, which we will share shortly.

If you are a Chief People Officer who is making, and indeed, seeing the marked difference that diversity makes in your organisation, get in touch with us at

Dr Anette Broløs

Dr Anette Broløs

Dr Erin Taylor

Dr Erin Taylor

Meet our report authors

First dataset on gender diversity sets a path for progress

The findings of the Fintech Diversity Radar initiative will be summarised in a comprehensive report on the state of diversity in the industry. The report, authored by Dr Erin B. Taylor and Dr Anette Broløs, will be released in August 2021.

The report will contain valuable new information on gender diversity in fintech, including a real-time mapping of diversity, opportunities for collaboration within related industries and areas for further investigation and improvement.

Anette and Erin have carried out extensive research on women and finance. In June 2020 they published Female Finance: Digital, Mobile, Networked (EWPN/Keen), in which they mapped out the market for financial services for female customers and explored what makes ‘female finance’ different. In March 2021 they will publish a sequel, Female Finance in Figures, which delves deeper into the characteristics of over 100 financial organisations that focus on women – including gender diversity within them.

Interestingly, Erin and Anette learned that women are the majority at all levels of seniority within these organisations. Certainly, this is not the norm in fintech. But, as Anette explains, “We don’t really know much about diversity in fintech, or among female customers, because there is a lack of global data. This prevents the industry from benchmarking and tracking change over time.”

Erin adds, “The Fintech Diversity Radar report is a critical step towards building robust knowledge about diversity in fintech, starting with gender.”

The research for this report will include insights from the survey, questionnaires and discussions with fintechs, and interviews with large financial service providers. It will address questions such as:

  • What is the current state of diversity in the fintech industry? Does it differ according to location, company type, company size, or types of products?
  • How do fintechs and financial institutions around the world define diversity, and why does it matter to them?
  • How can fintechs make use of benchmarking and best practices to improve diversity and, ultimately, business success?
  • How might collaborations between fintech networks, commercial banks and innovators support diversity, while improving access?

Finally, the report will signpost areas for future investigation, research and the development of collaborative initiatives.

The Kalifa Review on fintech indices

Recommendation: “Create a global family of fintech indices to improve understanding and enhance visibility of the sector, as well as attract index tracking hedge funds and investors.”

The leadership of FTSE Russell as an index provider is vital in creating the visibility of any new sub-sector as it emerges. The use of passive asset management is growing as an investment strategy. Over the past 10 years, it has doubled in the UK from 18% to 37% of market capitalisation.

New segments, such as the fintech sector, often fall between two stools. In this case, fintech falls between a financial services sector, which is large, highly profitable, and well followed, but is full of legacy players with low growth and dividend-paying stocks; and a technology sector, where stocks are either categorised as horizontal players, such as cyber security, or a new vertical industry, such as e-commerce. These latter stocks are high growth, often loss-making, and rarely dividend-paying, hence attracting higher multiples and delivering return to their investors through capital growth rather than dividends.

Fintechs as a category can get lost in either of these broad indices. They follow different value creation paths as they face regional regulatory hurdles and the need to internationalise country by country. The creation of a global fintech index will initiate the process of carving out an understanding of this important emerging sector. Representatives from across both the fintech sector and investment community have confirmed that a fintech index could act as a positive driver for increased investment.

Regional and sector indices can and will follow, as the number of companies in each region grows and the unique characteristics of the sector are understood and rewarded by investors. Eventually, when enough UK fintech companies have listed and formed a sub-sector, then a UK index could become a bellwether for all UK fintech stocks and cement the leadership of the UK as a listing destination for this sub-sector.

Our view:

by Simon Hardie, Co-founder and CEO

“The Kalifa Review makes a vital point. Investors in fintech today are beset by a range of challenges – of market knowledge, geography, company scale, even of industry classification that continues to evolve. Moves to standardise the way we classify, categorise and invest in fintech – coupled with more reliable data on the fintech landscape – are essential to scale and digitise investment in a marketplace that is becoming systemically important.”