Diversity & Inclusion Update – November 2021

30th November 2021 | Blogs


It’s been some time since we updated you on our diversity and inclusion activities but as you will read below, we have been very busy throughout the year & we’re now counting down the hours to the launch of our Women in FinTech Powerlist 2021 tomorrow. We hope that you have had the opportunity to get involved in some of our initiatives and look forward to seeing you again, hopefully in person, over the next few months.

Women Returners

We were delighted to join forces with Women Returners to set up a pilot FinTech cross company programme with some of our members, to enable professionals to return to work after an extended career break.

Bringing talented returning professionals into UK FinTech is one piece of the solution to increasing gender, ethnic and cognitive diversity in the sector. Our FinTech Cross-Company Returner Programme in partnership with Innovate Finance is a practical and supportive way to accelerate returner hiring – completely in line with the ethos of both of our organisations. We are delighted that innovative FinTech employers Starling Bank, Klarna and Primary Bid have joined us for this pilot programme.” 

Julianne Miles, CEO and Co-Founder, Women Returners

Starling Bank, Klarna and PrimaryBid are taking part in the pilot, and will offer 6-month returnship placements in Cardiff, London and Southampton from January 2022.

The programme is a great opportunity for people that might otherwise find it difficult to know how to get back into the workforce after taking a break, and it’s a real privilege for us to be able to take part. We’ve already seen a very high calibre of applicants from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds apply to our roles across the bank.

Jenny Morgan, Head of Talent and Learning, Starling Bank

We also sponsored the Women Returners Back to your Future conference in October, paving the way for some 250 delegates to attend at a highly-discounted price to listen to panels, attend workshops to learn more about the opportunities open to them, and understand what leading returner employers are looking for. 

We’re hoping to launch another programme in 2022 and know that many of you are interested in this, so watch this space!

Socio-Economic Diversity Task Force

We were delighted to be invited to be a part of this Government commissioned taskforce, led by the City of London Corporation. Our Director of Corporate Affairs & Communications - Clare Black - is one of 30 cross-sector leaders from the financial and professional services industry, selected to challenge the lack of career progression for those coming from non-professional backgrounds and to explore the intersections with other protected characteristics, including gender and race. Our Head of Partnerships & Growth - Rashee Pandey - is participating in one of the Taskforce working groups.

An important part of the Taskforce’s initial work is to understand how employees from all backgrounds progress in their career, and to put forward relevant recommendations. We are therefore encouraging all of our members to distribute a 5 minute survey to your employees, to request anonymised data on socio-economic background. 

If you or your organisation can help move the dial by distributing this survey, register your interest on this form (https://forms.office.com/r/D4KDY83TED)

To find out more about the taskforce, we recommend that you sign up to the newsletter https://forms.office.com/r/SM40U6ARhU. Join the conversation on social media with #WhoGetsAhead


Future Face of FinTech - a joint initiative with our Women in FinTech Lead Programme Sponsor EY 

Back in the summer, we launched an industry survey to explore gender diversity and inclusion within the UK FinTech industry, the first part of a year-long project that aims to: 

  • collate concrete data on female participation in the sector
  • gather lived in experiences 
  • provide some pragmatic and achievable recommendations for the industry to take forward 
  • drive meaningful change. 

Early in 2022, we will be holding two senior leader roundtable events - one in London and one in Manchester. Then,in March 2022, there will be an event to present the findings of the survey, focus groups and roundtables, with a follow-up workshop during UK FinTech Week.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the wider initiative, please contact womeninfintech@uk.ey.com.

Update on our work with InChorus on the FinTech for All Charter

The FinTech for All Charter led by  Inchorus and supported by Innovate Finance and other organisations marked  its one year anniversary in September. The Charter is a commitment to increase diversity and inclusion across the sector. Signatories can pledge to create a culture where inclusive behaviour is championed, harassment is not tolerated, and diversity is widely promoted in order to futureproof UK FinTech and enable sustainable growth.
A key new element of the Charter was the launch  of a  Slackbot which anonymously collects key data & insights into the micro-behaviours shaping workplace culture in FinTech firms. The Slackbot empowers individuals to anonymously report everyday instances of bias & harassment and to recognise micro-affirmations (actively inclusive behaviours).

InChorus has attracted over a hundred D&I champions who are part of its thriving FinTech For All slack community, bringing perspectives from across HR, D&I & Comms. They facilitate knowledge sharing, curate up-to-date content & discussion, and help you explore what is working and what isn't amongst your peers. If you are interested in any of the above, please sign up here. Join us and many others today - at any stage of your D&I journey - by signing the Fintech For All charter!

Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion are priorities for Innovate Finance. Back in September, we submitted a joint response with our partner InChorus to the FCA, PRA, Bank of England’s diversity discussion paper to give our views on how we can accelerate the pace of meaningful change on diversity and inclusion in the sector. You can read our response here.

We are proud of our Women in FinTech programme and are a signatory of HMT’s Women in Finance charter. We are also a supporter of the Charter For Black Talent In Finance And The Professions, as well as a key partner and supporter of the FinTech for All Charter.

We urge all of our members to read and consider signing up to these important initiatives.

We also enjoy showcasing your initiatives too, so please do share them with us so we can highlight and amplify them around the ecosystem.

Key Upcoming Dates

Women in FinTech Powerlist Dates 

  • Application Open -1st December
  • Application Close - 16th January
  • Announcement of the Powerlist - 8th March

We are also busy organising the return of our in-person Diversity Power Hours and will advertise dates on the events section of our website.

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