Although 30 percent of the workers in the fintech industry are females, only 17 percent occupy senior roles. While there’s a gender gap in the industry, several Black women are making significant strides to break glass ceilings.
Black women leaders have paved the way with strength and resilience and have made important distinctions despite persistent silence, undervaluation, and invisibility. Valerie Moran, Lissele Pratt, and Natasha Bansgopaul have shattered the fintech industry’s barriers and transformed the sector in the UK alone.
Challenges Black women face
Black women in fintech face several challenges that hinder their progress. These challenges include a need for more representation, bias, and access to capital. According to a report, while underrepresented groups’ participation in UK fintech increased from 12 percent in 2011 to 20% in 2021, it did not rise equally across all communities. While those with Asian ancestry increased from 7.5% to 12.2%, that of Black employees stayed at 3.1%. In addition, a study found that Black entrepreneurs receive just 1% of venture capital investments.
Gender pay gap: On average, the UK’s most significant financial service companies pay their female leaders two-thirds less than their male counterparts.
The motherhood penalty: Men are more likely to be perceived as “dedicated” and “committed” at work, while women are more likely to be judged negatively if they have children.
Lack of positive role models: Only 6% of fintech CEOs are female, so it may be more difficult for female employees to picture themselves in high-level positions.
Breaking glass ceiling barriers
Regardless of the struggles and challenges, Black women in the UK have made great contributions to the industry.
Known as “UK’s Oprah,” Moran is UK’s Black female Fintech leader. She heads operations and client relations at Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) in London. She is the wealthiest Black woman in the UK and the only Black woman to have appeared in the Rich List’s 31 editions.
With over seven years of experience working in fintech, Lissele Pratt is the COO and co-founder of Capitalixe. She assists businesses in medium- to high-risk industries in acquiring the most cutting-edge banking, payment, and financial technology. Forbes’ list of the 30 Under 30 in Finance for 2021 included Lissele, who has also been highlighted in prestigious publications.
Serial businesswoman and technologist Natasha Bansgopaul focuses on combining modern infrastructure with emerging technologies. She is a leader in global fintech with experience in emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and interagency cooperation. She is also the Co-Founder and COO of VegaX Holdings, a company that develops automated portfolio rebalancing infrastructure and cryptocurrency index technology for investors and traditional institutions.
Overall, Black women are making strides in FinTech, but there is still much work to ensure the industry is diverse and inclusive. Women bring unique perspectives and ideas, which are critical in driving innovation and growth in the fintech industry. Fintech businesses can grow significantly and develop cutting-edge solutions catering to diversity and inclusion.